Press Releases

American Cancer Society to Recognize Corporate Employers Changing the Course of the Cancer Fight
Jun 19, 2009
Corporate Impact Awards Cite Commitment to Employee Health, Employee Giving, Community Engagement

ATLANTA 2009/06/19 -The American Cancer Society – the nation’s leading voluntary health organization and largest non-governmental funder of cancer research and discovery – will present its Corporate Impact Awards June 19 during the Society-hosted Corporate Impact Conference in Chicago. The awards will recognize companies’ engagement in targeted efforts to significantly impact cancer’s effect on the workplace, where disease-related expenditures and lost productivity costs annually surpass $228 billion; in contributing funds to the American Cancer Society to fight the disease; and in addressing responsible community involvement.

The following five companies will be honored with the 2009 Corporate Impact Awards for their leadership in addressing cancer in the workplace, improving the health of their workforces, and encouraging employee engagement in the fight against the disease: Walgreens (award of excellence), Abbott (employee giving), Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (employee engagement), Archer Daniels Midland (tobacco control), and GE Energy (cancer control).

“These five companies have distinguished themselves in aligning with the American Cancer Society’s mission of saving lives. With their commitment to lessening the effect of cancer on their workforces, improving workplace productivity and investing in the fight against cancer through contributions and responsible investment in their communities, these companies are substantially invested in changing the course of cancer,” said American Cancer Society Chief Executive Officer John R. Seffrin, Ph.D. “The commitment these companies have made toward reducing the cancer burden will help us to achieve our vision of a world with less cancer and more birthdays.”

Walgreens will receive the Corporate Impact: Award of Excellence – the award of distinction among the five presented – for its leadership in corporate and employee giving, customer engagement and volunteerism. Walgreens demonstrates a significant commitment to employee health and wellness benefits, policies, programs and promotion. Its leadership has been paramount in the founding of the American Cancer Society’s CEOs Against Cancer, which works with the Society to provide businesses with information about cancer-related programs and services as well as initiatives that promote healthy employee lifestyles.

Walgreens encourages healthy employee behavior through its smoke-free worksites and by making available the American Cancer Society Quitline, through which employees may obtain counseling to help with their tobacco cessation attempt.

Company employees receive access to cancer screenings that provide opportunities for early detection, and any employee diagnosed with cancer also receives access to quality treatment and clinical trials, if applicable.

The company encourages its employees to volunteer for numerous Society fundraising initiatives, including the American Cancer Society Relay For Life®, where more than 600 teams now participate nationwide. Walgreens includes the Society as a highlighted strategic employee giving choice within the company’s “Charity Choice Campaign.” Additionally, Walgreens is active in a variety of initiatives that directly connect the company and its customers with the opportunities for involvement with the American Cancer Society.

The Corporate Impact: Employee Giving Award will be presented to Abbott for its leadership in providing an integrated giving platform that empowers employee choice, enabled by the company’s comprehensive support, marketing and measurement program to encourage employee giving and to recognize them for their generosity. Abbott also incorporates best practices to drive charity giving and campaign growth, which now involves 75 percent of employees. Over the last five years, employee giving to the American Cancer Society has increased by 160 percent. Abbott also provides multi-level access to American Cancer Society information regarding its mission and numerous patient/caregiver services.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., will receive the Corporate Impact: Employee Engagement Award for its work in developing substantial employee volunteerism with a number of American Cancer Society initiatives, including Relay For Life and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. The award also addresses how Wal-Mart’s corporate culture supports and encourages volunteerism through activities that unite the company, employees and retirees in ways that integrate with the company’s overall goals for corporate philanthropy and corporate citizenship. Wal-Mart also enables employees to help determine where its corporate contributions are channeled, based upon eligible organizations for which employees volunteer.

The Corporate Impact: Excellence in Tobacco Control Award will be presented to Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) for its implementation of a global smoke-free worksite policy and its offering of cost-free, domestic employee access to Quitline. The company hosts an annual summit for all ADM human resources vendors, including the American Cancer Society, to address service offerings and vendor cross promotion. All ADM employees complete a Health Risk Assessment and partner with a health coach to address specific actions, including tobacco cessation. Many ADM locations offer fitness facilities and other health maintenance options for employees. Additionally, ADM provides health benefits to its independent contractors, with Quitline access under consideration.

GE Energy will receive the Corporate Impact: Excellence in Cancer Control Award, for its effectiveness in providing employees with information about the health benefits of four cancer prevention behaviors: physical activity, nutrition, tobacco and cancer screening. The company offers its employees a variety of physical fitness options, including onsite fitness centers and employee reimbursement for use of offsite facilities, as well as programs that track employee progress; healthy food choices for onsite dining and a free weight reduction program offering; a smoke-free environment in all buildings and free access to Quitline; and cost incentives for employees to engage in cancer screenings, ranging from no out-of-pocket expense to capped expense, dependent upon the employee choice of GE Energy health insurance plans.

The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing nearly $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us any time, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit

Jamie Kimbrough
Director, Media Relations
American Cancer Society