When it comes to heart health, Edison International recently received word from the American Heart Association that it has a lot of heart.

The company has been awarded a Gold Award for its various employee wellness programs, including an onsite Fitness Center, a cadre of Wellness Ambassadors and a Preventive Health Account. They also received a Worksite Innovation Award for their Work Readiness Certification Program, an injury prevention program that is being used across the company.

“These awards are in recognition for the tremendous progress that has been made across the company in creating an atmosphere and culture of health and wellness,” said Anna Ramirez, SCE manager of Occupational Health & Wellness, whose team submitted the two applications. This is the first time Edison International has received these awards.

The American Heart Association awards are designed to highlight businesses who champion the health of their employees by creating physical activity programs at work. In addition to a Fitness Center, Edison International also offers a Wellness Center and wellness evaluations, has made progress with nutrition guidelines and practices, and offers a Weight Watchers At Work program.

Jordan Sugar is an Edison International Wellness Ambassador. He recently launched a “Biggest Winner” voluntary weight-loss challenge for employees. Of the money raised, 40 percent will go to the American Heart Association, 40 percent will go to the winner’s favorite nonprofit, and the remaining 20 percent will go toward future fundraising efforts.

“One of my favorite things about working here is the various fitness programs,” said Sugar, a project manager in SCE’s operational analytics, who works out once a day in the Fitness Center. “It’s fantastic that the company supports physical fitness.”

Most adults spend much of their time at work, often sitting behind a desk. With obesity costing businesses about $12.7 billion per year in medical expenses and $225.8 billion in health-related productivity losses according to the American Heart Association, programs that encourage physical activity directly impact the bottom line.

With the American Heart Association Awards, Edison International is now a designated Gold-Fit Friendly Worksite. The Worksite Innovation Award was presented to the company for its Work Readiness Certification Program, an injury prevention warm-up consisting of 13 different movements designed to prepare industrial and office employees to be physically and mentally ready for work.

“It’s not just about trying to lose weight, look good or anything like that, it was all about health and wellness,” said Susan Chang, an SCE program analyst, Wellness Ambassador and Work Readiness Certified Leader.

The American Heart Association awards allow Edison International to use the Gold Award and Innovation Award seals until Nov. 1 of this year throughout their facilities and in their published materials.

“Through your ongoing efforts to provide a culture of corporate wellness your organization has demonstrated extraordinary, tangible results,” said Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association, in a letter congratulating Edison International. “The creativity and leadership within your organization are an inspiration and you can be proud of the positive health impact you are making.”