Key Messages:

• Data measured over 3 years, capturing the activity of nearly 40,000 participants

• Study found a significant relationship between program participation and health risk improvement: more participation led to better risk improvement

• Companies that offered a greater array of wellness program options that were closely suited to employee health needs saw the greatest participation.

• Participation happens along a continuum and success is measured along a spectrum, rather than the black-and-white categories that are often used.

Yardley, Pa. (September 12, 2019) - A new research study authored by StayWell shows a direct association between participation in workplace health and well-being programs and employee health status. The study is the first of its kind to quantify and examine the impact of program participation across multiple program components through the creation of a participation index.

The study, entitled Measuring Participation in Employer-Sponsored Health and Well-Being Programs: A Participation Index and Its Association with Health Risk Change, is published online by the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Results from the evaluation of 38,789 participants show that employees who participate more in workplace health and well-being programs experience greater health risk improvement, and that these improvements can be sustained for three years. Based on the number of interactions and type of well-being programs, the report also supports a more exact definition of participation.

“Measurement of participation generally takes a “did it or not” approach, despite the understanding that participation in employer-based health and well-being programs is nuanced. This study aimed to refine how participation is defined and measured. Participation happens on a continuum and results show this continuum directly correlates with health risk improvement. The findings also help employers and program practitioners understand and evaluate many aspects of their workplace well-being initiatives, and ultimately administer those programs more effectively,” said Erin Seaverson, MPH, lead author of the study and StayWell senior director of research and evaluation.

Read the full study and abstract at


About StayWell

StayWell is a health empowerment company that enables populations to improve health outcomes through the science of behavior change. For more than 40 years, the company has been a pioneer in employer well-being and patient education solutions that lower risks and reduce costs. StayWell has earned numerous top industry honors for its population health programs, including the C. Everett Koop National Health Award and the Web Health Award. The company has also received Utilization Review Accreditation Committee (URAC) and National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) accreditation for several of its programs. StayWell is majority-owned by Healthcare Services & Solutions, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc. The company is headquartered in Yardley, Pa., with additional locations including St. Paul, Minn. and Portland, Ore. To learn more, visit or connect with StayWell on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

About Merck

For more than a century, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world's most challenging diseases. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. Today, Merck continues to be at the forefront of research to advance the prevention and treatment of diseases that threaten people and communities around the world - including cancer, cardio-metabolic diseases, emerging animal diseases, Alzheimer's disease and infectious diseases including HIV and Ebola. For more information, visit and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Forward-Looking Statement of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA

This news release of The StayWell Company, a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA (the “company”) includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the company’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forwardlooking statements. Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; the company’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of the company’s patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in the company’s 2018 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site (

About Vestar Capital Partners

Vestar Capital Partners is a leading U.S. middle-market private equity firm specializing in management buyouts and growth capital investments. Vestar invests and collaborates with incumbent management teams and private owners to build long-term enterprise value, with a focus on Consumer, Healthcare, and Business Services & Industrial Products. Since its founding in 1988, Vestar funds have completed more than 80 investments in companies – as well as more than 200 add-on acquisitions – with a total value of approximately $50 billion. For more information, please visit

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