The Gold Standard calls for organizations to evaluate their health benefits and workplace culture and take extensive, concrete actions in five key areas known as the Five Pillars:
Pillar 1: Health Education & Navigation
Just as critical as employer provided health benefits, policies and programs, is an employee’s ability to understand, access and navigate those offerings. It’s also critical for communication and engagement strategies be tailored to meet the needs of different employee populations.
- Ensure employees can understand, access and navigate health resources to enable and encourage appropriate behavior.
- Ensure health education and navigation communications and resources are sensitive to the social, economic and cultural conditions affecting different employee populations.
Pillar 2: Prevention & Early Detection
In order to reduce the risk of cancer, employers must provide high value preventive care. Cancer screenings, vaccinations and the promotion of modifiable lifestyle behaviors such as tobacco-cessation, healthy eating and physical activity not only reduce the incidence of cancer, but other serious conditions such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
- Take steps that may help to prevent cancer by implementing policies, offering benefits, programs and services that encourage physical health including healthy life-style choices, vaccinations and screening tests.
Pillar 3: Advancing Treatment
With dramatic advances in cancer care, outcomes and costs, Gold Standard employers follow best practices to maximize value and improve outcomes for those employees diagnosed with cancer.
- Maximize value and improve outcomes for those employees who are cancer survivors
- Ensure access to quality cancer treatment including cancer clinical trials.
Pillar 4: Survivorship
Thanks to earlier detection and improved treatments, more than half of all cancer survivors will continue to work or return to work. Further, if not facing a diagnosis themselves, many employees will find themselves caring for someone with cancer. Employers with health benefits and a work environment that address their needs are better prepared to mitigate the effects of this devastating disease.
- Sustain a workplace culture that recognizes the needs of employees who are cancer survivors themselves or who are family members/caregivers of cancer survivors.
Pillar 5: Well-Being
Beyond physical health, other factors affect an individual’s health risk and outcomes. These other determinants of health impact a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and are an essential part of the Gold Standard framework.
- Sustain a workplace culture that recognizes a holistic approach to health and well-being.
- Take steps to improve employee well-being in terms of financial, environmental, and mental health, as well as supporting a sense of purpose and community.