Sanofi’s Got Heart for the Cardiovascular Community

Zoila Y. Castro, MD, Associate Vice President, Head of North America Occupational Health, shares her experience working with the Sanofi U.S. Health & Wellness teams and the importance of heart-healthy awareness for all employees.

Zoila Castro

This September, in recognition of National Cholesterol Education Month, Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) Awareness Day (Sept. 24) and World Heart Day (Sept. 29), we are excited to jump start conversations with our fellow colleagues, encouraging them to take an active role in their heart health. Over the course of the month, we are offering biometric screenings across our U.S. sites, heart-healthy menus in the cafeterias and opportunities to share a “Healthy Heart Promise” (i.e., a pledge for the month including an example of what each employee is doing to better take care of their cardiovascular health).

Our teams have been hard at work to bring together these events and activities as part of our overall goal to help shape Sanofi’s employee wellness programming. In fact, our partnership and collaboration with our Human Resources team to enhance our health and wellness culture began in 2016. Since then, we have worked together towards a collective mission: to increase awareness of health risks and preventable diseases, and to provide tools to help employees adopt and maintain healthier behaviors through all the resources that Sanofi US offers.

Did You KnowAfter all, a significant amount of our employees’ time is spent at the workplace, providing the perfect opportunity for our team to engage with colleagues to make a difference in their overall well-being. As we know, many chronic diseases are preventable. With our programs, we are able to educate around potential risks and help employees make healthier choices -- through nutritious food options at work, discounts with Weight Watchers, on-site fitness centers or fitness classes and discounts, walking paths, lifestyle coaching and much more. And we can take this one step further. If we are able to impact the lives of employees at work, we hope they bring this lifestyle home to their families too.

Most importantly, our Sanofi teams work better and reach more people because we are all working toward the same goal. We are humbled and proud that Sanofi US recently received the American Heart Association (AHA) Workplace Health Achievement Gold Level Recognition and has been certified as a Healthy Workplace by the Global Centre for Healthy Workplaces. These wonderful recognitions provide validation from some of the most credible external sources, but truth be told, we are constantly evaluating our work internally – through surveys, employee engagement and measurement of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) – to ensure our programming best fits the evolving needs of our Sanofi communities.

We dedicate this September to furthering education about the risks of heart disease across Sanofi US sites. At the end of the day, it really boils down to knowing your numbers. Many people do not have symptoms until the unfortunate heart attack or other cardiovascular event occurs, but once you know your numbers, you know what aspects of your life you need to target to be healthy – and we are here to help our employees achieve and sustain their best level of health. As I always say, when you are healthy, you are happy, fulfilled and productive in your work life and your personal life – and that is something we can all strive to do better, together.