Highmark Health announced it has earned the WELL Health-Safety Rating from the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) for six properties the organization directly manages.
The WELL Health-Safety Rating is an evidence-based, third-party verified rating for all new and existing building and space types focusing on operational policies, maintenance protocols, stakeholder engagement and emergency plans to address a post-COVID-19 environment now and into the future.
The Highmark Health properties that achieved the rating include 19 N. Main in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; Center Street in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania; Data Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania; Fifth Avenue Place and Penn Avenue Place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Highmark West Virginia’s headquarters in Parkersburg, West Virginia.
Fifth Avenue Place and Penn Avenue Place’s combined 1.4 million square feet make the properties the largest WELL Health and Safety rated project in the City of Pittsburgh. Additionally, Highmark West Virginia’s headquarter is the first and only WELL Health and Safety rated building in the state.
Designed to empower owners and operators across large and small businesses alike to take the necessary steps to prioritize the health and safety of their staff, visitors and stakeholders, the WELL Health-Safety Rating can help guide users in preparing their spaces for re-entry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, instilling confidence in those who come through the building as well as the broader community.
“As we continue to determine what the future of the workplace will look like and how we will welcome employees back into our buildings, our stakeholders can have peace of mind knowing that Highmark Health is taking every measure possible to ensure the safety and security of those who enter our facilities,” shared Dana Garcia, vice president of real estate for Highmark Health. “We are honored to receive this prestigious rating from the International WELL Building Institute and look forward to proudly displaying the WELL Building Health and Safety rating seal at the entrance of these six properties.”
To achieve WELL Health-Safety Rating, Highmark Health has prioritized cleaning and sanitization, emergency preparedness, air and water quality monitoring, and stakeholder engagement and communication amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Several examples within the six buildings include hands-free sensors on restroom fixtures, rigorous cleaning protocols that address high-touch surfaces with cleaning and disinfection products that do not contain harmful ingredients, annual water and indoor air quality testing for all locations, installation of touchless water bottle filling stations to allow occupants to drink filtered water, and increased fresh air circulation during the pandemic to keep all facilities operating in a safe and healthy manner.
The WELL Health-Safety Rating provides a centralized source and governing body to validate efforts made by owners and operators. It leverages insights drawn from the IWBI Task Force on COVID-19, in addition to guidance on the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), global disease control and prevention centers and emergency management agencies, as well as recognized standard-making associations such as ASTM International and ASHRAE, and leading academic and research institutions, as well as core principles already established by IWBI’s WELL Building Standard, the premier framework for advancing health in buildings and spaces of all kinds.
Highmark Health was awarded the WELL Health-Safety Rating following the successful completion of third-party documentation review by GBCI to confirm it has met the feature specific intents and requirements. The organization will continue to work toward WELL Health-Safety Ratings for the additional properties it manages in its portfolio.
About Highmark Health:
Highmark Health, a Pittsburgh, PA-based enterprise that employs more than 35,000 people who serve millions of Americans across the country, is the parent company of Highmark Inc., Allegheny Health Network, and HM Health Solutions. Highmark Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates provide health insurance to more than 6 million members in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware and New York as well as dental insurance, and related health products through a national network of diversified businesses. Allegheny Health Network is an integrated delivery network comprised of thirteen hospitals, more than 2,500 affiliated physicians, ambulatory surgery centers, an employed physician organization, home and community-based health services, a research institute, a group purchasing organization, and health and wellness pavilions in western Pennsylvania. HM Health Solutions is focused on meeting the information technology platform and other business needs of the Highmark Health enterprise as well as unaffiliated health insurance plans by providing proven business processes, expert knowledge, and integrated cloud-based platforms. To learn more, visit www.highmarkhealth.org.