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Mindful : October 2013
Mark Bertolini is CEO of Aetna, the third-largest health insurance provider in the United States, and he knows firsthand what mindfulness can do. Nine years ago a skiing accident left Bertolini with a broken neck and plenty of prescriptions for pain medication. He cred- its mindfulness with helping him heal. “The biggest breakthroughs in man- aging my pain occurred as a result of the meditative practice,” he told Mindful. “Learning new ways to think about the pain and new ways to control it had huge impacts on my ability to manage it.” Inspired by such personal experience, the leadership at Aetna is now working to increase access to meditation instruction. The company has rolled out Mindful- ness at Work—a regular 12-week, online meditation program—to Aetna staff and to commercial customers who pay for their employees’ health insurance claims and use Aetna for administrative and other services. The program is aimed at minimizing work-related stress and improving work- life balance. It was designed in collabora- tion with the Duke University Center for Integrative Medicine and eMindful Inc., a provider of online programs that focus on mind-body wellness. ● Aetna Brings Mindfulness to Work OVERHEARD “To engender change among people in an organization, keep attention focused on the desired end state, not avoiding problems. Set up practices and processes that make it easy for people to do the right thing until it becomes not only second nature, but an ethic taken to heart (and to the brain) by the entire company.” From “That’s the Way We (Used to) Do Things Around Here,” by Jeffrey Schwartz, Pablo Gaito, and Doug Lennick in strategy + business magazine, Spring 2011. October 2013 mindful 15 October 2013 mindful 15 PHOTOGRAPHBYRODSEARCEY