Close this search box.

The Walt Disney Company and Brakebush Brothers Honored by National Alliance for Efforts to Improve Healthcare Delivery System

Employers’ Forum of Indiana received membership award for coalition leadership

WASHINGTON – Nov. 12, 2019 – The Walt Disney Company and Brakebush Brothers, Inc. were awarded the 2019 Employer/Purchaser Excellence Award by the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions at its Annual Forum today. Employers’ Forum of Indiana was recognized with the 2019 Membership Leadership Award. These organizations were celebrated for efforts to improve quality and efficiency of the healthcare delivery system, employee engagement – and ultimately health.

“Disney, Brakebush Brothers and the Employers’ Forum of Indiana are all excellent examples of the impact that can be made when purchasers no longer accept the status quo and are committed to improving the health and productivity of their workforce and communities,” said Michael Thompson, National Alliance President and CEO. “We acknowledge and share details on their efforts in the hopes that others will also learn and lead by their examples.”

The Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company’s mission to entertain, inform and inspire audiences through the power of unparalleled storytelling and innovative technologies starts with its employees and Cast Members. Providing benefits and programs that support the total wellbeing of their workforce in novel and inventive ways reflects their commitment to delivering transformative experiences.

As the cost of healthcare has escalated, large self-funded employers like Disney have sought solutions to continue to improve the quality of care while increasing the value of healthcare for their employees and Cast Members. In 2017, Disney pioneered a new model by contracting directly with the two largest hospital systems in Central Florida, with a focus on providing exceptional, community-based healthcare options to its employees/Cast Members and their families in the region. 

This unique partnership has resulted in significant improvements in the quality of healthcare by both systems and closed gaps in delivering a high standard of care by integrating Disney’s onsite employee medical center with the hospital systems. In addition to an improved patient experience, Disney has aligned the Company’s healthcare goals with the goals of the local community. Walt Disney World in Orlando is the largest single site employer in the US and a member of the Florida Alliance for Healthcare Value.

“We are very proud of the work that has been done to advance the well-being and healthcare offerings for our workforce and in our community as a whole,” said Bill Dinger, Director of Healthcare Innovation, The Walt Disney Company. “Our partners Advent Health, Orlando Health, and Premise Health have been with us every step of the way and we could not have earned this award without them.”

Brakebush Brothers

Operating since 1925, Brakebush Brothers, Inc. is a privately owned and operated value-added processor of great tasting chicken products with processing facilities in Westfield, Wisconsin, Irving, Texas, Wells, Minnesota and Mocksville, North Carolina. Prior to going self-funded, Brakebush Brothers was facing the same standard high annual increases in healthcare costs as the rest of the nation. The company set out to create an employee benefits plan that would attract and retain top talent for their rurally-located manufacturing plant.

Working with The Alliance employer coalition headquartered in Wisconsin of which they are a member, they were able to provide high-value healthcare at a reasonable cost. Once implemented it became clear that the plan alone was not enough to keep health benefit costs reasonable for both the employer and their employees, Brakebush Brothers then developed a plan customized for geographic location and the population’s health. The company was able to keep premiums reasonably priced for employees at their manufacturing plants via an onsite health center, centers of excellence program and other services.

In 2018, Brakebush’s per member health benefit costs were lower than in 2014  even after factoring the annual operating costs of the health center. And most importantly, surveys of current employees, and those leaving, regularly rate health benefits highly, so they know their health benefits program is working.

“The award shows that employers of all sizes, and any location, can make a positive impact in their fight against the rising costs of healthcare without government intervention, or the need to pass those costs on to its employees,” said Dan Ludwig, Director of Benefits and Safety at Brakebush. “It is an honor to receive recognition for doing something that we felt was just the right thing to do to provide benefits that our employees need.”

Cheryl DeMars, President and CEO of The Alliance, said “The experience of Brakebush Brothers demonstrates what’s possible when employers roll up their sleeves and manage health benefits like other major business expenses. They are controlling their health care costs without cutting benefits or shifting costs to employees. Most importantly, employees and their families are getting the care they need.”

Employers’ Forum of Indiana

The Employers’ Forum of Indiana (EFI), an employer-led healthcare coalition of employers, physicians, hospitals, health plans, benefit consultants and other stakeholders, received the 2019 Member Award. This award is presented to a member who demonstrated leadership and commitment to heath and healthcare value on behalf of their members and their employees and community.

A key initiative commissioned and funded by EFI, the National Hospital Price Transparency Report 2.0 by RAND Corporation, gained national attention after its release earlier this year. The extensive study, which included nearly 1,600 hospitals in 25 states, found the prices paid to hospitals for privately insured patients averaged 241% of what Medicare would have paid, with wide variation in prices among states. This effort engaged many National Alliance member coalitions and catalyzed meaningful community conversations across the nation.

“Employers’ Forum of Indiana accepts this award on behalf of all of our Forum members who were instrumental in bringing hospital price transparency to the forefront,” said Gloria Sachdev, Executive Director for the Forum and National Alliance board member. “The next study is well underway, and we look forward to continuing to drive payment reform conversations with payers and purchasers in Indiana and throughout the nation.”

About National Alliance

The National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions is the only nonprofit, purchaser-led organization with a national and regional structure dedicated to driving health and healthcare value across the country. Our members represent more than 12,000 employers/purchasers and 45 million Americans spending over $300 billion annually on healthcare. To learn more, visit, connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

# # #

Media Contact

Cary Conway
Telephone: 972.649.4707