Perdue Farms partners with WrightChoice Healthcare and Indiana University on smoking cessation pilot program for associates

Washington, Ind. – Perdue Farms’ operation in Washington has launched a pilot smoking cessation program for associates in collaboration with WrightChoice Healthcare and Indiana University School of Public Health and Center for Rural Engagement. 

The pilot is part of the company’s Perdue Healthworks® program administered at an on-site Wellness Center at its Washington turkey harvest operations, where associates have access to quality, affordable healthcare. Eight tenured associates will participate in the pilot while at work through the Wellness Center. 

“At Perdue, we’re committed to helping our associates get and stay healthy,” said Dawn Carey, director of Perdue Healthworks®. “Smoking cessation is part of our preventive approach to healthcare. We’re proud to join WrightChoice Healthcare and Indiana University in a program that supports and encourages our associates who want to make a positive change in their lives.” 

The pilot program, supported by the Indiana Healthy Opportunities for People Everywhere (I-HOPE) initiative, in partnership with the Indiana University School of Public Health and Center for Rural Engagement, provides a novel approach to motivate behavior change through carbon monoxide monitoring and is part of a larger effort that seeks to reduce smoking and smoke exposure in rural southern Indiana. 

“We are so excited that Perdue is actively encouraging their employees to participate in our smoking cessation project on site at their location in Washington,” said Jon Macy, associate professor at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington and project lead for the smoking cessation initiative. “They are clearly demonstrating their commitment to employee wellness. I hope that this is a model that will be replicated at other worksites in Indiana to address priority health issues like tobacco use. By investing a modest amount of resources in their employees’ health, employers can benefit from healthy, productive workers and lower healthcare costs. This in turn will attract additional business investment in Hoosier communities.” 

People who smoke have a higher risk of severe symptoms caused by respiratory-related illness such as COVID-19. Secondhand smoke exposure also increases the risk of respiratory problems in nonsmokers, including children. Since the prevalence of smoking is higher in rural areas and quit rates are lower, this smoking cessation program is designed to address these disparities. 

The two-year I-HOPE initiative, led by Purdue University Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering and the Indiana Department of Health, is deploying teams across the state to facilitate community-level conversations and develop strategies to address the factors that prevent people from living their healthiest lives. The work examines longstanding risk factors, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Hoosiers' health. The effort is being funded by a $34.8 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This program is supported by funds made available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Center for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support, under NH75OT000073. 

Perdue Farms has a network of wellness centers across its U.S. footprint that includes fully equipped doctor’s offices staffed by healthcare professionals from the community, providing associates and their dependents convenient access to primary care. Associates can visit the Wellness Center free from a co-pay and make appointments during work hours and “stay on the clock” during their appointments. 

Media contact:
Kyla Cox Deckard, IU Center for Rural Engagement
(812) 855-4992 office; (812) 219-9993 cell

About Perdue Farms

We're a fourth-generation, family owned, U.S. food and agriculture company. Through our belief in responsible food and agriculture, we are empowering consumers, customers, and farmers through trusted choices in products and services. 

The premium protein portfolio within our Perdue Foods business, including our flagship PERDUE® brand, Niman Ranch®, Panorama Organic Grass-Fed Meats®, Coleman Natural®, and Yummy®, as well as our pet brands, Spot Farms® and Full Moon®, is available through various channels including retail, foodservice, club stores, and our direct-to-consumer website,  

Perdue AgriBusiness is an international agricultural products and services company.   

Now in our company's second century, our path forward is about getting better, not just bigger. We never use drugs for growth promotion in raising poultry and livestock, and we are actively advancing our animal welfare programs. Our brands are leaders in no-antibiotics-ever chicken, turkey, pork, beef, and lamb, and in USDA-certified organic chicken and beef. Learn more at 

The IU Center for Rural Engagement improves the lives of Hoosiers through collaborative initiatives that discover and deploy scalable and flexible solutions to common challenges facing rural communities. Working in full-spectrum community innovation through research, community-engaged teaching and student service, the center builds vision, harnesses assets and cultivates sustainable leadership structures within the communities with which it engages to ensure long-term success.
The Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington offers top-ranked academic programs that prepare students for challenging careers preventing disease and promoting wellness in communities everywhere. Unique in the nation, our multidisciplinary programs, history of engagement, and emerging strengths bring new energy to the traditional concept of a school of public health. Our innovative research is grounded in rigor, reproducibility, and transparency. With nearly 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students and more than 150 faculty in five departments, our faculty and students conduct research, learn, teach, and engage across the spectrum of health and quality of life.