updated 11/30/2010 7:16:13 AM ET 2010-11-30T12:16:13

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 30, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- George DeVries, the co-founder and current CEO and chairman of leading health and wellness organization American Specialty Health Incorporated (ASH) and its subsidiary Healthyroads, was recently honored with the "Most Influential in Specialty Health" award, presented by the National Association of Specialty Health Organizations (NASHO). The award recognizes leaders in specialty health who have played a major role in advancing the industry's mission to improve value, access, and availability of high-quality specialty health services.

While still in his 20s, only a few years out of college and with no experience in the health plan field, George co-founded a company that would become the leading organization of its type nationally, providing non-traditional health care programs to health plans, health insurance companies, and employer groups. Through his entrepreneurial vision, leadership, and expertise, he and his team have built a $150+ million company from the ground up that:

  • covers nearly 18 million Americans, providing them with non-traditional programs such as chiropractic, acupuncture, massage therapy, dietetic counseling, naturopathy, fitness club memberships, and physical/occupational therapy, as well as health and prevention programs such as health coaching, incentives management, website tools and resources, and biometric screenings;
  • increased business for nearly 37,000 complementary health care providers, fitness clubs, and exercise centers across the nation; and
  • provides employment for more than 700 people in the San Diego-area.

NASHO launched the "Most Influential" award in recognition of the evolution and maturity of the specialty health industry. "Specialty health services, such as the wellness programs created by Mr. DeVries' company, now have a prominent place in the health care dialogue. These great strides could not have been accomplished without George's outstanding leadership," said Julian Roberts, NASHO Executive Director.

Eligible nominees for the NASHO award were executives from specialty health plans and provider networks—organizations that facilitate and support the delivery of specialty health services including: dental, vision, hearing, pharmacy benefit management, behavioral health, chiropractic, complementary care, physical therapy, radiology management, and other ancillary services. The selection committee was made up of executives and managers from health plans, health insurance companies, employee benefit consultants, health insurance brokers, and third-party administrators—customers of specialty health care networks and organizations. Each year the award recognizes an individual whose drive, passion, and effort improves the specialty health industry and the members it serves.

Over the years, various organizations have recognized George's commitment to developing American Specialty Health. George has also received the Innovators Award from America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), and has been honored nationally and locally as the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for Health Sciences. Under George's leadership, American Specialty Health has been named twice to the national Inc. 5,000 Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies list, recognized twice as one of the Best Companies to Work For in San Diego by the San Diego Business Journal, and has been a four-time winner of the Silver California Fit Business Award and many others. 

About American Specialty Health

American Specialty Health Incorporated (ASH) is a national health and wellness company that provides prevention and wellness services, specialty network management programs, and fitness and exercise services to health plans, insurance carriers, employer groups, and trust funds. Based in San Diego, ASH has more than 700 employees and covers over 17.9 million members.

For more information about the products and services offered by ASH and its subsidiaries, visit www.ASHCompanies.com or call (800) 848-3555. Follow us at Twitter.com/ASHCompanies and Twitter.com/Healthyroads.

© Copyright 2012, GlobeNewswire, Inc. All Rights Reserved


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