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Pension Group Taps Versta Research to Track Employee Health

EVANSTON, IL – December 15, 2011 – Versta Research announced today a two-year agreement with the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits (GBOPHB) of The United Methodist Church—one of the top 100 pension funds in the country—to conduct surveys of clergy to understand their health needs and to monitor changes in clergy health over time. The agreement builds upon a two-year study begun in 2008, designed to identify systemic causes of poor health among clergy.

“We are excited about continuing this work with the GBOPHB’s Center for Health, as it represents an opportunity to help move the research from diagnosis to intervention,” said Joe Hopper, president of Versta Research. “It also represents an important challenge to make tracking research more useful. The goal is to do more than measure and track. We need to offer insights that the Center for Health can use to develop needed programs and services.”

The research is being designed in collaboration with Virginia Conference Wellness Ministries, Ltd. (VCWM), Duke Clergy Health Initiative (CHI), and the Duke Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health. It focuses on multiple dimensions of health, including physical, emotional, social, and spiritual, and it measures professional and vocational contexts as well as workplace stresses that may affect health.

The Center for Health will publish survey findings upon completion and use them to provide programs and services to better address clergy health needs.

About the General Board
The General Board of Pension and Health Benefits (GBPHB) is a not-for-profit administrative agency of The United Methodist Church, responsible for the general supervision and administration of the retirement, health and welfare benefit plans, programs and funds for more than 74,000 clergy and lay employees of the Church.

GBOPHB is the largest faith-based pension fund in the United States; with approximately $17 billion in total assets under management, it ranks among the top 100 pension funds in the country. As a socially responsible investor, GBOPHB is actively involved in shareholder advocacy, proxy voting, portfolio screening and community investing.

About the Center for Health
The Center for Health, with its dedicated team within the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits, seeks to improve multiple dimensions of health and well-being—physical, emotional, spiritual, social and financial—of clergy and lay workers of The United Methodist Church and their families. The Center for Health's multidimensional health and wellness focus is specific to the UMC target population.

About Versta Research
Versta is a firm specializing in customized market research and public opinion polling. It helps clients understand their customers, prospects, and competition with expertise and academic brainpower. And it helps clients communicate that research to managers, clients, reporters, and the audiences they need to reach. For more information please visit

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