208306 Worksite Wellness Collabrations: A local board of health perspective

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Brandi Jessemy Whitney, BA, CHES , Office of Chronic Disease Prevention Unit, DeKalb County Board of Health, Decatur, GA
According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, persons ages 25 to 54, with children under age 18, spend an average of 8.7 hours working. Since almost 50 hours per week is spent hours working or in work-related activities, worksite wellness is critical in improving the health status of adults in the United States. The DeKalb Healthy Business Council (DHBC) was established in 2008 by the DeKalb County Board of Health. The DHBC supports worksite wellness through, specialized development opportunities, capacity building, dissemination of best practices and opportunities for collaboration. The DHBC is a cooperative of worksites and business entities that represent various sectors, industries and seeks to mirror the diversity of the county. At the quarterly DHBC meetings, policy and environmental strategies are emphasized as a action plan to move local employers beyond health fairs and walking clubs. As a result of the DeKalb Healthy Business Council, there is more local engagement in worksite wellness initatives. Likewise, wellness and human resource professionals identify the local board of health as a valuable resource and partner for improving employee health. In addition, through collaboration and capacity building, several worksites have adopted policies and or instituted environmental changes in their workplace. Over the next year, The DeKalb Healthy Business Council will recruit more diverse employers, like minority and women owned businesses and small businesses.

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss two innovative strategies for engaging worksites and business entities in wellness initatives and collaborations. 2. Identify three types of business entities that are often overlooked in worksite wellness initatives.

Keywords: Worksite, Chronic Diseases

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the program coordinator and lead staff for worksite wellness initatives at the DeKalb County Board of Health in Decatur, Georgia. In addition, I have eight years of worksite wellness experience.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.