Online Program

Worksite wellness in state health agencies across the country: Policies and programs are implemented to improve health across the state

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Tahra Johnson, MPH, CWWS, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, ASTHO, Arlington, VA
Kristen Wan, MS, PAPHS, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Arlington, VA
Background: ASTHO encourages all state health agencies, especially those serving in leadership roles, to consider the emotional and physical well-being of their employees and to consider how worksite wellness programs can support this effort. It is imperative that public health agencies serve as a model for other agencies and businesses in their community by ensuring the health of their employees. Objective: The purpose of this survey was to collect information on the worksite wellness initiatives within state health agencies. It was an opportunity to compare the infrastructure, capacity, policies, and programs across all states. It also informed ASTHO of areas where technical assistance could be provided. Methods: ASTHO developed and partnered with The George Washington University Public Health Graduation Program to disseminate a worksite wellness survey based on the questions and results from ASTHO's bi-annual State Profile survey. Surveys were targeted at worksite wellness coordinators and human resource directors. Results: Preliminary results find that 78% of respondents' smoking policies have a building footage requirement; 87% of states have insurance coverage for smoking cessation; 93.5% have healthy maternity policies in place, varying from paid maternity leave to ensuring designated space for lactation support; 19% have a formal policy on healthy catered events; 13% of states have menu labeling; 75% have weight loss or physical activity challenges; and individual states, such as Indiana and Massachusetts are implementing innovative programs to engage employers in worksite wellness with financial incentives. Discussion/Conclusions: Practices and policies varied in states and there were no clear regional trends.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Chronic disease management and prevention
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Occupational health and safety
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Discuss evidence-based and best practice work-site wellness policies and programs across state public health agencies. Identify policies and programs that can be implemented at the state and local level that effect public and private employees. Compare agency organizational structures and those implications on employee health. Identify essential components to a successful work-site wellness initiative.

Keyword(s): Worksite, Public Health Agency Roles

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the lead content expert on work-site wellness at the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. As co-chair of the ASTHO Wellness Committee and a member of the Prevention Team, I am very involved with internal work-site wellness as well as the initiatives in state health agencies. Among my public health interests has been sharing and promoting the use of evidence-based work-site wellness policies and programs.
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.