Online Program

A community based approach to small employer worksite wellness programs

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 12:30 p.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Philip DiRusso Jr., MS, Cardiovascular Health Program, MCD Public Health, Augusta, ME
Robin Hetzler, MPH, MCD Public Health, Augusta, ME
The Community-Based Small Employer Worksite Wellness Model is an integrative approach to employee health management. This approach unites employers within a community to develop a sustainable wellness program whereby employers can group together to share and purchase wellness resources as well as develop community-wide environmental interventions aimed at improving the health and well-being of the employees and community residents. The program is using a well established downtown development framework to leverage community health improvement in 20 rural towns with a combined population of 180,000. Wellness Committees have been established in these 20 existing downtown development programs (Main Street Maine and Maine Downtown Network programs). In this model we are using a suite of worksite wellness tools developed by the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (ME CDC), to inventory, assess and plan the wellness needs of small employers in these downtown cores. Adding this information to BRFSS and hospital discharge data, we are using community-based strategies to address the wellness needs of very small businesses, whose employees are severely disadvantaged in terms of access to care and prevention. Leveraging the resources in these communities, identifying and putting policies in place and integrating environmental, programmatic and infrastructure interventions to promote healthier lifestyles many of the identified health needs are being addressed and are positively affecting employees, their families, customers, and the community. This approach is in keeping with Maine's history and is a true blend of private and community streams working together to achieve sustainability in under-resourced communities.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Define the challenges for small employers to effectively implement an evidenced-based worksite wellness program. Identify effective strategies to support small employers with implementing an evidenced-based worksite wellness program.

Keyword(s): Wellness, Worksite

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal of a federally funded grant focusing on reducing death, disability and health care costs due to heart disease and stroke in Maine. My focus has been to work with employers in Maine to help their employees control high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol, Know the signs and symptoms of heart attack and stroke and when to call 911 and eliminate disparities related to cardiovascular disease prevention and control.
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.