August 2013 | Volume 2 - Number 3
Work and health are so intertwined they can’t be separated. This was the recurring message from the 10th International Conference on Occupational Stress and Health convened in May in Los Angeles. The 2013 conference, more colloquially known as the Work, Stress, and Health (WSH) Conference, carried a subtheme of Total Worker Health™. Nearly 800 professionals from 39 countries, representing academia, labor, and industry participated in the biennial event sponsored by NIOSH and partners the American Psychological Association and the Society of Occupational Health Psychology.
Total Worker Health™ Exclusive
Big Data, Little Data, Open Data – a burgeoning interest in data is evident, perhaps nowhere more so than in public health and healthcare. Nationally, several major ‘data revolutions’ are underway, including a transition to Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to maintain and share longitudinal patient health data, and the increasing use of data to measure the performance of healthcare and public health programs. Both trends are relevant to Total Worker Health: data are being used in new and innovative ways to measure employee health status and increasingly, occupational health data are being exchanged electronically.
Promising Practices for Total Worker Health™
In 2009, Dartmouth-Hitchcock, an academic medical center in New Hampshire with over 8,000 employees, needed to make a change. Covering over 16,000 in its health plans, health care costs were almost 10% of the medical center’s budget and rising faster than health care inflation rates each year. While collaborative, the employee health and safety departments were in different silos and recognized there were opportunities to create synergies with each other’s initiatives. Another challenge was that the medical center had different locations and clinic sites.
The leadership of Dartmouth-Hitchcock decided that it could do better and would aim to have the healthiest workforce possible—a goal which the medical center adopted as the corporate vision to ensure sustainability and engagement at every level. As a result, the strategic priority, Live Well/Work Well (LWWW), was created with a mission to create a culture of health, safety, and well-being.
Updates from the NIOSH Centers of Excellence to Promote a Healthier Workforce
Congratulations to the CPH_NEW Co-Director, Laura Punnett, Sc.D., who was named University Professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. To learn more about the appointment, click here
On October 17, 2013, CPH-NEW will co-sponsor “Health, Workplace, and the Environment: Making Connections
” at the University of Connecticut Storrs Campus. Dr. John Howard, Director of NIOSH, will provide opening remarks at the meeting. During the afternoon session of this meeting, CPH-NEW pilot grantees will serve as panelists for a Research to Practice Forum. For more information, contact CPH-NEW investigator and Conference Chair, Pouran.Faghri@uconn.edu
The CPH-NEW Healthy Worksite Participatory Program online toolkit for workplace safety and wellness managers will be available in Fall 2013. Join the CPH-NEW Mailing List to receive announcement of webinar training dates: www.uml.edu/cphnew
News from our Partners
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, through its partner Viridian Health Management, has identified 104 employers in eight counties across the nation to participate in the National Healthy Worksite Program, a new initiative aimed at reducing chronic disease and building a healthier, more productive U.S. workforce. The initiative primarily focuses on small and mid-sized employers.
CDC’s National Healthy Worksite Program is supported through the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund, and is designed to assist employers in building successful workplace wellness programs by implementing science-based disease prevention and wellness strategies to help reduce chronic diseases. All program and implementation support to participating employers will be provided by Viridian Health Management over a 12-month period. Viridian was selected as an implementation partner through a competitive process.
New Initiatives and Resources
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