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Healthy Communities Grant

Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department

Growing the Worksite Health Movement

Provision of effective worksite health promotion is a recognized strategy to improve the health of employees and family members. The aggregate results of thousands of Health Risk Appraisals (HRA) completed by employees at worksites in the Lincoln area consistently indicate that their priority health issues include overweight/obesity, physical inactivity, tobacco use, and stress. When the leadership of a business determines that improved employee health is a priority business strategy as well as the “right thing to do” and takes the appropriate steps to implement and evaluate a quality worksite wellness program, the health indicators of employees show improvement. These improvements are especially evident in fewer employees reporting to be overweight or obese, fewer using tobacco, and more being physically active. Additional benefits are lowered blood pressure, lowered blood cholesterol, and decreased symptoms of arthritis.

WorkWell, Inc. is one of three worksite councils in Nebraska and is a program of the LLCHD. WorkWell provides service to businesses in Lincoln and Lancaster County and a few businesses in Southeast Nebraska. It has existed for 25 years and has a membership of 125 companies representing more than 65,000 employees. LLCHD provides staff for WorkWell. A Board of Directors, made up of business leaders from a variety of business sizes and types, serves in an advisory capacity to WorkWell staff. This partnership of health department and businesses has proven to be very effective in providing worksite health strategies that are improving the health of employees. WorkWell utilizes a health risk appraisal for its members that were developed in partnership with DHHS and WorkWell staff. WorkWell also provides training, resources, and guidance to businesses in the development and implementation of individualized wellness plans based on the priority health issues identified by the HRA.

Because of the expertise of the WorkWell staff and the improved health outcomes achieved as a result of worksite health efforts, the momentum for implementation of worksite health programs has escalated in the WorkWell service area and across the state. This proposal seeks additional staffing to assist with WorkWell’s efforts in the risk areas of tobacco use and consumption of fruits/vegetables, especially in environment and policy change at the worksite including benefit plan design. Additional staffing will also allow the WorkWell director to provide mentoring to other health departments in the area of worksite health promotion. Benefits of this mentoring include consistency in how worksite health programs are designed, implemented, and evaluated.

  For more information, contact the NAFH staff at (402) 471-2101.

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