The Centers for Disease Control announced last week that 104 employers in 8 counties across the country are participating in a federal program described by the CDC as “…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.”
It’s called The National Healthy Worksite Program.
One of these eight counties that is involved in this national campaign is Marion County, Indiana. (The others are Buchanan County, Mo.; Harris County, Texas; Kern County, Calif.; Philadelphia County, Pa.; Pierce County, Wash.; Shelby County, Tenn.; and Somerset County, Maine.)
Why these counties?
The Indianapolis area, along with these other communities (like Philadelphia and Houston’s Harris County), have been targeted to participate in this national program because these communities statistically have shown that their populations are suffering from higher instances of chronic disease than other areas of the country as well as having a statistical likelihood that more people there are involved in what is considered to be high “health risk behaviors” (e.g. smoking).
The companies in the National Program are all involved on a volunteer basis, and the applying employers were selected by the CDC for a number of reasons, including getting a good selection of industries represented in the nationwide campaign.
So, what’s involved here and what does this mean for our community?
For every company in the local area that is part of the National Wellness Program, the federal government will provide help and expert guidance on the creation and implementation of a company program that supports workers and employees in their efforts to eat better, to move more, and to stop smoking. Educational materials, training, and mentor programs are part of what is being offered here. Meanwhile, the CDC explains what the government will be doing as part of the Wellness Program:
On‐going evaluation of the worksite health promotion programs will track changes in employee knowledge, behavior and productivity, as well as changes in employer health and safety culture. Evaluation efforts will also capture best practices for implementing core workplace health programs, and document unique challenges experienced by employers and strategies to overcome them.
“Employers can increase productivity, cut health care costs and reduce the burden of heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and other health problems in their workforce by making it easier for employees to be physically active, eat healthy foods, and not smoke,” said CDC Director, Tom Frieden, M.D. M.P.H. “Our National Healthy Worksite Program is providing valuable tools to help employers create effective workplace wellness programs that will benefit employees and their families, their community, and the nation as a whole.”
Indianapolis (Marion County) Involved in National Healthy Worksite Program
In Marion County, there are thirteen (13) employers that are involved in this effort, with a combined total of 2,095 Indiana employees that will be participating in a variety of wellness campaigns.
From the CDC’s National Healthy Worksite webpage, here are the companies in the Indianapolis area (Marion County, Indiana) that are participating in this national program:
- ILab LLC, Indianapolis, small, services
- One Click Ventures, Greenwood, small, retail
- HC1.com (formerly Bostech Corp), Indianapolis, small, services
- The Broadbent Company, Inc., Indianapolis, small, finance, insurance & real estate
- H.J. Umbaugh & Associates CPA LLP, Indianapolis, small, finance, insurance & real estate
- Med Shield, Inc., Indianapolis, small, finance, insurance & real estate
- Ciproms Inc., Indianapolis, mid-size, finance, insurance & real estate
- TKO Graphics, Indianapolis, mid-size, manufacturing
- Bosma Industries for the Blind Inc. (Bosma Enterprises), Indianapolis, mid-size, manufacturing
- Day Nursery Association, Indianapolis, mid-size, services
- Buchanan Inc., Indianapolis, mid-size, services
- CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions, Indianapolis, mid-size, services
- Indiana State Department of Health, Indianapolis, large, public administration.
Injuries and illness resulting from working on the job are often the basis for serious personal injury claims, some forming the basis of a workers’ compensation claim and some becoming the basis of a civil personal injury lawsuits based on state or federal law. Efforts made by companies to protect their workers from harm and injury, including these wellness campaigns, are welcome news to workers and those who represent injured workers and their loved ones who have to deal with the aftermath of being severely hurt while working on the job.