Last week, our institute was a sponsor of the American Heart Association’s (AHA) 9th Annual Worksite Wellness Summit at the beautiful Sentinel Hotel in downtown Portland. It was wonderful to see over 200 organizations actively engage and discuss strategies on how to improve wellness initiatives and engage their workforce to promote a culture of health. Our very own Dr. Leslie Hammer gave a compelling talk on “Workplace Programs and Interventions that Impact Healthy, Safety and Well-Being”.
The 9th Annual Worksite Wellness theme focused on the 7 pillars of workplace health: Engagement, policies and environment, communication, reporting outcomes, as well as partnerships and leadership. I wanted to share a few key takeaways from a few of the speakers and to share lessons learned on improving and advocating for workplace wellness programs and initiatives. The full speaker list from the summit is listed on the AHA’s Worksite Wellness Summit website.
Cardiovascular Improvements in the Workplace – Chief Medical Officer of Prevention, America Heart Association, Dr. Eduardo Sanchez
- Touches on AHA’s newly revised mission statement, “To be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives”
- CDC reports that 4 of the 10 most expensive health conditions for US employers are related to heart disease and stroke. These health conditions include angina pectoris (chest pain), high blood pressure, diabetes and heart attack.
Workplace Programs/Interventions that Impact Safety, Health and Well-Being – Associate Director, Oregon Healthy Workforce Center, Dr. Leslie Hammer
- Stress is an occupational hazard that has shown to cost employers approximately $1,200 per person each year
- Job stressors have been shown to predict health outcomes such as diabetes, hypertension, depression and anxiety
- Programs that incorporate supportive supervisory training, social support and social integration have shown to decrease workplace-related stress
Women in Leadership as a Well-being Strategy – Wellness Program Manager, Columbia Sportswear, Cassie Buckroyd
- Create a 2 year timeline with goals and milestones for your well-being strategic vision and plan
- Important considerations when developing well-being strategy: collect data and share with decision makers, conduct employee surveys and focus groups, create learning opportunities (i.e. send employees to conferences, set-up group webinars for a low-cost option) and find an executive or organizational leader within your organization to sponsor or lead a wellness initiative
Reporting for Recognition – Health Engagement Partner at Cigna, Chase Sterling
- Evaluate program successes with key metrics such as participation rates, continual engagement, validated health markers (i.e. blood pressure or cholesterol), incentive tracking and employee satisfaction
- Build metrics into strategy at the beginning and report your metrics to leadership on a consistent basis
- When building a wellness strategy ask yourself these 3 questions: what are you doing? (intervention), why are you doing this? (goal), and how are you going to measure success? (outcomes)