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Archive for April, 2010

HEALTHY PEOPLE MELBOURNE-PALM BAY 2010 INITIATIVE LAUNCHED TO CREATE A HEALTHIER WORKFORCE

MELBOURNE, FL (March 25, 2010) – The United States Wellness Chamber of Commerce launched an initiative to create a healthier workforce in  the Melbourne-Palm Bay area as part of a national campaign through the Healthy People 2010 Grant. The community-based initiative will provide participating employers with education and resources designed to identify and mitigate behavioral and lifestyle risk factors without any employer investment.

“Our focus has broadened from a singular national initiative to a community by community emphasis made possible through the additional funding provided to the United States Wellness Chamber of Commerce from the Healthy People 2010 Grant”, reports Thomas J. Montgomery, a Risk Management Consultant with the Chamber. “This is very exciting to have the ability to work with local stakeholders in each community to create a tailored campaign to meet the national goal of 75% of employers having an active worksite-based wellness and prevention program in place with a minimum of 75% employee participation. It is important to recognize that this is not a cookie-cutter approach. Instead, we’ll leverage best practices from coordinated initiatives nationally while each local Advisory Board will truly guide the priorities and programming in each community”.

Participating employers meeting pre-determined criteria will be publically recognized as a “Healthy Workplace”.

The five criteria include:

  • 1. annual identification of behavioral and lifestyle risk factors;
  • 2. employee access to risk mitigation from all three components—physical, mental/emotional, and financial/legal;
  • 3. consistent, year-round education addressing all three components;
  • 4. adequate incentives to generate a minimum of 75% employee participation; and
  • 5. inclusion of spouses and dependents to create a healthier community overall.

The first step in each community-based initiative will be the creation of a nine person Advisory Board. Montgomery reports that the Advisory Board will be a visible leadership team who will actively seek collaboration with relevant influencers including elected officials, the local Chamber, area trade associations, and insurance professionals in addition to monitoring the on-going success of the initiative. Advisory Board Membership will be composed of a combination of local participating health and wellness professionals, participating employer representatives, and relevant community stakeholders. The United States Wellness Chamber will provide a local facilitator for the Advisory Board and provide support for all one hundred community-based initiatives being launched in 2010.

Once the Advisory Board is created, a survey will be conducted to assess local employers’ wellness policies and programs. While maintaining confidentiality of each individual response, the collective results will provide a baseline measurement of the “status of wellness and health promotion” in the community and provide clarity in the variance between the baseline as compared to the community goal. Each participating employer will then receive a free consultation with a US Wellness Chamber of Commerce Risk Management Consultant who will provide a complimentary “gap analysis” and help create an action plan to address any variances found between each employer’s current programming and what is needed to be designated as a Healthy Workplace.

Throughout the year, a number of strategies will be utilized to increase awareness and participation including a monthly luncheon to educate local stakeholders, a dedicated website for each local initiative promoting those who are actively involved and a resource listing, a strong emphasis on collaboration with local organizations, and the newly created “Healthy Workplace” designation for qualified employers.

Communities, organizations, employers, health & wellness professionals and individuals interested in participating should contact Audrey Gemberling, Risk Management Consultant and facilitator of the Healthy People Melbourne-Palm Bay 2010 initiative @ (321) 514-7052, visit www.healthypeople2010grant.org or email agemberling@uswellnesschamber.com

About the United States Wellness Chamber of Commerce

The United States Wellness Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit organization that aligns employers with local health and wellness professionals to create a healthier workforce. With headquarters in Frisco, Texas, the Wellness Chamber is creating a healthier nation, one employer at a time, through hands-on programming addressing each employee and dependant’s physical, mental/emotional, and preparedness wellness. Specifically, the Wellness Chamber identifies and mitigates behavioral and lifestyle risk factors. For further information, please contact the Wellness Chamber at 800-429-4556 or visit http://www.uswellnesschamber.org.

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