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CDC Seeks Kentucky Employers For Workplace Wellness Program

Ken Hawkins/Creative Commons

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is looking for Kentucky employers who want to launch worksite wellness programs for their businesses.

The program, Work@Health, provides training and technical services to small-to mid-sized businesses to build a science-based workplace health and wellness program, and work environments that support a culture of health.

This is the second year of the program, but this is the first time the program has been offered in Kentucky.

Mari Ryan, master trainer for the program, said employers can use the training to create a wellness program or to enhance an existing one.

"People who are running a business are really good at the business that they're in, but they may not know much about changing behavior and encouraging employees to change behavior or what is involved in actually building a wellness program," she said.

A report by the Society for Human Resources Management shows 70 percent of U.S. employers currently offer a general wellness program.

Ryan said implementing a wellness program requires support from within the organization and resources to carry the program out. And she said those resources could be in several forms.

"Whether that's time for the employee to be able to participate in the program or whatever resources they may garner from their health plan or from the community," she said.

Ryan said the CDC decided to offer the program in Kentucky because it, like other state, has health issues that don't seem to be going away. She said in Kentucky, obesity and deaths associate with  COPD are just a couple of prominent health issues in the state.

"Some of these health issues actually can be improved as a result of behavior change and by working at improving our health for the long term," she said.

Ryan said eight trainers have been assigned to Kentucky to assist companies in creating wellness programs.

Employers must register for Work@Health’s three-week online training by Sunday. The program will begin on or before Jan. 19.

Employers interested in the program can apply at here or contact the Work@Health Customer Service team at workathealthcustsvc@ashlininc.com or 1-800-305-WELL (9355).

(Image by Ken Hawkins/Creative Commons)