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About CDC Work@Health®

What Is Work@Health®?

The Work@Health® employer-training program is an initiative of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to promote workplace wellness through employer education, training, and technical assistance. The program partners with trade associations, business coalitions and health departments that support employer workplace health efforts. Training is delivered by professional instructors who undergo a rigorous certification process.

Having a healthier workforce not only benefits individual employees, but also can also result in greater productivity and lower healthcare and workers’ compensation costs for employers.

Work@Health® Advance, launched in 2015, provides advanced training and technical assistance to employers who have completed the Work@Health® basic program. After being exposed to the most important workplace health concepts and principles, the next phase of employer training focuses on sustainability by reinforcing key principles and providing more sophisticated and advanced technical assistance.

Work@Health® uses web-based training, and in-person training labs to deliver content. A team of quality instructors, facilitators and subject-matter experts provide ongoing technical assistance and support both to program graduates and new participants.

Key Components of Work@Health®

  • The Employer Core Training Program combines web-based and in-person training by certified trainers. It uses a science-based employer training curricula.
  • The Advance Technical Assistance Program will provide employers, who have completed their Work@Health® Core training, one-on-one support, a customized technical assistance plan, and assistance reaching third-party accreditation/ recognition.
  • The Work@Health® Training and Technical Assistance Portal (TTAP) is a web-based Web portal where employers can access Work@Health® tools, information, and technical assistance from top experts in the field. TTAP is an online information sharing platform for Work@Health Technical Assistance Providers and employers to enhance collaboration and ongoing learning while assisting in the sustainability and replication of successful worksite health and wellness best practices.
  • The Train-the-Trainer Program prepares new certified trainers who will collectively provide comprehensive core training to employers in their communities.
  • The Master Trainer Program will provide additional training to a select group of certified trainers to enable them to train other Train-the-Trainers or become Technical Assistance Providers.
  • Collaboration with regional and national stakeholder organizations that support employee health and wellness issues.

Timeline

Work@Health® began with a pilot program consisting of more than 40 employers in fall 2013 that tested the four training delivery models using the basic comprehensive worksite health training curriculum. The object of the pilot test was to evaluate the procedures, methods, content and strategies of the training models to ensure that they would work in practice before applying them on a larger scale. The full-scale training began in 2014. The program was established with funds from the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Prevention and Public Health Fund. Training and technical support is being provided by ASHLIN Management Group over the course of 12 months to support the implementation of science-based prevention and wellness strategies.

Recruitment for participation in the Work@Health® training program began in the fall of 2013, and the program was rolled out in 2014. The total training hours were determined by the findings of the pilot testing phase. Follow-up evaluations with employers, focused on the sustainability of their worksite health programs, will continue for an additional six months after training ends.
Work@Health® 2015-16 will begin accepting new applications for employers and train-the-trainer candidates in fall 2015. Click here to be notified when the enrollment period opens.

Employer Requirements 

In order to qualify for Work@Health® training, employers must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be headquartered in the United States
  • Must employ at least twenty employees
  • Must provide health insurance

Work@Health® Employer Training Content

The curricula covers a number of foundational and core workplace health principles including:

  • Why having a workplace wellness program makes good business sense
  • How to assess the workplace health needs of organizations
  • How to plan, implement, and create an environment that supports science-based workplace health programs, policies, and practices that provide a great return on investment
  • How to know if your workplace health and wellness program is working and how to continuously improve its quality
  • How to develop and leverage partnerships, community links, and resources to support workplace health

Work@Health® Goals

  • Increase awareness of the benefits to employers and the skills required to implement effective workplace training to expand the number of worksites adopting science-based workplace health programs.
  • Create a highly trained corps of instructors, coaches and trainers who can train and support employers who are developing, implementing, or improving worksite wellness programs.
  • Increase employers’ knowledge and skills of workplace health program concepts and principles.
  • Improve employer capacity for developing, expanding and sustaining workplace health programs by providing technical assistance, tools, and resources that can support them.
  • Promote peer-to-peer, community-based cooperation and mentoring among employers.

Workplace Wellness: A Health and Economic Benefit

Chronic diseases are costly in terms of the health and quality of life impact to individual workers and their families and the economic cost to employers and employees. The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey of 2010, the latest year for which figures are available, found that the U.S. spends $1.219 trillion each year on medical costs, and that 86 percent of that total is related to chronic conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, arthritis, diabetes or obesity.

Productivity losses related to personal and family health problems cost U.S. employers more than $225 billion every year. And the indirect costs of poor health—including absenteeism, disability and reduced work output—are even higher. That’s why workplace health programs make good business sense.

By implementing science-based workplace wellness programs, employers can control their healthcare costs while improving America’s overall health. Workplace health programs can improve workers’ health knowledge and skills and promote healthy behaviors, like having regular health screenings, immunizations and follow-up care. Creating a culture of healthier behaviors at work can also expand into other areas of employees’ lives.

General Fact Sheet [PDF-449K]

Read about the Program Benefits

Fact Sheet - Work@Health® Wellness Champion [PDF-350K]

Fact Sheet - Work@Health® Train-the-Trainer Program [PDF-437K]

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions? E-mail: workathealth@cdc.gov

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