Partnering for Workplace Health: What Community Partners Can Offer
For employers wanting to enhance their wellness programs beyond just health benefits, community and other business partnerships can bring added value for the employees of both organizations.1 Consider how the following types of organizations can enhance your workplace wellness program.
- Work site wellness councils, at the state and local levels, are often an independent resource that employers can leverage to build the capacity of staff, identify low or no cost tools, seek training and technical assistance (TA), and network with other employers
to cultivate and sustain a culture of health for employees and their families.
- Government agencies can offer employers access to existing tools and templates, resources, and training.
- State and local health departments may provide on-site or online training and technical assistance to employers, offer staff health screenings, and conduct on-site educational sessions for employees.
- Departments of transportation can help employers work within their communities to create safe routes for employees to walk or bike to work.
The Growers Company, Inc. (GCI), a farm labor contracting company in Arizona, wanted to help its employees lead healthier lives but its insurance broker did not provide a wellness program. So GCI partnered with several organizations to develop its own wellness program.
- Yuma Regional Medical Center helps GCI offer health education sessions in Spanish and provides employees with access to bilingual medical and clinical staff.
- The local workers’ compensation clinic provides flu shots to all GCI employees and contractors.
- GCI participated in training and received access to workplace health tools, technical assistance, and resources through the health department’s Healthy Arizona Worksite Program.
- Regional health systems can be a strategic partner for your workplace health program. They can work with you to prevent and manage chronic disease and injury, as well as promote the overall health and well-being of your community. Health systems bring added expertise and credibility to:
- Motivate employees to engage in their health (e.g., get annual check-ups and regular screenings).
- Conduct flu vaccine clinics, health screenings, and health education events.
- Provide employees with referrals to other health or social service providers.2,3
- Colleges and universities can help work sites identify evidence-based programs and valid and reliable assessment and evaluation tools. In addition, you can partner with colleges and universities to offer training and resources to support your employees’ professional development, or to help you evaluate your program.3
ScanSource, Inc., a global provider of technology products and solutions based in Greenville, South Carolina, partnered with the Greenville Hospital System to build an on-site clinic. The hospital employs nurse practitioners who work at the clinic, as well as fitness trainers at ScanSource’s gyms to provide personal training and group physical activity classes.
Greenville Hospital System also brokers the laboratory and prescription services for ScanSource. In turn, the hospital collects information on ScanSource’s clinic and program to understand how to improve and offer similar services to other employers.
Among ScanSource’s other partners is its next door neighbor, Champion Coach, a charter bus company. Together the companies built a walking trail that encompasses both of their properties. In addition, ScanSource plans to open its clinic to Champion Coach employees.
- National nonprofit organizations and affiliated local chapters, such as the American Heart Association and YMCA/YWCA, may offer tools and resources, educational sessions, and opportunities to partner in events to promote physical activity and other wellness initiatives.4
- Chambers of commerce can connect employers to other businesses, nonprofits, health care systems, and experts in the field. They also can help you meet other employers interested in workplace health.
- Other businesses. All employers have something to offer, from outdoor space and facilities to goods and services, which can benefit both your organization and theirs in rounding out a comprehensive wellness program.
The CDC Workplace Health Resource Center (WHRC) is a one-stop shop for organizations to find credible tools, guides, case studies, and other resources to design, develop, implement, evaluate, and sustain workplace health promotion programs. Visit https://www.cdc.gov/WHRC to find more case studies of workplace health programs in the field.
- Michael CN, Greene AM. Worksite wellness: increasing adoption of workplace health promotion program. Health Promot. Pract. 2013;14(4):473–479.
- Klockenga K. Why you should make your local hospital your partner in wellness. Corporate Wellness Magazine website. http://www.corporatewellnessmagazine.com/worksite-wellness/why-you-should-make-your-local-hospital-your-partner-in-wellness/. Accessed August 2, 2018.
- Anderko L, Roffenbender JS, Goetzel R, Millard F, Wildenhaus K, DeSantis C, et al. Promoting prevention through the Affordable Care Act: workplace wellness. Prev. Chronic Dis. 2012;9:120092. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd9.120092.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Value of Community Partnerships. Atlanta, GA: US Dept of Health and Human Services; 2013.https://www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion/tools-resources/pdfs/issue-brief-no-3-community-partnerships-03062013.pdf