Category Archives: Uncategorized

Successful wellness program can trim disability, absence costs | Business Insurance

Leveraging a workplace wellness program to reduce short-term disability claims and employee absences can be achieved, and benefits from top management’s buy-in to the strategy. At Richmond, Virginia-based CarMax L.L.C., Benefits Director Janet Bruington said the auto retailer identified a link between a

Source: Successful wellness program can trim disability, absence costs | Business Insurance


Wellness Management: Interns In The Workplace – Energy, Enthusiasm And Real Work Experiences

Most wellness professionals know internship programs exist, and may have even been an intern at some point. Yet surprisingly few workplaces use interns in their wellness programs.

From our archive – as relevant today, maybe more so than when we first produced this report. Wellness Program Management Advisor spoke with William B. Baun, E.P.D., F.A.W.H.P., at the time manager of wellness programs at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He has used interns for more than 20 years.

Baun’s programs target M.D. Anderson’s 16,000 employees. “I enjoy having interns around. They bring a renewed sense of energy and excitement about their chosen fields to the work environment. They ask questions that we have stopped asking ourselves. They cause us to look at processes that have gotten stagnant over time and help keep us abreast of the newest models and theories being taught in school.”

Since wellness is a broad field, a variety of schools are potential sources for internships.

Public Health
Exercise Science
Health Education
Corporate Wellness or Health
Community Health Education
Social Worker
M.D./Ph.D. (working on MPH projects)

Internships may be as short as a week or two, but typically run 30 to 60 days. For that reason Baun recommends a project-focused strategy. “With such a short amount of time, we give our interns a piece of a project.

“Whether it is the planning stage, marketing, implementation, or evaluation, we define our expectations, get them comfortable with their tasks, then walk away and let them run with it,” he said.

Baun recommends this approach for another reason.   Continue reading

Proposed New Rule Would Amend ADA, ACA Workplace Wellness Programs

Workplace Wellness programs that may be part of a group health plan or  are offered outside of a group health plan will be affected under proposed regulations released by the The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission EEOC. The agency is accepting comments that must be received by the Commission on or before June 19, 2015.

This proposed rule provides guidance on the extent to which the ADA permits employers to offer incentives to employees to promote participation in wellness programs that are employee health programs, said the EEOC.

The agency said references in the proposed rule regarding the requirement to provide a notice and the use of incentives, and changes to the corresponding section of the interpretive guidance, apply only to wellness programs that are part of or provided by a group health plan or by a health insurance issuer offering group health insurance in connection with a group health plan.

The term “group health plan” includes both insured and self-insured group health plans and is used interchangeably with the term “health plan” throughout the preamble.

“All of the other proposed changes to the regulations apply to all “health programs,” which include wellness programs whether or not they are offered as part of or outside of a group health plan or group health insurance coverage. The term “incentives” includes both financial and in-kind incentives, such as time-off awards, prizes, or other items of value,” the agency said.

Several law firms analyzed the proposed changes.

Following are links to several of the reviews:

HHS releases HIPAA guidance on workplace wellness programs | Data Privacy and Security Insider.

Quickest Way To A Workplace Wellness Question Answered – And It’s Free!

Say you had a question about some aspect of your wellness program’s walking initiative – or any other subject for that matter – fast answers from your peers in workplace wellness and health promotion is a couple of clicks away.

For instance, there are currently 283 posts – questions or answers on the subject of “walking” contributed by members of the Wellness Manager Professional Discussion Group.

Members simply ask a question related to managing a wellness program and in short order other members offer their knowledge and advice and what they have learned.

Wellness Manager Professional Discussion Group membership is free and there are no ‘spammy’ posts because the discussions are moderated and inappropriate posts are not approved.

Only members can ask or answer questions. Membership requires approval.

It’s about friends asking friends questions. And, the answers are genuinely helpful. Members aren’t pontificating or simply trying to promote themselves.

Inter-office weight loss challenges, fitness center membership incentives, wellness and disease management, health risk assessments, indicators of success, have been among the information-sharing topics by members of the discussion group.

It’s simple to join the group. Members include many names you will recognize among your colleagues.

There are currently 1522 members. We started the group in 2002.

If you are a wellness or health promotion professional you are encouraged to join. Just click on this link:

Getting To The ROI Of A Wellness Program; You Need Measures And Analytics

The New Year is still young and there is still time to adopt another new resolution. Yeah, zeroing in on your wellness program’s return-on-investment (ROI.)

The ROI ‘issue’ is not going away. So let’s hunker down and figure out ways to successfully prove the winning results of your organization’s wellness or health promotion program.

The future for wellness professionals includes a healthy dose of doing those calculations surrounding the performance of your program.

But it is not without “measurement conundrums,” according to Larry Chapman, MPH, founder of the founder of Chapman Institute and a leading authority and thought leader on workplace wellness.

“One of the first issues is risk stratification as a core to our programming and how does it offer us better measurement opportunities,” he said during a workshop sponsored by Wellness Program Management Advisor and the Wellness Management Information Center.

“Think about the role of a health risk assessment and the ability for us to identify different risk strata groups and then deal with the role of incentives and communications in helping people that are actually in those risk categories make use of the programs and the interventions that we structure for them,” he urged.

Every place where a wellness manager sees a line here or a dotted line, “you can Continue reading

How to develop lasting behavior change among your employees\members

Posts related to lifestyle and behavioral issues have come up 447 times in discussions among members of Wellness Manager Discussion Group sponsored by the Wellness Management Information Center.

Behavioral change is a key goal of any worksite wellness program.

Changing the behavior of employees in a wellness management education and training program “How to Help Employees\Members Adopt Healthy Behavior Changes That Last.”

Michael White, a Partner in WELL Street, was the presenter.

The  program was  one in a four-part Workplace Wellness Management Education and Training Series that had outstanding evaluations by participants.

For information on the program please click on this link now:

Workplace Wellness And Social Media – Testing The Waters

Over the past months the editors of Wellness Program Management Advisor have been testing the waters of what is termed “social media” LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Here is our status report:

We have more than 1050 members of our Workplace Wellness Management Group on LinkedIn. New members sign up just about every day.

On Twitter we have 550 followers thus far without actively promoting it.

Over on Facebook we created a page for the Wellness Management Information Center. Posts on our “wall” include new items of interest, information about new blog posts, Tweets from Twitter, etc. So far, we have 130 fans and could use a few more.

From the beginning I had the feeling that Facebook, Twitter and the others can be useful tools for wellness professionals to reach your audiences in different ways. Now I am more convinced than ever that this will work in time.

New Tools For Wellness Programs  

Yes, there is a lot of “drivel” on Twitter with many posting too darn many Tweets with little or no substance. Who knows, Twitter may still be only a passing fad. But it is certainly drawing large numbers of professionals who are connecting and sharing in new ways.

Facebook combines the whats-on-your-mind idea of Twitter with its wall posts, and also provides opportunities to post to events, share discussions, photos, videos, ideas, and links.

I can see where many nominally tech savvy wellness managers could easily take advantage of the various tools on Facebook to help expand the reach of their programs. But Facebook also has a lot of people posting who just have too much time on their hands.

We have seen several professional associations using Twitter to make brief announcements about programs they are sponsoring for their members.

Many of the most highly regarded health organizations maintain an active presence on Twitter including the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, American Diabetes Association, YMCAs, Kaiser Permanente, the Lung Association, the American Cancer Society and Yale-New Haven Hospital. There are many more.

Here are links to the social media activities which we sponsor where we really are reaching new audiences:

We are known as Wellness Adviser on Twitter:

Wellness Management Information Center on Facebook:

Workplace Wellness Management on LinkedIn:

Wellness Manager Discussion Group

If you ask me, our Wellness Manager Discussion Group on Yahoo with more than 1,400 members is the granddaddy of social media in the wellness professional universe.

Come Join us.  Join in the networking and problem solving.

Bob Jenkins

What Strategies Do You Use To Measure Employee Engagement In Workplace Wellness

This question was posed by a member of our Workplace Wellness Management Group over on LinkedIn.

It’s a good question.

As you know, workplace wellness managers are always concerned about employee participation in programs.

It begs the question – how do you measure employee engagement in workplace wellness programs? So we posted the question on the Wellness Managers’ Discussion Group on Yahoo.

The answers were rich in information and helpfulness: Continue reading

Health Screenings Among Most Popular Workplace Wellness Programs

Health screenings are among the best-attended wellness programs, according to the results over several years of exclusive workplace wellness management surveys conducted by Wellness Program Management Advisor and Wellness Junction.

For one recent year, 28 percent of the respondents said health screenings attracted the most employee participation at their places of business, the survey found. The health screenings covered a variety of wellness subjects and health concerns, including the following:

  • Breast cancer detection/mammograms
  • Cholesterol testing/lipid screenings
  • Blood pressure screenings
  • Bone density/osteoporosis testing
  • Diabetes testing
  • Cardiac health screenings
  • Glucose screenings

Several respondents said the health screening programs offered at their work sites attracted more than 70 percent of the respective employee populations.

Relaxation and stress management programs also ranked high among employee participants, the study discovered; approximately 15 percent of the respondents said programs of this nature were among the best-attended offered by their wellness departments.

Simplify Your Life and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programs were among the most popular stress management programs, respondents said.

Although massage therapy, yoga, Tai Chi and other relaxation exercise programs also were included in the general fitness category by many respondents, others listed them as part of stress management program efforts, according to the statistics.

Employees showed great interest in various types of nutrition and exercise programs, according to the survey.

Nine percent of the respondents said walking was the most popular employee wellness activity. Seven percent of the respondents said any variety of exercise program attracts sizeable employee participation, while 5 percent said the use of onsite fitness centers is the biggest draw.

Weight loss and weight management programs, especially those that focus on exercise and nutrition, were cited by approximately 7 percent of the respondents. Nutrition programs that offered healthy cooking techniques also gained popularity among employees, the study reported.

Eight percent of the respondents said health fairs were among their companies’ best-attended wellness programs. Health fairs that focused on a general variety of subjects attracted more attendees than gatherings that concentrated on more specialized issues, such as diabetes detection and management, according to the findings.

However, single-subject health fairs and seminars, such as those dealing with coronary health and rehabilitation, and sessions on coping with change in the workplace were among the best-attended programs cited by approximately 2 percent of the respondents, the study determined.

Individual counseling sessions that focused on personal issues; general assessment programs; parenting classes; health risk assessments (general); programs on alternative medicine and holistic approaches; eye surgery options; and immunization clinics were listed as well-attended programs by approximately 13 percent of the respondents.

Survey respondents were professionals responsible for the administration of wellness programs for major employers, corporations, hospitals, and colleges or universities. The majority of respondents, more than 40 percent, are employed by major companies.

Wellness Program Management Advisor is a monthly management newsletter for workplace wellness managers. is a Web site serving wellness professionals. For information on Wellness Program Management Advisor, visit:

Welcome to the Wellness Manager’s Blog

Welcome to the Wellness Manager’s Blog.

This blog is a part of and is produced by the Wellness Management Information Center editorial team.

We serve wellness and health promotion professionals around the world.

We have been tracking trends in the wellness and health promotion industry since the mid-1980s. That expertise has been translated into books, special reports and management guides for wellness and health promotion professionals, audio conferences and webcasts, and the respected monthly newsletter service Wellness Program Management Advisor.

Wellness Junction marks the marriage of our professional expertise with focused information for consumers.