OKLAHOMA CITY (OBV) – The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is making a special effort to increase the health and wellbeing of the state’s workforce.
The OSDH program Work@Health was created to help Oklahoma employers improve the health, safety and productivity of workers while they’re on the job.
“Work@Health not only provides tools and resources, but works with employers to identify specific priorities for their worksite and develop an action plan to address those specific issues,” said Karin Leimbach, an OSDH Work@Health master trainer.
Work@Health is an employer-based training program that seeks to improve the organizational health of employers who participate in the program.
The program provides strategies on how to reduce chronic disease and injury risk to employees. Improving overall worker productivity is also part of the program’s mission, according to OSDH officials.
Employers reported 2.6 million injury and illness cases in 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Norman Regional Health System’s Amber Browning, RN, MPH, is receiving training from OSDH’s Work@Health master trainers to become a certified Work@Health trainer.
Browning will work with several employers, including the following Oklahoma health systems: Oklahoma Hospital Association, YMCA of Greater Tulsa, Stillwater Medical Center, Integris Health, Stigler Health and Wellness Center and Coal County General Hospital.
“Workplace wellness programs are important because having a healthier workforce can benefit the organization with lower healthcare costs, and reduce chronic illness and disability,” Browning said. “I became a certified trainer after I went through the training myself. As a hospital our employees face long hours, a fast pace, and stress from a job where lifesaving decisions are made on a daily basis. . The wellness program is to support those who often times take care of others before taking care of themselves.”
OSDH holds free training session for aspiring trainers in the fall. Current, certified trainers hold trainings for employers throughout the year.
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