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Work-Life Health & Wellness

 

Overview

A positive sense of well-being is key component of a healthy, productive employee.  In support of total worker health, Federal agencies offer a range of worksite services from education, prevention, and screenings to Employee Assistance Programs and occupational safety and health.  In addition to providing several unique advantages for health promotion, worksite wellness programs may also lower healthcare costs, increase productivity, improve recruitment and retention efforts, reduce absenteeism and presenteeism, and enhance job satisfaction. 

Most Federal employees have access to comprehensive health insurance benefits that also include preventive services.  The U.S. Office of Personnel Management promotes and supports balanced, effective combinations of worksite wellness programs and insurance benefits to produce the healthiest possible workforce.

Guidance & Legislation

Health services for Federal employees are authorized by Title 5, U.S. Code, Section7901. These services are provided to promote the physical and mental fitness of Federal employees.  Several legislative initiatives have shaped guidance and implementation of health & wellness programs in the Federal Government.

The information provided below is for informative purposes only.  Please seek guidance from the General Counsel’s and/or the policy-making office at your agency before making any determinations related to health promotion programs.

Health Services Authorized by Title 5, U.S. Code, Section 7901

Agencies are currently offering a wide variety of health services. Your agency chooses the services that best meet its needs. The level of services will vary from agency to agency. Under Title 5, U.S. Code, Section7901, agencies are authorized to offer the following employee health services (as well as those under “Health Promotion and Prevention”):

Emergency Response/First Aid

Your agency's qualified medical staff may provide first response and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) for emergencies as well as assessment and initial treatment/first aid to employees who are injured, or become ill during work hours.

Administration of Treatments and Medications

If furnished by the employee and prescribed in writing by his/her personal physician, your agency's qualified medical staff may administer treatment/medication during working hours.

Physical Examinations

Your agency's qualified medical staff may administer properly authorized pre-placement and periodic physical examinations to assess an employee's health status. Based on the results of the exam and/or testing, medical staff may refer employees to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), private physicians, dentists, and other community health resources.

Environmental Health Hazards Appraisals

Your agency may appraise and report work environment health hazards to department management as an aid in preventing and controlling health risks.

Health Education

Your agency may provide health education to encourage employees to maintain a healthy lifestyle, to understand their risk for disease, and to become aware of appropriate preventive practices. For example, your agency may provide health education through health questionnaires, health risk appraisals, health fairs, newsletters, brochures, and presentations.

Health Services/Intervention Programs

Your agency may provide health intervention programs to promote and maintain physical and mental fitness and to help prevent illness and disease. Health Services/Intervention Programs encourage and enable employees to initiate healthy behavior changes. Your agency may offer group activities and classes, individual counseling, demonstrations, and self-help materials.

Common Subject Areas for Health Education and Intervention Programs

  • Smoking Cessation
  • Substance Abuse
  • Diet & Nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Back Care
  • Cholesterol Management
  • Mental Health 
  • Stress Management
  • Weight Control
  • Cancer Prevention
  • Hypertension Control

Disease Screening Examinations and Immunizations

Specific preventive health screenings or examinations may be sponsored at the workplace to detect the presence or risk of disease. Common workplace screenings include exams for blood pressure, mammography, blood lipids, glucose, vision and hearing. Medical staff may provide employees with immunizations, such as influenza and tetanus.

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Health Promotion and Prevention

Fitness

Executive Order 13266 encourages the expansion of opportunities within the Federal Government for individuals to improve their physical fitness.

Employee Access to Private Fitness Center: U.S. Comptroller General decision B-240371, dated January 18, 1991 addresses whether a Federal agency can purchase access to a private fitness center for its Federal employees.

Interagency Agreement for Providing Health Services: The Economy Act, Title 31, U.S. Code, Section 1535, gives guidance on interagency agreements for health services.

Employee Welfare and Recreation Organizations/Associations: Agency Relationships with Organizations Representing Federal Employees and Other Organizations (5 CFR part 251) provides regulations governing agency relations with managerial, supervisory, professional, and other organizations that are not labor organizations. This includes Employee Welfare and Recreation Organizations/Associations.

Dues or Fees: Title 5, U.S. Code, Section 5525 and 5 CFR part 550.311(b) address the allotment of dues for organizations. 

Bike Commuter Programs

Bicycle Commuter Transportation Subsidies (Title 26, U.S. Code, Section 132(f)) allow for pre-tax transportation subsidies to cover the cost of reasonable expenses incurred during the calendar year for the purchase of a bicycle and accessories, and for repair and storage of a bicycle that is used regularly for a substantial portion of an employee’s commute to and from the workplace. 

Tobacco Cessation

Executive Order 13058 establishes a smoke-free environment for Federal employees and members of the public visiting or using Federal facilities.

U.S. Comptroller General decision B-231543, dated February 3, 1989 addresses the use of appropriated funds to pay for agency-sponsored tobacco cessation programs.

Drug-free Federal Workplace Program

Executive Order 12564 requires agencies to establish a drug-free Federal workplace program.

Defibrillators

Defibrillation Program: 41 CFR part 102-79.115 provides general guidelines for a public access defibrillation program.

Guidelines for Public Access Defibrillation Programs in Federal Facilities provides a basis of knowledge for Federal agencies as they implement a PAD program. 

Lactation Support

Section 4207 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires employers (including Federal agencies) to provide employees who are breastfeeding with a reasonable break time and location. 

For more guidance on the implementation of this policy, please review OPM’s Nursing Mothers in Federal Employment.

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Physical Space

Buildings

The Facilities Standards for the Public Buildings Service establishes design standards and criteria for new buildings, major and minor alterations, and work in historic structures for GSA owned or leased buildings. You can follow this link for more information on bicycle racks, locker rooms and fitness centers, outdoor eating areas, walkways, and drinking fountains.

Concessions and Vending Operations

The GSA Health and Sustainability Guidelines for Federal Concessions and Vending Operations translate the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans into clear and definitive standards that food service operators can follow to make their operations healthier and more sustainable.

Lactation Support

For more guidance on creating space for nursing mothers in Federal buildings, please review OPM’s Nursing Mothers in Federal Employment.

Facilities to Support Health Promotion in Federal Buildings

41 CFR part 102–79 governs the basic assignment and utilization of space within an Executive agency. Portions relevant to health promotion are:  

  • §102.79.15: Objectives an Executive agency must strive to meet
  • §102-79.30: Allotment of space for fitness programs
  • §102-79.35: Elements Federal agencies must address in their planning efforts for establishing fitness programs

Rates and Fees: For information regarding rates and fees for fitness centers inside Executive agencies, go to Title 40, U.S. Code, Section 490(k) and Title 31, U.S. Code, Section 3302.

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Incentives

The following are laws and rulings that give guidance on incentives.  Refer to your agency's General Counsel and policies before implementing an incentives program. 

Title 31, U.S. Code, Section 1301(a) specifies that Federal agencies may only use appropriated funds for authorized purposes.

66 Comp. Gen. 356, 359 (1987) applies the “necessary expense” rule and states that agencies have reasonable discretion to determine which expenses are "necessary" as a management tool.

5 CFR parts 451.102 - 451.106 provides guidance for giving awards or incentives to Federal employees. 

Executive Order 13589 highlights the importance of selecting appropriate incentive items and understanding the effective use of incentives in health promotion.

Tax Implications: In general, incentives that hold a value low enough so that reporting them for tax purposes would be unreasonable or administratively impractical may be classified as De Minimis Fringe Benefits (Internal Revenue Code (Title 26, U.S. Code, Section 132(e)); 26 CFR part 1.132-6).

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Use of Time for Health Promotion Activities

The Federal personnel system gives employees considerable flexibility in scheduling their hours of work and taking time off for routine medical examinations and preventive screenings. Agencies should review policies and make maximum use of existing work schedules to encourage employees to take advantage of preventive health services. The following are some examples of the work and leave flexibilities available to employees:

Flexible Work Schedules: Agency officials should encourage employees to use flexible work schedules (non-duty time) to participate in health promotion activities. To the extent possible, agencies should offer health promotion activities before, during and after lunch or in the early mornings or late afternoon/evening to minimize the impact on work.
Leave and other Paid Time Off: Employees may request annual leave, leave without pay, or sick leave (as appropriate) to participate in health promotion programs not sponsored or administered by Federal agencies.
Excused Absence: In limited circumstances, agency officials may provide short periods of excused absence for health promotion programs and activities officially sponsored and administered by the agency.

Employees are reminded that the decision to grant excused absence (time) is a matter of agency discretion and approval, based on business conditions at the time. Requests for excused absence must be coordinated with and approved by the agency official in advance. Agency officials must balance the needs of the organization to fulfill their missions when providing employees with appropriate opportunities to participate in health and wellness programs.

For more information on the leave options available to Federal employees, please visit OPM's Leave Administration page.

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Program Design

HealthyPeople objectives for worksite wellness programs are identified as:

  • 75% of worksites offer a comprehensive worksite wellness program, and;
  • 75% of employees participate in the program.

The elements of a comprehensive worksite wellness program, as defined by HealthyPeople, are:

Health Education

Examples of programs/services

  • Seminars
  • Education Sessions
  • Classes
  • Lectures
  • Newsletters
  • Other health education or health promotion literature
  • Website or links to web-based information or resources
  • Personal safety information and training programs 
  • Work and job related safety information and training programs

Data points

  • Number of employees with access to the program/service
  • Number of individual employees participating in the program/service (not a total number of visits or uses by all employees with access)
  • Types of metrics tracked
  • Costs

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Supportive Social and Physical Environments Part I

Examples of programs/services

  • Health Fairs
  • Immunization campaigns or availability (seasonal influenza or other adult immunizations)
  • Walking and running groups
  • Exercise or fitness classes or groups
  • Incentive use
  • Shower facilities offered
  • Locker rooms
  • Bike racks or storage
  • On-Site fitness facilities

Commercial Fitness Membership

  • Group discount arranged
  • Subsidy provided
  • Full Memberships provided

Chronic Disease Management Individual Coaching or Counseling

  • Health & wellness behaviors
  • Chronic diseases
  • Other risk status or related concerns

Data points

  • Number of employees with access to the program/service
  • Number of individual employees participating in the program/service (not a total number of visits or uses by all employees with access)
  • Types of metrics tracked
  • Costs

Supportive Social and Physical Environments Part II

Support for Healthy Food Choices

Data points are collected for each following component.

  • Cafeterias
    • Are fruit, vegetables, whole grains, fat free and low fat milk products, lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts available?
    • Are healthy menu choices offered?
    • Are healthy menu choices promoted? 
      • If so, how?

    • Are healthier choices offered at reduced cost?
    • Is nutritional information provided to consumer? 
      • If so, how? (brochure, signage, other)
    • Is there any special emphasis on healthy choices (for example lower pricing, more advertising, etc…) 
      • If so, how?
  • Vending
    • Are there products offered that are low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars?
    • Are healthy choices (such as whole grains, low fat/low sodium popcorn, dried fruits, dry roasted unsalted nuts, 100% juices of 6 oz. or less, water) offered?
    • Are healthy choices promoted? 
      • If so, how?
    • Are healthier choices offered at reduced cost?
    • Is there any special emphasis on healthy choices?

 

  • Microwave/Refrigeration
    • Does the agency provide these items so employees can bring in their own food? If so, what's the cost?
    • Is food safety information, such as cleanliness, storage, hand washing, and refrigerator/freezer thermometer, provided?

Environmental Supports for Healthy Living

  • Job related ergonomics programs
  • Job related occupational health and safety trainings
  • Lactation room
  • Lactation education
  • One-on-one lactation support services

Data points

  • Number of employees with access to the program/service
  • Number of individual employees participating in the program/service (not a total number of visits or uses by all employees with access)
  • Types of metrics tracked
  • costs

Other Environmental Supports for Healthy Living

Data points are collected for each following component.

  • Tobacco use restriction
  • Tobacco free workplace indoors
  • Tobacco free workplace outdoors
  • Tobacco free workplace both indoors and outdoors
  • Hand washing encouraged and promoted regularly
  • Established, practiced emergency procedure
  • Job related ergonomics programs 
  • Job related occupational health and safety training
  • Automated External Defibrillators and support program 
  • CPR Training available to employees

Does this work location promote the use of stairwells?

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Integration of Worksite Wellness Program into Organizational Structure Part I

Data points are collected for each following component.

Are there official health and wellness policies?

Is there an agency process for employee input on the planning and implementation of programs and services related to...

  • Nutrition?
  • Physical activity?
  • Occupational health and safety (safety committees, complaint/request process)?
  • Other wellness activities planning?

Is management required to support wellness programs and initiatives?

Are supervisors required to support wellness programs and initiatives?

Integration of Worksite Wellness Program into Organizational Structure Part II

Data points are collected for each following component. 

Are employees granted use of duty time for participation in wellness activities?

  • If so,
    • How much time?
    • What frequency (per week, pay period, other)?
    • Is the time accounted for in a measurable way (time card, log-in, other)?

Does your agency have worksite wellness program staff?

  • If so,
    • How many, if any, are full-time, Federal employee(s), contractor(s) or other(s)? 
    • How many, if any, are part-time, Federal employee(s), contractor(s) or other(s)?
    • How many, if any, Federal employee(s), contractor(s), or other(s) are assigned this as a collateral duty (assigned as an extra duty on top of normal position that is NOT a health and wellness position)?
    • Are all or parts of health and wellness duties assigned to several different staff members?  If so, how many staff members are involved? 

Is senior leadership regularly briefed on the programs and services?

  • If so,
    • How often?
    • What is included in the briefing?
    • Does the leadership recommend change as a result of the briefing?

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Linkages with Related Programs (EAP, etc…)

Data Points are collected for each following component.

Are there links between worksite wellness programs and...

  • FEHB?
  • FSA?
  • EAP?
  • Traditional occupational health and safety programs?
  • Other Work/Life programs?
  • Use of flexible schedules?
  • Telework?
  • Substance abuse prevention (including "Drug Free Workplace")?

Screening Programs

Examples of programs and services 

  • Mental health screenings
  • Blood pressure checks
  • Diabetes screenings
  • Substance abuse screenings
  • Mammography
  • Stress screenings
  • Cholesterol screenings
  • Health Risk Appraisals
  • Other

Data points

  • Number of employees with access to the program/service
  • Number of individual employees participating in the program/service (not a total number of visits by all employees with access)
  • Types of metrics tracked
  • Costs

Other related programs and services may be included as appropriate.

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Health Topics

Healthfinder.gov

Healthfinder.gov is a Federal Government website where you will find information and tools to help you and those you care about stay healthy.  When making decisions about your health, it's important to know where to go to get the latest, most reliable information.  healthfinder.gov has resources on a wide range of health topics selected from over 1,600 government and nonprofit organizations to bring you the best, most reliable health information on the Internet.

Public Health & Safety

Get Important Shots

Adults need shots (vaccinations) just like kids do. Next time you get a checkup, talk with the doctor or nurse about getting these important shots.

  • Get a flu shot every year. The seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others from the flu.
  • Get a Td booster shot every 10 years to protect against tetanus (“TET-nes”) and diphtheria (“dif-THEER-ee-ah”).
  • If you are under age 65 and haven’t received it yet, get the Tdap shot instead of your next Td booster. Tdap protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough (pertussis).
  • If you are age 60 or older, you may need a shot to prevent shingles. Shingles causes a rash and can lead to pain that lasts for months or years.
  • If you are age 65 or older, get a pneumonia shot. This shot is sometimes called PPSV. Most people only need to get the shot once.

Stay Safe at Work

Work can put a lot of wear and tear on your body. Back injuries are the most common type of workplace injury.

Make simple changes to prevent injuries and stay healthy:

  • Lift things safely.
  • Arrange your equipment to fit your body.
  • Take short breaks and stretch your muscles.
  • Eat healthy and stay active.
  • Get enough sleep.

View more information on important shots, staying safe at work,  or other public health and safety topics (i.e. first aid, preventing infections, protecting against poisons, bike safety).

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Everyday Health & Wellness

Get Enough Sleep

Everyone needs to sleep. A good night’s sleep helps keep your mind and body healthy.

How much sleep do I need?
Most adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. If you are having trouble sleeping, make changes to your routine to get the sleep you need.

Kids need even more sleep than adults.

  • Teens need at least 9 hours of sleep each night.
  • School-aged and preschool children need 10 to 12 hours of sleep.
  • Newborns sleep between 16 and 18 hours a day.

Protect Your Skin from the Sun

The best way to prevent skin cancer is to protect your skin from the sun.

  • Stay in the shade as much as possible between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher.
  • Cover up with long sleeves, a hat, and sunglasses.

Why do I need to protect my skin from the sun?

Protect your skin from the sun today to help prevent skin cancer later in life. Most skin cancer appears after age 50, but damage from the sun can start during childhood.

Staying out of the sun and using sunscreen can also help prevent:

  • Wrinkles
  • Blotches or spots on your skin
  • Other damage caused by the sun

Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do for your health. The sooner you quit, the sooner your body can begin to heal. You will feel better and have more energy to be active with your family and friends.

How can I quit smoking?
Start by thinking about why you want to quit. If you’ve tried to quit before, think about what worked and what didn’t. This will help you find the right quitting strategies.

Here are some things you can try to help you quit:

  • Make a quit plan.
  • Change your routine. For example, go for a walk instead of having a cigarette.
  • Eat healthy snacks instead of smoking.
  • Get medicine from your doctor or pharmacy.
  • Get support from family, friends, and coworkers.

Nicotine is a drug in cigarettes that’s just as addictive as heroin or cocaine. It’s the nicotine in cigarettes that causes the strong feeling (craving) that you want to smoke. Quitting is hard, but it can be done.

Want more information on getting more sleep, protecting your skin from the sun, quiting smoking, or other everyday health & wellness topics (i.e. managing stress, preventing allergy attacks, taking charge on your health care, talking to your doctor about depression)?  Check out Everyday Health & Wellness on healthfinder.gov.

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Nutrition & Fitness

To stay at a healthy weight, you need to balance the calories you eat with the calories you burn (use up). To lose weight, you need to use more calories than you eat. A healthy diet and physical activity can help you control your weight.

Calories are a measure of the energy in the foods you eat. You burn calories when you are physically active.

How do I know if I’m eating the right number of calories?
Use this tool to find out how many calories your body needs each day. This is the number of calories you need to maintain your current weight. If you are overweight or obese, burn more calories than you eat to lose weight.

Want more information on nutrition and fitness?  Check out Nutrition & Fitness on Healthfinder.gov.

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Important Screenings

Screenings are medical tests that check for diseases. Screenings can help doctors find diseases early, when the diseases may be easier to treat.

Getting screening tests is one of the most important things you can do for your health. You may need to be screened for:

  • Some types of cancer
  • High blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis (weak bones)
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Hearing and vision loss

Use the myhealthfinder tool to find out which screening tests you may need.
Enter your age, sex, and pregnancy status to get a list of recommendations. Print out the list and take it with you to your next doctor’s appointment.

Want more information on screenings?  Check out Important Screening Tests on Healthfinder.gov.

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Heart Health

You can take steps today to lower your risk of heart disease and heart attack. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States.

To help prevent heart disease, you can:

  • Watch your weight.
  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
  • Control your cholesterol (“koh-LEHS-tuh-rahl”) and blood pressure.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
  • Get active and eat healthy.
  • Take steps to prevent type 2 diabetes.
  • Manage stress.

Want more information on heart health?  Check out Heart Health on healthfinder.gov

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Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease. When you have diabetes, there is too much sugar (called glucose) in your blood.

There is more than one type of diabetes, but type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease. People who are overweight and inactive are more likely to get type 2 diabetes. Talk to your doctor about how you can prevent type 2 diabetes.

What do I ask the doctor?

Visiting the doctor can be stressful. It helps to have questions written down before your appointment. Print out this list of questions, and take it with you the next time you visit the doctor.

  • Am I at risk for type 2 diabetes?
  • Does my weight put me at risk for diabetes?
  • Are there any warning signs of diabetes I should look out for?
  • How can I find out if I have diabetes?
  • What should I eat to prevent or delay diabetes?
  • How much physical activity should I do to prevent or delay diabetes?
  • If I’m overweight, how many pounds do I have to lose to prevent or delay diabetes?
  • What are healthy ways to lose weight and keep it off?
  • What are my blood pressure numbers and cholesterol levels? What should they be?
  • Do my blood pressure and cholesterol numbers put me at risk for diabetes?
  • Can you give me information about preventing diabetes to take home?

Learn about lowering your risk for type 2 diabetes

Want more information on diabetes?  Check out Diabetes on healthfinder.gov. 

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For Older Adults

Getting older doesn’t have to mean losing your health. To stay healthy as you age:

  • Choose healthy foods
  • Keep your body and mind active
  • Get regular checkups
  • Take steps to prevent accidents

Remember, it’s never too late to make healthy changes in your life.

Stay active to live longer and better.
Staying active can help you:

  • Reduce your risk for diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer
  • Avoid falls and other injuries
  • Live on your own longer
  • Prevent depression

Plus, staying active may help keep your mind sharp.

Want more information on health & older adults?  Check out “For Older Adults” on healthfinder.gov.

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Parenting

Protect Your Child from Injury

Children are at high risk for injuries. You can help keep your child from getting hurt by taking action ahead of time.

A few minutes now could save your child’s life.
These simple steps can help prevent injuries inside and outside your home.

  • Use the right child safety seat in the car.
  • Use smoke alarms and make a fire escape plan for your home.
  • Keep medicines, vitamins, and cleaning products out of your child’s reach.
  • Teach your child to swim and closely watch your child in or near water.
  • Make sure your child wears the right safety gear (like a helmet or pads) when playing sports.

Good habits like these can help protect your family from food poisoning:

  • Buy food from stores that look and smell clean.
  • Don’t buy food past “sell by,” “use by,” or other expiration dates.
  • Wash your hands often with warm water and soap – especially before and after touching food.
  • Make sure food is cooked to a safe temperature.
  • Keep raw meat and seafood away from cooked and ready-to-eat food.
  • Keep cold foods cold. Keep hot foods hot.

Protect Your Family Against Food Poisoning

Food poisoning (foodborne illness) is when you get sick from eating or drinking something that has harmful germs (like bacteria, viruses, or parasites) in it. Two common causes of food poisoning are E. coli and Salmonella.

Good habits like these can help protect your family from food poisoning:

  • Buy food from stores that look and smell clean.
  • Don’t buy food past “sell by,” “use by,” or other expiration dates.
  • Wash your hands often with warm water and soap – especially before and after touching food.
  • Make sure food is cooked to a safe temperature.
  • Keep raw meat and seafood away from cooked and ready-to-eat food.
  • Keep cold foods cold. Keep hot foods hot.

Talk to Your Kids About Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drugs

Talk to your child about the dangers of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs. Knowing the facts will help your child make healthy choices.

What do I say?

  • Give your child clear rules.
  • Find out what your child already knows.
  • Be prepared to answer your child’s questions.
  • Talk with your child about how to say “no.”

When do I start talking with my child?

Start early. By preschool, most children have seen adults smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol, either in real life or on TV. Make sure your child knows right from the start that you think it’s important to stay safe and avoid drugs.

Here are more reasons to start the conversation early:

  • Many kids start using tobacco by age 11 and are addicted by age 14.
  • Between ages 9 and 13, kids begin to think that using alcohol is okay.
  • Some children are already abusing drugs at age 12 or 13.

What if my child is older?

It’s never too late to start the conversation about avoiding drugs. Even if your teen may have tried tobacco, alcohol, or drugs, you can still talk about making healthy choices and how to say “no” next time.

Get more information on keeping kids healthy and drug free.

Want more information about injury prevention, food poisoning, talking to your kids about tobacco, alcohol, and drugs, or other parenting topics (i.e., making the most of your child's doctor visits, watching for signs of speech delays, preventing bullying)?  Check out "For Parents" on healthfinder.gov.

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For Men

Get screening tests to find diseases early.

Screenings are medical tests that check for diseases. Screenings can help doctors find diseases early, when the diseases may be easier to treat.

  • Get your blood pressure checked at least once every 2 years.
  • Talk to your doctor about getting your cholesterol checked. Doctors recommend that most men get their cholesterol checked at least once every 5 years.
  • Get tested for colorectal cancer if you are over age 50. Ask your doctor what type of screening test is right for you.
  • If you are between ages 65 and 75 and have ever smoked, talk with your doctor about abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA).
  • Most men feel stressed, anxious, or depressed from time to time. If these feelings last for more than 2 weeks, talk to a doctor about screening for depression. Most men with depression feel better when they get treatment.

Talk to your doctor if you have questions about your prostate.

Ask your doctor about taking aspirin every day.

If you are over age 45, taking aspirin every day could lower your risk of heart attack. Talk with your doctor about whether daily aspirin is right for you.

Do you know what it takes to stay healthy? Take this men’s health quiz to find out.

Want more information on health & men?  Check out “Men: Take Charge of Your Health” on healthfinder.gov.

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For Women

Get Tested for Breast Cancer

Mammograms can help find breast cancer early. You have a better chance of surviving breast cancer if it’s found and treated early.

  • Women ages 40 to 49: Talk with your doctor about when to start getting mammograms and how often you need them.
  • Women ages 50 to 74: Get a mammogram every 2 years. Talk with your doctor to decide if you need one more often.

What is a mammogram?

A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast. Mammograms use a very low level of x‑rays (called radiation). A mammogram is very safe.

  • When you get a mammogram, the nurse will place your breasts, one at a time, between 2 plastic plates and take pictures of each breast. Mammograms may be uncomfortable for some women, but they don’t hurt.
  • A mammogram lasts less than 15 minutes.

What if the doctor finds something wrong with my breast?

Mammograms let the doctor or nurse look for small lumps inside your breast. If a lump is found, the doctor or nurse will do other tests to find out if it’s cancer.

  • The doctor or nurse may take a small bit of tissue from the lump for testing. This is called a biopsy (“BY-op-see”).

Preventing Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis (“os-tee-oh-puh-ROH-sis”) is a disease of the bones. It means your bones are weak and more likely to break. Anyone can get osteoporosis, but it’s most common in older women.

Ask your doctor or nurse about steps you can take to prevent weak bones and lower your risk for osteoporosis. If you are age 50 or older, talk to your doctor about testing your bone strength.

Screening for osteoporosis is covered under the new Affordable Care Act for some women over age 60. Depending on your insurance plan, you may be able to get screened at no cost to you. Talk to your insurance provider.

What do I ask the doctor? 

Visiting the doctor can be stressful. It helps to have questions written down before your appointment. Print out this list of questions, and take it with you the next time you visit the doctor. You may want to take a family member or close friend along to take notes.

  • What puts me at risk for osteoporosis?
  • How can I find out if I have weak bones?
  • What foods should I eat to help prevent osteoporosis?
  • How active do I need to be to help prevent osteoporosis?
  • Am I currently taking any medicines that cause bone loss?
  • How much calcium and vitamin D do I need each day?
  • How can I get enough calcium?

Getting Enough Folic Acid

Women of childbearing age (typically ages 11 to 49) need an extra 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day. Folic acid is found in vitamins and foods like breakfast cereals that have 100% DV (daily value) of folic acid.

Why is folic acid important?
Everyone needs folic acid in their diet. Folic acid is especially important for women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant.

It’s important to get enough folic acid, even when you aren’t planning to get pregnant. Folic acid is a vitamin that can prevent birth defects. It’s needed during the first few weeks of pregnancy, often before a woman knows she’s pregnant.

Want more information on health & women?  Check out “For Women” on healthfinder.gov.

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Pregnancy

 It’s important to take care of yourself and your baby during pregnancy. To keep you and your baby healthy:

  • See your doctor or midwife regularly.
  • Get important prenatal (“pree-NAY-tuhl”) tests.
  • Don’t smoke or drink alcohol.
  • Prevent infections.
  • Eat healthy foods and stay active.

To get more tips for a healthy pregnancy:

Want more information about pregnancy?  Check out Pregnancy on Healthfinder.gov.

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Tools & Resources

From Governmentwide guidelines to sample resources and information on Federal agencies that play a key role in worksite health & wellness, many tools and resources are available in this section to help understand the basics of worksite health & wellness, explore issues in greater detail, and implement effective program.

Federal Agencies

The following are Federal agencies and their subcomponents associated with the administration of worksite health and wellness programs.

  • U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM)

    OPM's Work-Life & Performance Culture promotes the efficiency of the Federal workforce by providing agencies with guidance, resources and technical assistance on issues related to employee health and well-being. Policies and guidance developed by the Work-Life Group may address issues such as worksite health & wellness, telework, substance abuse, Employee Assistance Program, workplace violence, domestic violence at work, and critical incident stress.

  • Internal Revenue Services

    The Tax Exempt and Government Entities Employment Tax Branch serves three very distinct customer segments: Employee Plans, Exempt Organizations, and Government Entities. This branch of the IRS provides information regarding taxable income that may include health promotion incentives offered through worksites and commercial health club memberships provided through agencies.

  • U.S. Department Of Agriculture (USDA)

    The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) works to support the American agricultural economy to strengthen rural communities; to protect and conserve our natural resources; and to provide a safe, sufficient, and nutritious food supply for the American people. The USDA provides nutrition guidance and health promotion tools based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, through ChooseMyPlate.gov and the SuperTracker.

  • U.S. Department Of Health And Human Services (HHS)

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the U.S. government’s principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services. HHS represents almost a quarter of all Federal outlays and it administers more grant dollars than all other Federal agencies combined. HHS is a major host to numerous agencies that play significant roles in contributing to successful worksite health and wellness programs.

  • Agency for HealthCare Research and Quality

    Under HHS, the Agency for HealthCare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) broad programs of research, clinical guideline development, and technology assessment bring practical, science-based information to medical practitioners, consumers, and other health care purchasers.

  • Center for Disease Control and Prevention

    Under HHS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides credible, reliable health information on diseases and conditions, emergencies and disasters, environmental health, violence and safety, workplace safety and health, and more. The CDC has three sites of particular relevance to worksite health and wellness: CDC’s Healthier Worksite Initiative (HWI), the National Healthy Worksite Program (NHWP), and the NIOSH Total Worker Health Program. HWI provides information on program design, policies, toolkits, and other practical resources for worksite health and wellness. The NHWP is designed to assist employers in implementing science and practice-based prevention and wellness strategies that will lead to specific, measureable health outcomes to reduce chronic disease rates. The NIOSH Total Worker Health Program is described below. CDC also has developed a Federal Wellness Resource Guide which provides resources relevant to both employees & employers.

    • Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity

      Under the CDC, the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO) utilizes a public health approach to address the role of nutrition and physical activity in improving the public's health and preventing and controlling chronic diseases. The scope of DNPAO activities includes leadership, policy and guidelines development, surveillance, epidemiological and behavioral research, intervention development, technical assistance to states and communities, training and education, communication, and partnership development.

    • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

      Under HHS and the CDC, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is the Federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness. NIOSH provides an extensive collection of occupational safety and health information arranged by subject. The NIOSH Total Worker Health effort promotes comprehensive and integrated health, safety and wellbeing programs and practices for America’s workers and workplaces.

    • Office on Smoking and Health

      Under the CDC, the Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) is the lead Federal agency for comprehensive tobacco prevention and control. Originally established in 1965 as the National Clearinghouse for Smoking and Health, OSH is dedicated to reducing the death and disease caused by tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke.

    • Workplace Health Promotion

      CDC’s Workplace Health Promotion site is a toolkit for workplace health protection and promotion. It provides information, tools, resources, and guidance to practitioners interested in establishing or enhancing workplace health and safety programs.

  • Federal Occupational Health

    Under HHS, Federal Occupational Health (FOH) provides occupational health and wellness services exclusively to Federal employees. FOH works in partnership with Federal organizations nationally and internationally to design and deliver comprehensive solutions to meet their occupational health needs.

  • National Institutes of Health

    Under HHS, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) mission is to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and use the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce the burdens of illness and disability.

  • Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

    Under HHS, the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) plays a vital role in developing and coordinating a wide range of national disease prevention and health promotion activities.

  • President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition

    Under HHS, the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (PCFSN) is a committee of 25 volunteer citizens who advise the President through the Secretary of Health and Human Services. PCFSN serves as a catalyst to promote healthy lifestyles through fitness, sports, and nutrition programs and initiatives that engage Americans across the lifespan.

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

    Under HHS, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides leadership and devotes its resources - programs, policies, information and data, contracts and grants- toward helping the Nation act on the knowledge that: behavioral health is essential for health; prevention works; treatment is effective; and people recover from mental and substance use disorders. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.

  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration

    Under HHS, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates and supervises programs such as emergency preparedness, food safety, food labeling and nutrition, and has the authority to regulate tobacco products under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

  • U.S. Surgeon General

    Under HHS, the Surgeon General serves as America's Doctor by providing Americans the best scientific information available on how to improve their health and reduce the risk of illness and injury. The Surgeon General reports to the Assistant Secretary for Health, who is the principal advisor to the Secretary on public health and scientific issues.

  • U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)

    GSA's Federal Acquisition Service is the lead organization for procurement of products and services (other than real property) for the Federal government, and the Public Building Services provides facilities and workplace solutions to Federal agencies.

Additional Federal Resources

These are guidelines, policies, and general resources provided by various Federal agencies that can help guide the development of worksite wellness programs.

Governmentwide Guidelines Related To Wellness

Governmentwide Programs & Initiatives Related To Wellness

  • Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHB)

    The FEHB Program can help you and your family meet your health care needs. Federal employees, retirees and their survivors enjoy the widest selection of health plans in the country. You can choose from among Consumer-Driven and High Deductible plans that offer catastrophic risk protection with higher deductibles, health savings/reimbursable accounts and lower premiums, or Fee-for-Service (FFS) plans, and their Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO), or Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) if you live (or sometimes if you work) within the area serviced by the plan.  Use this site to compare the costs, benefits, and features of different plans.

  • FSAFEDS Eligible Expenses Juke Box

    This website provides a list of services and expenses eligible for reimbursement under flexible spending accounts available to Federal employees.

  • United We Serve Volunteer Network

    Serve.gov, the online home of United We Serve, is managed by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency charged with promoting and fostering volunteering and national service in America.

  • America’s Great Outdoors Initiative

    President Obama launched the America's Great Outdoors (AGO) Initiative to develop a 21st Century conservation and recreation agenda. AGO takes as its premise that lasting conservation solutions should come from the American people - that the protection of our natural heritage is a non-partisan objective that is shared by all Americans.

  • Let’s Move Program

    Let’s Move! is a comprehensive initiative, launched by the First Lady, dedicated to solving the problem of obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams.

  • Million Hearts™ Educational Campaign

    Heart disease and stroke are the first and fourth leading causes of death in the United States. Heart disease is responsible for 1 of every 4 deaths in the country. Million Hearts® is a national initiative that has set an ambitious goal to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. The impact will be even greater over time.

  • National Prevention Week

    National Prevention Week is a SAMHSA-supported annual health observance dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, substance abuse and mental health issues.

  • People’s Garden Initiative (USDA)

    USDA Secretary Vilsack began the People's Garden Initiative - named in honor of President Lincoln's description of USDA as the "People's Department" - in 2009 as an effort to challenge employees to create gardens at USDA facilities. It has since grown into a collaborative effort of over 700 local and national organizations all working together to establish community and school gardens across the country.

Information Centers, Research Articles, & Data Sources

  • Healthfinder.gov (HHS)

    Healthfinder.gov is a Federal Government website where you will find information and tools to help you and those you care about stay healthy. When making decisions about your health, it's important to know where to go to get the latest, most reliable information. Healthfinder.gov has resources on a wide range of health topics selected from over 1,600 government and nonprofit organizations to bring you the best, most reliable health information on the Internet.

  • FedScope

    This self-service, online tool allows customers to access and analyze the most popular data elements from OPM's Enterprise Human Resources Integration-Statistical Data Mart (EHRI-SDM). It provides access to 5 years of employment, accession, and separation data.

  • GSA eLibrary (Schedule Approved Contractors List)

    GSA eLibrary was created to help customers research and identify commercial businesses that provide high quality products and services offered under GSA and VA acquisition solutions. eLibrary is updated nightly so you can be assured that you are seeing the most accurate and up-to-date award information.

  • PubMed (HHS)

    PubMed comprises more than 22 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web site.

  • National Health Information Center (HHS)

    The National Health Information Center (NHIC) is a health information referral service. NHIC links people to organizations that provide reliable health information.

  • National Library of Medicine (HHS)

    The world’s largest biomedical library, NLM maintains and makes available a vast print collection and produces electronic information resources on a wide range of topics that are searched billions of times each year by millions of people around the globe. It also supports and conducts research, development, and training in biomedical informatics and health information technology.

  • National Agriculture Library, Food and Nutrition Information Service (USDA)

    Nutrition.gov provides easy access to vetted food and nutrition information from across the federal government. It serves as a gateway to reliable information on nutrition, healthy eating, physical activity, and food safety for consumers.

Worksite Wellness Implementation & Sample Resources

  • The Veterans Health Administration’s Employee Health Promotion Disease Prevention (EHPDP) Guidebook

    The EHPDP Guidebook was written by a multidisciplinary task group to provide information and references appropriate for establishing and expanding EHPDP programs within the VHA. This guidebook is available as an example of an agency-level guidebook and provides templates, sample documents, references, and directives for use and modification by other Federal agencies.

  • Garden Market Toolkit (CDC)

    This toolkit provides information on how to establish a garden market in a Federal agency or other organization.

  • Healthy Meeting Toolkit (CDC)

    These guidelines can be used for selecting foods and beverages for breaks or meals at meetings, conferences, and other work-related events. When planning menus, consider providing options that accommodate various dietary preferences and needs.

  • StairWELL Toolkit (CDC)

    This site will provide the information you need to transform your stairs into StairWELLs for better health.

  • MAP-IT: A Guide to Using Healthy People 2020 in Your Community

    No two public health interventions are exactly alike, but most interventions share a similar path to success: Mobilize, Assess, Plan, Implement, Track.

  • Introduction to Program Evaluation for Public Health Programs: A Self-Study Guide

    This document is a “how to” guide for planning and implementing evaluation activities. The manual, based on CDC’s Framework for Program Evaluation in Public Health, is intended to assist managers and staff of public, private, and community public health programs to plan, design, implement and use comprehensive evaluations in a practical way.

Tobacco, Alcohol, And Drug-Free Workplaces

  • Drug-free Workplace Guidelines (HHS)

    This website provides information on the Federal Drug-free Workplace Program, including the executive order, model comprehensive plan, historical documents and more.

  • Federal Employee Health Benefit Quit Smoking Initiative

    There has never been a better time to quit smoking. All FEHB plans now offer 100% coverage to help you quit once and for all.

  • National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Routing Service (HHS)

    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is pleased to provide this online resource for locating drug and alcohol abuse treatment programs. The Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator list private and public facilities that are licensed, certified, or otherwise approved for inclusion by their State substance abuse agency and treatment facilities administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Indian Health Service, and the Department of Defense.

  • National Tobacco Education Campaign “Tips From Former Smokers”

    Tips From Former Smokers (Tips) encourages people to quit smoking by highlighting the toll that smoking-related illnesses take on smokers and their loved ones.

  • Tobacco Cessation Toolkit (CDC)

    This toolkit provides guidance for implementing a tobacco-free campus (TFC) initiative that includes a policy and comprehensive cessation services for employees. It is based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) experience with implementing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Tobacco-Free HHS initiative.

  • Tobacco Free Campus Policy (CDC)

    This policy requires all properties owned or leased by HHS agencies to be tobacco free, beginning with limited implementation on January 1, 2005, and achieving full implementation by February 1, 2005, as labor and lease agreements permit.

Nutrition & Physical Activity

  • Active Commuting to Federal Workplaces

    This document was prepared to assist Federal agencies in implementing Executive Order 13514, Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance. To implement the Administration’s goal of establishing a clean energy economy, Federal agencies should pursue efforts to establish and support bicycling and other active commuting and travel at Federal facilities.

  • Body Mass Index Tool (CDC)

    This tool will provide you with your Body Mass Index (BMI). Your BMI is a number calculated from your weight and height, and used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems.

  • Eat Smart. Play Hard.™ Healthy Lifestyle (USDA)

    This site is specifically designed for parents and caregivers to provide information to help you eat better, be more physically active and be a role model for your kids.

  • LEAN Works! – Workplace Obesity Prevention Program (CDC)

    CDC's LEAN Works! is a synthesis of the science and practice-based evidence to guide you in planning, building, promoting, and assessing a worksite obesity prevention and control program.

  • Let’s Move Program

    Let’s Move! is a comprehensive initiative, launched by the First Lady, dedicated to solving the problem of obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams.

  • National Agriculture Library, Food and Nutrition Information Service (USDA)

    Nutrition.gov provides easy access to vetted food and nutrition information from across the federal government. It serves as a gateway to reliable information on nutrition, healthy eating, physical activity, and food safety for consumers.

  • Nutrition for Everyone (CDC)

    While you already know it is important to eat a healthy diet, you may find it more difficult to sort through all of the information about nutrition and food choices. CDC has compiled a variety of resources to help you start healthier eating habits.

  • Nutritious Eating Toolkits

    The toolkits in this section are designed specifically for work sites to encourage nutritious eating and may contain checklists, step-by-step guides, budgets, and other tools that aid in program planning, design, and management. Before implementing any of these interventions, the toolkits should be selected and evaluated based on the identified needs of your employee population.

  • Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

    The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is designed to provide information and guidance on the types and amounts of physical activity that provide substantial health benefits for Americans aged 6 years and older. The main idea behind the Guidelines is that regular physical activity over months and years can produce long-term health benefits.

  • President’s Challenge and Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA +)

    The President’s Challenge is the premier program of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition administered through a co-sponsorship agreement with the Amateur Athletic Union. The President’s Challenge helps people of all ages and abilities increase their physical activity and improve their fitness through research-based information, easy-to-use tools, and friendly motivation.

  • Bicycle Benefit Policy (DOT)

    This document states the guidelines and procedures for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Bicycle Benefit.

  • Bike to Work

    This new Bike to Work Website is funded by the Department of Transportation and maintained by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center. The Website provides helpful resources for planning and holding your bike to work event. The resource section includes downloads for event organizers, tips for individual riders, facts for the news media, as well as information for employers and sponsors. The Website also features a discussion forum that will allow bike commuters to network with one another. Using the Web forum, you can post questions about how to get a bike to work event off the ground or offer your tips for holding a successful event.

Wellness Memoranda To Agencies

Program Evaluation

While worksite health and wellness programs vary across agencies because of differences in organizational needs and workforce demographics, the demand for accountability is constant. As a result, program evaluation is imperative to:

  • determine if the program is producing desired outcomes;
  • monitor progress toward goals;
  • find opportunities for improvement;
  • justify the need for further funding and support; and
  • ensure effective programs are continued and resources are not wasted on ineffective programs.

There are several ways Federal agencies can evaluate their worksite health and wellness programs. Because there is not one right way, we encourage you to review the list of Federal resources below and use those that best meet the needs of your agency.

WellCheck

WellCheck is an online needs assessment based on HealthyPeople 2010’s Elements of a Comprehensive Worksite Wellness Program.  Implemented in 2009 by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), this web-based tool collects information on Federal agencies' worksite health and wellness programs at specific work locations.  Annually, agency designated points of contact gain access to WellCheck to report data about their worksite health and wellness programs, services, policies, costs, and metrics.  This data is used to analyze program efforts and allows agencies to identify program strengths and areas that need improvement.  Email worklife@opm.gov to find your agency’s POC. 

FedScope: Access to Statistical Information

Understanding agency demographics will help coordinators to establish a baseline and starting point for health promotion initiatives and activities.

OPM provides statistical information about the Federal civilian workforce through FedScope. This online tool allows customers to access and analyze the most popular data elements from OPM's Enterprise Human Resources Integration-Statistical Data Mart (EHRI-SDM). Customers include Federal government agencies, researchers, the media, and the general public.

This self-service tool provides access to five years of employment, accession, and separation data. Access to detail level data is provided while protecting employee privacy and EHRI-SDM security.

The following workforce characteristics ("Who", "What", and "Where" of Federal Civilian Employment) are available for analysis:

  1. Who (about the employees)
    • Age (5 year interval)
    • Gender
    • Length of Service (5 year interval)
  2. What (about their positions)
    • General Schedule and Equivalent Grade
    • Occupation
    • Occupation Category
    • Pay Plan and Grade
    • Salary Level ($10,000 interval)
    • Type of Appointment
    • Work Schedule
  3. Where
    • Agency
    • Location (foreign, U.S. state and county)
    • Metropolitan Statistical Area 

CDC’s Framework for Program Evaluation in Public Health

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides a “how to” guide for planning and implementing evaluation activities in worksite health promotion programs. The Introduction to Program Evaluation for Public Health Programs: A Self-Study Guide is based on CDC’s Framework for Program Evaluation in Public Health. It can provide practical assistance to managers and staff of worksite health promotion programs in planning, design, implementation, and use of comprehensive evaluations. The premise of CDC’s Framework is that to ensure usage, evaluation design must match the purpose of the evaluation and the intended user of the results thus maximizing payoffs and minimizing evaluation costs.  

MAP-IT: A Guide to Using Healthy People 2020 in Your Community

This guide is provided by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as a framework for implementation and tracking progress towards achieving Healthy People 2020 objectives. The framework recognizes that while no two health interventions are exactly alike, most interventions can follow a similar path to success: Mobilize, Assess, Plan, Implement, Track (MAP-IT). 

Veterans Health Administration’s Employee Health Promotion Disease Prevention (EHPDP) Guidebook

Chapter 12 of the Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) guidebook provides the basis for program evaluation and several examples of qualitative and quantitative evaluation processes. The chapter describes three methods of qualitative evaluation: process measures, key informant interviews, and focus groups and several quantitative evaluations.  The chapter also provides sources of and methods for incorporating institutional data into an evaluation and descriptions of several instruments available to measure presenteeism in the workplace. 

Control Panel