Making Work a Healthier Place

Improved workplace health programs push Johns Hopkins Medicine past industry benchmark.

Published in Dome - January/February 2018

In 2017, Johns Hopkins Community Physicians added flyers about the warning signs of stroke and heart attack to all of its site break areas. Sibley Memorial Hospital opened a tranquility room to help relieve stress. Howard County General Hospital hosted sessions in the cafeteria on nutrition, physical activity and heart health. All these efforts are part of Johns Hopkins Medicine’s strategy to make the workplace healthier for employees. 

Johns Hopkins uses the CDC Worksite Health ScoreCard, a measurement tool with 125 questions that assess how well each member organization is implementing resources, policies and programs to prevent heart disease, stroke and other chronic conditions. In its first year, 2016, Johns Hopkins Medicine scored 180 points out of 264, falling below the industry benchmark. Last year, entities across the enterprise improved their health programs, increasing their scores by 23 points and exceeding the benchmark. 

“It’s not about the numbers; it’s about the employer caring enough to help employees make healthier choices,” says Richard Safeer, medical director of employee health and wellness for Johns Hopkins HealthCare. “We spend most of our waking hours together at work. You can’t underrepresent the influence that the workday has on our health.”