Making Work a Healthier Place

Last year, The Johns Hopkins Hospital opened one new lactation room on campus. Sibley Memorial Hospital also opened a tranquility room to help relieve stress and 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 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Worksite Health ScoreCard, a measurement tool with 125 questions that assess how well each member organization is using resources, policies and programs to prevent heart disease, stroke and other chronic conditions among employees. In 2016, its first year of using the scorecard, Johns Hopkins Medicine entities collectively 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.

There are other measurement systems out there, but the scorecard was the best fit for Johns Hop- director of employee health and wellness for Johns Hopkins HealthCare. “We arrived at the CDC Worksite Health ScoreCard because it is evidence-based and doesn’t require the employees todo anything,” he says. “It puts the onus on the employer to create a healthier workplace.” The scorecard takes a holistic approach to supporting employees in their wellness journeys, Safeer says, by focusing on the work environment, employer policies, social support and employees’ individual benefits.

Safeer wants to make sure employees understand that the scorecard is more than just a checklist and points; it is a proven method for driving a healthier work culture. “It’s not about the numbers, it’s about the employer caring enough to help employees make healthier choices,” says Safeer.

“We spend most of our waking hours together at work. You can’t underestimate the influence that the workday has on our health.”