Iwin Releases Report on Healthy Organizations in Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 12, 2011) — As health care costs continue to rise for Kentucky organizations and their employees, stakeholders are looking for innovative approaches to creating a healthy workforce. 
The University of Kentucky’s Institute for Workplace Innovation (iwin) hopes to provide organizations with new ways to improve employee health and well-being while also improving their bottom line through its research report, "Creating Healthy Organizations: Promising Practices in Kentucky," released today.
“Health care costs pose a significant burden for Kentucky organizations and their employees, but the high medical costs are just the beginning," said Jennifer Swanberg, executive director of the institute. "Research states that an unhealthy workforce is associated with increased disability and workers’ compensation costs, absenteeism, turnover, decreased productivity and disengagement due to stress or mental illness.
“We heard from employers that they needed help in finding innovative, comprehensive ways to promote health and we knew there were great practices occurring right here in Kentucky. We wanted to create a tool for employers to look to when faced with changing organizational and employee behavior around health.”
In this extensive report, made possible with funding from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), CVS Caremark, and UK HealthCare, iwin showcases the promising practices of 23 Kentucky organizations that contribute to a healthy workforce.
In addition to highlighting case studies of Kentucky organizations, the report also presents a new, evidence-based "HealthIntegrated Model" that was developed by iwin and informed by a review of literature and in-depth interviews with employers featured in the report.
“Health and wellness programs cannot be isolated from the overall strategic business plan,” Swanberg explains. “They must be integrated into the operations of the business to truly make an impact, and our new HealthIntegrated Model will provide employers with an approach to do this.”
Aimee Hiller, vice president of administration at the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, highlighted in the report, says her organization applauds iwin.
"It’s great to see case studies compiled into one report," Hiller said. "And, of course, we were thrilled to be highlighted. A report such as this would have helped our process tremendously.”
The report will be released to iwin’s Innovative Employer Roundtable partners at their semi-annual meeting on Oct. 12-13. It will also be available on Oct. 13 for download on iwin's website and the NIOSH website.
The UK Institute for Workplace Innovation, founded by Jennifer Swanberg, is a university-based research center with a mission to develop and disseminate knowledge about the 21st century workplace to create work environments that boost the bottom line, employee health and work-life fit.
For more information about the report or iwin, contact Lee Ann Walton at (859) 323–0582. 
MEDIA CONTACT: Keith Hautala, (859) 323-2396;