Business Times of Edmond, Oklahoma February 2020 - Page 23

Free Worksite Wellness Training Offered for Employers As a new year gets underway, many Oklahomans will be resolving to lead a healthier lifestyle. The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is offering a free training program to employers interested in creating or improving a worksite wellness program to improve the health of their employees. The OSDH now has two facilitators trained in the Work@Health ® program, an initiative of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which recruits employers nationwide to participate in the comprehensive training offering evidence-based worksite wellness programs. The goal of the training is to provide employers with the knowledge and skills to help address common and costly employee chronic illnesses and related conditions such as cancer, obesity, high blood pressure, stress and arthritis. Studies show having a healthy workforce increases productivity and reduces health care expenses. OSDH facilitators Julie Dearing and Emily Hua are providing technical assistance, tools and resources to businesses across the state who wish to implement or improve a worksite wellness program. “Creating a culture of health in the workplace takes leadership across all levels of an organization,” said facilitator Dearing. “Small changes to organizational practice can have big ripple effects. Work@Health® brings employers through a comprehensive assessment and planning process to ensure employee wellness programs are being implemented to their fullest capacity, to work to bend the cost curve and make the healthy choice, the easier choice.” The CDC reports the United States spends $1.219 trillion each year on medical costs, with 86% of that stemming from chronic conditions such as heart disease, stroke, arthritis, diabetes and obesity. In addition to improving employee health knowledge and skills, worksite wellness programs can promote healthy behaviors such as regular screenings, follow-up care, immunizations, and also create a culture at work which can expand into other areas of life. To be eligible to participate in the program, employers must have at least 20 employees, offer health insurance to employees, have internet connectivity, and have been in operation for at least a year. Businesses will receive a variety of benefits including: • A health and safety assessment of the organization to define existing needs and the capacity of the worksite to implement health and safety interventions to address those needs; • Professional training via a blended delivery model to learn how to develop a worksite health intervention plan to meet individual employer needs; • Technical assistance and community-support resources aimed at giving employers what they need to sustain their worksite health promotion interventions beyond the program; and • Recognition by the CDC as a healthy worksite. For more information about worksite wellness or enrolling in the Work@Health ® program, contact the OSDH Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at 405-271-3619 or visit https://go.usa.gov/xpyrx. Tenth District Energy Activity Dropped Further KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City recently released the fourth quarter Energy Survey. Chad Wilkerson, Oklahoma City Branch executive and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, said the survey revealed that Tenth District energy activity dropped further and expectations for future activity continued to decline. “District energy activity continued to decrease through Q4 2019 and most firms do not expect drilling activity to pick up in the near-term,” Wilkerson said. “However, slightly more firms expect their cash flow to be higher next year than expect it to be lower.” The Kansas City Fed’s quarterly Tenth District Energy Survey provides information on current and expected activity among energy firms in the Tenth District. The survey monitors oil and gas-related firms located and/or headquartered in the Tenth District, with results based on total firm activity. Survey results reveal changes in several indicators of energy activity, including drilling, capital spending, and employment. Firms also indicate projections for oil and gas prices. All results are diffusion indexes — the percentage of firms indicating increases minus the percentage of firms indicating decreases. The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City serves the Tenth Federal Reserve District, encompassing the western third of Missouri; all of Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Wyoming; and the northern half of New Mexico. As part of the nation’s central bank, the Bank participates in setting national monetary policy, supervising and regulating numerous commercial banks and bank holding companies, and providing financial services to depository institutions. More information is available online at www.kansascityfed.org. February 2020 | The Business Times 23