Sunday, July 28, 2013

Center for Worker Health and Environment Launches Health Links

Health Links Colorado launches seed funding program in Pueblo

Worksite wellness and safety program offers financial support and certification for small businesses.
Health Links launched its initiative in Pueblo, Colo. July 23 to help small businesses set up and scale worksite wellness and safety programs in order to improve the health, safety and well-being of Colorado workers and the economy.

Pueblo small businesses can apply for seed funding to start their own worksite wellness and safety programs. If they meet the criteria, Health Links will assist them in starting their programs and connect them to other businesses and vendors that will help them succeed. Businesses can find application directions at www.healthlinkscolorado.org.

Pueblo is the first market for this initiative to apply for seed funding, which will eventually be offered statewide.

Health Links has two major components: seed funding for small businesses looking to start worksite wellness and safety programs, and certifications for those organizations that already have such programs in place.

“Giving our employees the tools to stay healthy, both physically and emotionally, is a benefit to them and to our members, since it results in a healthier, happier, more productive workforce with lower health care costs,” said Naomi Simmons of the San Isabel Electric Association. The company has a wellness program that includes an annual health fair and wellness speakers throughout the year.

In addition on funding and certification, Health Links also offers expert coaching and a network of resources to businesses that participate.

“Health Links is designed with both the business and its employees in mind,” said Dr. Lee Newman, a professor at the University of Colorado Denver’s Anschutz Medical Campus professor and the program’s founder. “We know from research that a company thrives in many ways when its employees are given the opportunity to make their health and safety a priority.”

Pueblo small businesses can apply for seed funding to start their own worksite wellness and safety programs. If they meet the criteria, Health Links will assist them in starting their programs and connect them to other businesses and vendors that will help them succeed. Businesses can find application directions at www.healthlinkscolorado.org.

Pueblo is the first market for this initiative to apply for seed funding, which will eventually be offered statewide.

However all Colorado small businesses that already have wellness and safety programs have the opportunity to apply for the Health Links™ Healthy Business Certification, which will grant them access to a network of other businesses and vendors that also prioritize employee health and safety.

“We are happy to see Health Links join the Pueblo community to bring awareness to the importance of worksite wellness and safety. We know Health Links will be a great resource to businesses both in Pueblo and statewide,” said El Pomar Foundation Trustee, Judge Dennis Maes.

“We look forward to seeing how Health Links can help Colorado’s employees achieve personal health and the state’s small businesses reach financial success,” Newman said.

Health Links™ is an innovator inside of an already growing national trend of worksite wellness. It is the only program in the U.S. to support worksite wellness programs for small businesses and to offer seed funding for businesses that want to start a worksite wellness and safety program.

Health Links™ is a nonprofit initiative from the Center for Worker Health and Environment, within the Colorado School of Public Health, a collaboration of the University of Colorado, Colorado State University and the University of Northern Colorado. Health Links™ helps to create sustainable wellness and safety programs for small businesses by offering solutions such as seed funding, certification and expert coaching, and by connecting businesses to each other and to vital resources that can help them succeed. Health Links™ is made possible through a generous start-up grant from Pinnacol Assurance and funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Hollis Family Trust. For more information, visi twww.healthlinkscolorado.org.

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