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Management Support, Worksite Culture, and Local Resources for Healthier Employees: The Veterans Affairs Experience

Schult, Tamara M. MPH; Galway, Allison M. MIHMEP; Awosika, Ebi R. MD, MPH; Schmunk, Sandra K. MA, MS; Hodgson, Michael MD, MPH

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: March 2013 - Volume 55 - Issue 3 - p 310–317
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31827dba1e
Original Articles

Objective: To determine whether a “worksite culture of health” exists within the Veterans Health Administration and implications on integrating employee health promotion programs.

Methods: Three national surveys were used—an organizational health survey, a health behaviors survey, and a worksite environment survey. Cross-sectional associations between measures of organizational health and employee health behaviors and between measures of organizational health and worksite environment were assessed.

Results: There were significant associations between a number of organizational health measures and a combined measure of health behaviors. Likewise, presence of employee-wellness committees and/or coaches was significantly associated with higher appraisal on organizational health measures.

Conclusion: Results suggest that a worksite culture of health exists in some but not all facilities within Veterans Health Administration; this has implications for integrating employee health promotion programs systemwide. A phased-in approach is likely warranted.

From the Veterans Health Administration, Office of Public (Ms Schult, Ms Galway, and Ms Schmunk, and Drs Awosika and Hodgson), Washington, DC; and University of Minnesota School of Medicine (Dr Awosika) and School of Public Health (Ms Schult), Minneapolis, Minn.

Address correspondence to: Tamara M. Schult, MPH, Veterans Health Administration, One Veterans Drive, Bldg 68, Rm 138 (V68), Minneapolis, MN 55417 (tamara.schult@va.gov).

This study was supported by operational funds in the Veterans Health Administration Employee Health Promotion/Disease Prevention Program (Wellness is Now at the Veterans Affairs [WIN VA]).

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

©2013The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine