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Efficacy of the Berkshire Health System Cardiovascular Health Risk Reduction Program

Merrill, Ray M. PhD, MPH; Aldana, Steven G. PhD; Ellrodt, Gray MD; Orsi, Roberta MS, RN; Grelle-Laramee, Jenna MA, RN

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: September 2009 - Volume 51 - Issue 9 - p 1024-1031
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181b11bb3
Original Articles

Objective: To assess the effectiveness of the Berkshire Health System Cardiovascular Health Risk Reduction Program.

Methods: A within-group study design was conducted. Analyses were based on 502 employees who completed an initial and follow-up personal health risk assessment. One-on-one nurse coaching occurred, with referrals and recommendations based on screening results.

Results: Clinically and statistically significant improvements occurred between initial and second screenings for individuals with high systolic blood pressure, high diastolic blood pressure, high total cholesterol, low high-density lipoprotein, high low-density lipoprotein, and high glucose. Decrease in body mass index for obese individuals was marginally insignificant. Improvements were also observed in exercise, pleasure doing things, and mental health. Improvement in mental health occurred primarily in women and among those aged <50 years.

Conclusion: The Berkshire Health System Program significantly improves cardiovascular health.

From the Department of Health Science (Dr Merrill), College of Health and Human Performance, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah; Wellsteps (Dr Aldana), Mapleton, Utah; Department of Medicine (Dr Ellrodt), Berkshire Health Systems, Pittsfield, MA; Occupational Health and Wellness (Ms Orsi, Ms Grelle-Laramee), Wellness at Work Program, Pittsfield, MA; and University of Massachusetts Medical School (Dr Ellrodt), Worcester, Mass.

Address correspondence to: Ray M. Merrill, PhD, MPH, Department of Health Science, Brigham Young University, 229-A Richards Building, Provo, Utah 84602; E-mail:

©2009The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine