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Implementation of a Physician-Organized Wellness Regime (POWR) Enforcing the 2007 NFPA Standard 1582: Injury Rate Reduction and Associated Cost Savings

Leffer, Marc MD, MPH; Grizzell, Tifani MD, MPH

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: March 2010 - Volume 52 - Issue 3 - p 336-339
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181d44d8d
Original Articles

Objective: To determine the effects of a physician-organized wellness regime (POWR) on a cohort of firefighters while applying the 2007 National Fire Protection Association Standard 1582.

Methods: A prospective evaluation comparing baseline with postintervention injury rate data among 252 Howard County, Maryland firefighters with analysis of return on investment.

Results: After implementation of POWR, the Howard County fire department showed a 40% reduction in recordable injuries during year 1, which increased to 60% during year 2. Return on investment was shown to be 4.6:1 by the second year. Moreover, the subpopulation of overweight firefighters showed statistically significant weight loss during the intervention period.

Conclusion: POWR, a specific type of wellness initiative, can lead to substantial cost savings from an injury-sparing perspective alone and has potential to decrease cardiac risk factors among a high-risk population of firefighters.

From Federal Occupational Health (Dr Leffer), Bethesda, Md; Primecare Corporate Health Solutions (Dr Leffer), Owings Mills, Md; and Uniformed University of the Health Sciences (Dr Grizzell), Bethesda, Md.

Address correspondence to: Marc Leffer, MD, MPH, Primecare Corporate Health Solutions, 23 Latimore Way, Owings Mills, MD, 21117; E-mail:

©2010The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine