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The “Total Worker Health” Concept: A Case Study in a Rural Workplace

Watkins, Cecilia, PhD, CHES; Macy, Gretchen, EdD, MPH; Golla, Vijay, PhD, MBBS, MPH; Lartey, Grace, PhD; Basham, Jacqueline, MPH

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: May 2018 - Volume 60 - Issue 5 - p 387–391
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001273

Objective: This case study was conducted to identify barriers of integration of health protection and health promotion in rural workplaces with tailored interventions that address the identified barriers.

Methods: Data on a workplace's ability to integrate wellness programs and health protection programs were collected through a questionnaire along with a seven-question interview. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the quantitative data. Qualitative measures were assessed using thematic analysis. Based off the results of the assessments, the company received tailored training sessions.

Results: The largest hindrance to organizational support was time. However, improved knowledge about the need and importance of integration helped the participants to conceptualize and plan for more collaboration between departments.

Conclusions: New ways to increase integration at workplaces, especially rural workplaces are needed. More comprehensive interventions that include management are also needed.

Department of Public Health, Bowling Green (Dr Watkins, Dr Macy, Dr Lartey, Ms Basham); College of Health and Human Services (Dr Golla), Western Kentucky University, Kentucky.

Address correspondence to: Cecilia Watkins, PhD, CHES, Department of Public Health, Western Kentucky University, Academic Complex 129 F, 1906 College Heights Blvd, #11082, Bowling Green, KY 42101-1082 (

This publication was supported by the Grant or Cooperative Agreement Number, T 420H010278, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Health and Human Services.

Conflicts of Interest: None Declared.

Copyright © 2018 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine