Saturday, May 25 there will be a 5K race at Air View Baptist Church in Skymont, TN.
The cost is $20 which includes a T-shirt.
For more information or to register contact Daryl Collins at 931-224-6907.
Thanks to workers' rights and public health movements, workplaces have become dramatically safer places during the last century: According to the National Safety Council, deaths from unintentional work injuries declined 90 percent from 1933 to 1997. However, workers still get hurt and injured on the job and oftentimes such injuries — and deaths — are completely preventable. No one should have to unnecessarily risk his or her life or health to make a living.
Additionally, more and more research is showing that investing in workplace wellness programs do reap positive impacts on workers' health and pocketbooks. Such wellness efforts also help employers contain health care costs. It's as simple as this: Prevention makes good business sense.
Did You Know?
· In 2011, more than 4,600 workers died in the United States due to an injury on the job.
· While fatal work injuries declined for white workers in 2011, such injuries rose among Hispanic workers by 3 percent. Fatal work injuries also rose among workers ages 20 to 24 by 18 percent.
· In 2009, about 572,000 violent crimes, such as rape, robbery and assault, happened against people ages 16 and older while they were at work. Also in 2009, more than 500 people were victims of homicide while at work.
· In 2011, musculoskeletal disorders made up 33 percent of all work-related injury and illness cases.
· The cost of obesity among full-time employees tops $73 billion, which includes the total value of lost productivity and medical costs.
· Research finds that medical costs fall by about $3.27 for every dollar invested in workplace wellness programs.
What Public Health Teaches Us
Employers start small...
· Understand and follow all workplace safety regulations and best practices. Don't stop at doing the minimum — go beyond Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards.
· Educate employees about workplace safety regulations and train employees to recognize unsafe or unhealthy settings. Depending on your workforce, make sure safety training is available in multiple languages.
· Create a work environment in which workers feel comfortable reporting unsafe work conditions or workplace abuse.
· Provide the required equipment to keep workers safe, such as respiratory gear and hard hats.
· Hold your subcontractors accountable for implementing safety standards and trainings.
· Put in place mechanisms for recognizing and addressing the potential for workplace violence.
· Even our homes can be workplaces. If you employ domestic workers, such as health care aides, nannies or house cleaners, learn what it means to be a responsible employer.
· Practice fire safety drills and prepare your workplace for an unexpected emergency or disaster.
· Take simple steps to create workplace wellness, such as posting hand-washing reminders, catering meetings with healthy foods or organizing workplace walking groups. Reach out to your local public health department — they can help. Also, if you provide employer-based health insurance, consider certain financial incentives that can improve health, such as incentivizing employees to quit using tobacco.
· Wear all personal protective equipment required or recommended for your job.
· Participate in workplace safety trainings and take advantage of workplace wellness efforts, such as flu shot clinics or exercise programs.
· Use your rights to advocate for safe and healthy workplaces — your voice can make all the difference for the workers that come after you.
· Make your support for investments in workplace health and safety known and cite the dramatic progress that equitable public health policies have brought to all workplaces. Write a letter to the editor to your local newspaper or write to your policymakers.
· Invite local policymakers and others to a community roundtable to discuss injury prevention and wellness in the workplace and follow up with specific actions.
· Assist local businesses in preparing for the changes coming via the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The health reform law contains many new changes and opportunities for both employee and employer.
Trend #1: Parks are Good Medicine
“To prescribe NATURE to patients and families to encourage outside time in one of 350 green spaces/parks…”
So reads the short-term goal statement of D.C. Park Rx, an experimental partnership among Washington, D.C., pediatricians, the D.C. Department of Health, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, George Washington University, and several private foundations.
The program’s longer-term goals are to combat obesity and asthma, promote mental health, and foster environmental stewardship among the younger generation. D.C. Park Rx is one of a number of recent park prescription initiatives around the country based on collaboration between physicians and park agencies. Because Washington, D.C., is a city where federal lands and resources exist side by side with high percentages of low-income families and children with obesity challenges, the nation’s capital provides a unique platform for a multi-agency partnership linking public lands to public health.
Pediatrician Robert Zarr, who heads the D.C. chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and whose practice serves a low-income and immigrant population, is a leader of the program and a champion of the park prescription concept. Influenced by author Richard Louv’s writings (Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder) and alarmed by the growing rates of childhood obesity and asthma, Zarr urges doctors to back up recommendations with practical guidance on local resources.
Zarr describes an approach to park prescriptions that blends a traditional exam with a media display. During a well-child visit, if an exam and patient survey indicate the patient could benefit from increased activity outdoors (whether due to asthma or obesity risk), Zarr says the next step is to pull up an illuminated, blown-up electronic map showing nearby parks and other public recreational facilities. Map coordinates are set according to the patient’s address, and doctor, patient, and parent(s) confer as to whether a park prescription might be appropriate.
As an additional resource, Zarr offers families one-page park summaries (evaluated according to a standardized park rating tool and compiled by medical residents who visit each park). So far, he says, the map-customized prescriptions have been well received. And follow-ups one to three months after the park prescriptions show that families are indeed spending more time at the 10 to 15 parks around Zarr’s clinic.
“Many people,” he comments, “simply weren’t aware of all the parks around them.”
Zarr says the next steps are to finish rating Washington’s parks, to connect park data with patient medical records (so that doctors can easily show proximity of parks and recreational programs), and to find funds with which to formally research the impact of park prescriptions.
“The evidence is anecdotal now, but in D.C., where 40 percent of children over the age of 8 are obese…we have to give clinicians—and ultimately families—something concrete to do about it.”
Prescriptions or Scholarships?
In Oregon, where another park prescription pilot program recently concluded, Oregon State Parks outdoor recreation planner Terry Bergerson offers a cautiously optimistic perspective. The initiative found support in the Portland area, Bergerson says, because “the physical inactivity crisis was one of the top statewide issues in the 2008 Oregon Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan…[and] one of the recommendations was to look at park prescriptions.”
Inspired by a New Zealand “green prescriptions” program, a 20-member group of recreation providers, health care administrators, pediatricians, and health program researchers developed a plan to target physically inactive Portland-area youth, ages 6 to 12, during well visits with their pediatricians. The ultimate goal of the Oregon park prescription plan was to encourage sign-ups for such recreational programs as swimming, dancing, or martial arts.
“It’s easier said than done,” Bergerson admits. Even though physicians’ prescriptions were sent to a park and recreation provider—who then followed up with a welcome phone call—resulting sign-ups were lower than expected.
Bergerson believes program costs created obstacles for some families. Other difficulties may have included unfamiliarity with the concept and language barriers. An unusual doctor’s prescription, followed up by a phone call from a stranger, “might have led to some confusion and sort of a feeling of being singled out,” especially for non-English-speaking parents.
Despite the hurdles that have come with the program’s newness and bare-bones funding, Bergerson says he’s never worked on a project “that had more excitement and more potential” than this pilot that spanned three park districts and linked parks and doctors in unprecedented ways. He hopes to see future versions of the program modeled more on scholarships, though, than on prescriptions:
“These families don’t have a lot of extra income. It’d be different if there were some funded programs doctors could send patients to.”