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A new toolkit is available to help employee health and wellness

(KVLY)
Published: Sep. 30, 2016 at 2:03 PM CDT
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A new toolkit designed to help local businesses support the health and wellness of employees is now available from the Prevention Management Organization of Wyoming (PMO).

“This toolkit can help employers improve their bottom line by showing ways they can support employees in making healthy lifestyle choices,” said Keith Hotle, PMO chief executive officer.

Hotle explained chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes and unhealthy behaviors like alcohol and tobacco use cost the state more than $1 billion a year. “The fact is employers bear the brunt of unhealthy behaviors through insurance costs and lost productivity,” Hotle said.

The PMO worked with local, state and national experts for technical assistance and review at every step of toolkit development.

Feliciana Turner, PMO community systems director, said “We wanted to make sure every recommendation offered in the toolkit is evidenced-based so that business owners know what they try has been proven to work. All sample policies are backed by the most current research.”

Turner said the toolkit offers recommendations to address everything from alcohol, drugs, tobacco, and mental health and suicide to exercise, sensible eating, and breastfeeding-friendly environments.

Hotle noted the toolkit takes into account differences in business types and size. “We know businesses vary in makeup and number of employees so the kit is adaptable to employer needs and business realities,” Hotle said. “Some employers may be able to adopt multiple policies where others may be looking at one or two areas.”

The PMO-developed toolkit was supported by the Wyoming Department of Health using state and federal funds.

Businesses may download a toolkit by going to the PMO website at www.pmowyo.org. A limited number of hard copies are available upon request by contacting local community prevention specialist; local contact information is available at www.pmowyo.org/contact.