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DHMH Press Releases > Posts > Maryland Announces State Employee Wellness Initiative
 

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June 01
Maryland Announces State Employee Wellness Initiative
Baltimore, MD (June 1, 2012) - The O'Malley-Brown Administration and state agencies have long collaborated to maximize the health, well-being, and safety of all Marylanders. Today, the Administration officially announced a wellness program geared toward its workforce with the rollout of the State of Maryland Wellness Stat during the 3rd Annual Workplace Health and Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott Hotel in Linthicum.

The new means of tracking data and measuring the wellness of employees through StateStat began in March. The goals of this Stat are to foster an environment that promotes healthy eating and active living at state agencies and facilities; enhance state health plan coverage of cost-effective and evidence-based practices; and end tobacco sales in state agencies and promote smoking cessation resources. All three goals are based on research which shows that 80 percent of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes and 40 percent of certain cancers can be prevented through healthy eating, daily physical activity, and tobacco-free living.

"An investment in wellness and prevention activities can promote the health and well-being of employees as well as the bottom line," said Governor Martin O'Malley.  "It is our responsibility as employers to provide our employees opportunities to improve their health while at the same time improving the bottom line for our businesses, our government and for our communities."
 
Every month for the next eight months will focus on different tools, resources, and programs that can be used by employers and employees to improve their health and to jump-start or enhance an existing employee wellness program.  Some of these resources are already available to the public, such as ChopChop MD (http://dhmh.maryland.gov/chopchopmd/SitePages/Home.aspx) a collection of family friendly and healthy recipes, and the Maryland Quitline (http://mdquit.org/quitline), a free resource to assist Marylanders who want to become tobacco-free.  
 
As a part of the State of Maryland Employee Wellness Initiative, wellness policies will be enacted at the state level, but each state agency will be given latitude to enact their own policies and programs to best suit the needs of their employees.
 
"The health of the workplace and the health of the community are inextricably linked," said Dr.  Joshua M. Sharfstein, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH).  "Workplace wellness programs can help employees adopt healthier lifestyles and improve their productivity and performance."
 
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