About Wellness Corporate Solutions

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Diversity and Corporate Wellness

This week, Bill Meltzer over at HRBenefitsAlert takes on the tricky and sensitive issue of ethnic profiling in corporate wellness--which isn’t quite as tricky or as sensitive when it comes to employee wellness programs.
That’s because taking employees’ racial and ethnic backgrounds into account isn’t against the law when you’re launching or refining a wellness or disease management program. In fact, it’s actually encouraged, says Meltzer, who points out the well-documented fact that different racial groups tend to be more at risk for certain health problems.
So considering the ethnic backgrounds of your employees can help you create a more tailored, more useful—and ultimately, more effective—wellness program.

Some specific risks to be aware of:
  • African-American, Latino, Native American and Pacific Islanders are at higher risk of diabetes than Caucasian employees
  • Chinese women are statistically twice as likely to get cervical cancer
  • Caucasians have disproportionately high rates of obesity and high blood pressure
  • Latinos have higher rates of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease than other groups
A recent article from Copley News Service offers even more fascinating details and specifics about the varying health risks faced by different ethnic groups.

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