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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wellness PR: Sending the Right Message

As I write this, two powerful U.S. Senate committees are working to craft legislation that will overhaul the nation's health care system. Incentives for workplace wellness programs will likely be a component of that legislation; President Obama and key senators have already voiced their support.

Some interest groups, however, are concerned that wellness programs have the potential to invade workers' privacy and punish people for health problems beyond their control. While it's important to design programs that support employees--not punish them--I hope their objections don't pursuade senators to abandon prevention. It's too important.

A recent article in USA Today addresses the challenge of introducing a wellness program for the first time. Employees deserve to know exactly how their health information will be used, so talk to them about it. Work with your wellness vendor to create an effective communication strategy that keeps them in the loop.

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