Cardiovascular health education and support for staff members is an important part of celebrating American Heart Month. The national Million Hearts® initiative has provided a 2-page Cardiovascular Health Action Steps for Employers. The sheet includes a variety of action steps that can be implemented at your organization to promote cardiovascular health for you staff. There are high-impact strategies provided on a table (p. 2) that include the four (4) key topics and several examples. You can also use the examples and brainstorm on simple and inexpensive ways to implement strategies to keep your staff healthy. See the “Think simple & out of the box” ideas to get you started. The four key topics include:
- High Blood Pressure & Cholesterol Management
- Example: Provide one-on-one or group counseling and follow-up monitoring
- Think simple & out of the box: Offer regular BP screenings at the office or team meetings; annual cholesterol/glucose wellness screenings
- Tobacco Control
- Example: Provide health insurance coverage with no or low out-of-pocket costs for tobacco cessation medications, including nicotine replacement
- Think simple & out of the box: Offer reimbursement for staff members’ smoking cessation medications
- Example: Offer discounts for healthy snack or lunch items available for your office
- Think simple & out of the box: Talk with vending machine providers and change up snacks or provide free fruit as an option
- Physical Activity
- Example: Organize physical activity programs for employees (e.g., walking, group exercise programs, or weight training)
- Think simple & out of the box: Host an exercise class after work one or two days a week using exercise videos (won’t need an instructor)
For a more extensive information, you can also download The CDC Worksite Health ScoreCards – An Assessment Tool for Employees to Prevent Heart Disease, Stroke, & Related Health Conditions.
HHQI’s Cardiovascular Health Best Practice Intervention Packages (BPIPs) include a variety of tools and resources for patient and staff education and action.