Date of Award

Fall 1-8-2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Shanta Rishi Dube, PhD, MPH

Second Advisor

Jennifer D. McCormick, MBA

Third Advisor

Kenya D. Kirkendoll, MSN, MPH, RN

Abstract

As healthcare within the United States continues to evolve, novel and innovative programs are needed to address the top three leading causes of death, which are largely lifestyle and behavioral related: heart disease, cancer, and stroke. About 50% of U.S. adults have at least one chronic disease. Entities such as the government, employers, and employees are responsible for paying for America’s healthcare bill; 60% U.S. healthcare is paid by employers. A current solution to reducing healthcare costs and the prevalence of chronic disease are worksite wellness programs, which increasingly are being adopted by employers. The purpose of this study is to conduct secondary analysis to assess worksite wellness program components and best practices as defined by program managers within the corporate and university settings. Qualitative analyses was undertaken to analyze and identify common themes from case studies of nine university wellness programs and interview transcripts from the perspective of eleven wellness program managers from the corporate and university settings. The study findings suggest that programs within the university setting target multiple population demographics. They also seek to improve more than the physical dimension of wellness. As mentioned by the program managers, previous literature, communication, consistency, and components that address multi-dimensions are found to be the best practices of their program. To engage program participants, it is suggested that program managers should seek to expand their programs, collaborate, communicate, and be consistent. To confirm these findings, future studies that use a larger sample of universities and corporations should further assess program components and employee participation.

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