Wellness Workgroup Discusses Employee Assistance Programs, UCLA Program

May 29, 2018

At GNYHA’s May 22 Wellness Workgroup meeting, participants discussed traditional employee wellness offerings, including employee injury prevention programs and growing trends in Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). Warner Hudson, MD, Immediate Past Medical Director of Occupational and Employee Health at the UCLA Health System and Campus, discussed WorkStrong, which was developed at UCLA under his leadership. An innovative program for employees with two or more Workers’ Compensation claims, it offers intensive, personalized lifestyle interventions, including fitness, nutrition, and life coaching services. More than 1,000 participants have graduated from WorkStrong since its 2012 launch. Dr. Hudson detailed the program’s structure, recruiting and tracking participants, and associated outcomes. Based on a five-year analysis, WorkStrong reduced expected workers’ compensation claims by 28%, resulting in millions of dollars in savings. Since its inception, the program has expanded to 10 University of California campuses.

The Wellness Workgroup also discussed the trend of expanding EAP’s traditional services. Most large employers have EAP programs. Many have expanded their EAP service offerings in recent years to include financial wellness programming and child and elder care support. Workgroup participants also discussed rebranding EAP offerings and creating stronger linkages with employee wellness programming. Ilene Masser, ‎Director, Employee Wellness, Work/Life and Employee Safety Programs, Human Resources at NYU School of Medicine, described Work-Life Integration offerings at her institution and how they were expanded in the past five years to include child and elder care resources.

Wellness Workgroup participants also discussed recent GNYHA programming, including an April meeting on physician burnout and resiliency, and updates on various employee wellness-related resources and initiatives. Information from the recent meeting can be found on GNYHA’s Wellness Workgroup program page. The Wellness Workgroup meets every other month.