Bright Spot: Worksite Wellness: Health Arizona Worksites Program

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This bright spot was originally published in the 100 Million Healthier Lives Change Library and is brought to you through partnership with 100 Million Healthier Lives and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.


Detailed Description

The Healthy Arizona Worksites Program is a public health initiative that has been developed through a partnership between the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Maricopa County Department of Public Health. The purpose of the Healthy Arizona Worksites Program (HAWP) is to help Arizona employers successfully implement evidence-based worksite wellness initiatives to improve the health of their employees and businesses. Evidence-based worksite wellness initiatives have been shown to reduce costs associated with healthcare and absenteeism. In addition, they have been linked to increased productivity as healthy employees have been shown to be more productive.

The Healthy Arizona Worksites Program (HAWP) is a statewide program that provides Arizona employers with training, technical assistance, tools, and resources to design, implement, and evaluate worksite wellness initiatives. HAWP also works to create linkages between Arizona businesses engaging in healthy worksite efforts so they can learn from each other and share experiences. HAWP offers a 101 training seminar that focuses on helping employers plan, implement and evaluate worksite wellness programs that are evidence-based. HAWP also offers a 202 series of trainings and webinars that include topics such as:

  • Mobilizing Peer Support for Wellness, Making Wellness Real in Schools
  • Leading with People: How Lincoln Industries Succeeds at Worksite Wellness
  • Chronic Pain: Is Pain Hurting Your Business?
  • Tobacco Cessation with ASH Line: Employee Health and ROI
  • Lactation Accommodations in the Workplace, Jessa Zuck
  • Flu Prevention at Your Worksite

During and after the HAWP 101 training employers are given instructions on and information about how to be recognized as a Healthy Arizona Worksite. There are 3 levels of recognition.

  1. The Copper award level recognizes a business that has taken the initial steps to receive worksite health training, gain leadership support, begin organizational assessment, create infrastructure supports and fashion an introductory worksite health improvement plan.
  2. The Silver award level indicates that an employer's worksite program has the minimum components needed for a comprehensive worksite health program including, senior level management support, an active wellness team, a program budget, and use of data.
  3. A Gold Level Award is awarded to businesses that are tracking and documenting outcomes and behavior change. Gold level programs have demonstrated institutional support and have integrated worksite health programs with business policies and benefits. Their programming is data and outcomes driven.

Expected Outcomes

The expected outcome is to reduce the incidence of obesity, chronic disease, and tobacco use among employees through the implementation of comprehensive, Evidence-based worksite wellness programs.


Emerging bright spot (emerging evidence)

Key Lessons Learned

Employers need to be "ready for change." By offering free training on a comprehensive, evidenced-based approach to worksite wellness, many employers will engage but whether or not they take the next step to build a plan and implement is dependent on their state of readiness. Employers are not able to pay for employees to be away from work for wellness training for more than 5 hours. The key to scaling the program is strong strategic partnerships. Wellness champions want to network with others in the field to learn from each other.

Cost Details

The program is funded at $29,000 per year. The Arizona Department of Health Services goal is to train 200 employers yearly through the HAWP program. These costs include personnel, training materials and other associated training costs, as well as marketing and communication.

Key Steps for Implementation

Create training curriculum using Evidence-based framework, promote training through website, social media, business associations, local health departments, collaborations and partnerships.


  • City of Phoenix
  • FitPHX
  • Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
  • Foundation Wellness
  • AtoZ Initiative
  • Mesa Chamber of Commerce
  • Local County Health Departments 
  • Yuma Regional Medical Center
  • American Heart Association
  • Wellness Council of Arizona
  • Erin Collins Associates Broker of Public Benefit Trusts
  • Northern Arizona Public Employees Benefit Trust

Required Staffing (FTEs)


Special Funding

Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS)

Special Infrastructure

The Healthy Arizona Worksites Program is a public health initiative that has been developed through a partnership between the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Maricopa County Department of Public Health.

Website, social media, promotion materials and AV equipment to deliver trainings, presentations and webinars

Types of Staff

  • Manager Masters in Public Administration,
  • Certified Worksite Wellness Program Manager (CWWPM)
  • Policy Analyst Masters in Health Administration,
  • Certified Worksite Wellness Program Manager (CWWPM)
  • Administrative Assistant - Bachelors in Business
  • Administration Policy Specialist Health Education, MDiv,
  • Certified Worksite Wellness Program Manager (CWWPM)

Return on Investment Details

Variable some studies cite 3:1 ROI: Task Force Comm. Prev. Serv. 2007. Proceedings of the Task Force Meeting: Worksite Reviews. **Gilbert-Ouimet M, Brisson C, Vezina M, Trudel L, Bourbonnais R, Masse B, et al. Intervention Study on Psychosocial Work Factors and Mental Health and Musculoskeletal Outcomes. HealthcarePapers, 2011;(Sp)Vol. 11; 47-66.

Outcome Measures

  • Increased number of employees engaged in healthy behaviors
  • Decrease in obesity rate, tobacco use and chronic disease

Process Measures

  • Increase awareness of need to support employee wellness and healthy behaviors
  • Increase knowledge and skills of Employers in participating in policy change to support worksite health and wellness
  • Increased commitment of employers to engage and invest in worksite Wellness program
  • Increased number of employers meeting requirements for HAWP recognition levels

Resources is the intervention website that provides a description of the program and award levels as well as provides resources and links for employers or employees. CDC Worksite Health Scorecard is a tool designed to help employers assess whether they have implemented science-based health promotion and protection interventions in their worksites to prevent heart disease, stroke, and related health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. Lead program staff have been certified as Worksite Wellness Program Managers through the National Wellness Institute. The Wellness Council of America is also a useful resource for implementation of this intervention.

Website of WELCOA Seven Benchmarks
WELCOA 7 Benchmarks
Resource - Website/webpage
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Screen grab of WELCOA Well Workplace Checklist
WELCOA Well Workplace Checklist
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