Howard County Government Workforce Wellness and Prevention Screening initiated January 1st, 2022

2023 NACo Achievement Award Winner

Howard County, Md., MD

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About the Program

Category: Health (Best in Category)

Year: 2023

The National Institutes of Health reports Chronic diseases are a leading cause of morbidity and preventative screenings are the most effective way to reduce the risk. However, many individuals do not take advantage of preventative screening services. Factors that reduce willingness to participate in health screenings include: (1) lack of time off/leave; (2) affordability; and (3) lack of convenience/scheduling of screening procedures is cumbersome. COVID-19 caused significant disruptions in routine health care, where individuals stopped getting this care. Even with medical providers resuming regular office hours, individuals have been reluctant to seek regular checkups and screenings which significantly impacts overall wellness. Through a new effort initiated January 1, 2022 which emphasizes a significant commitment to wellness initiatives and strategic partnerships with local organizations and insurers, Howard County Government launched and implemented several creative strategies to significantly improve wellness education, enhance access to Preventive health screenings, and reduce costs to the County and its employees. The County’s program addresses systemic barriers inhibiting access to Preventive health screenings. Providing workplace screening events which are assessable to the public, allows individuals to have free services, convenient access, and eliminates scheduling/traveling to multiple doctor’s offices. It also reduces workplace absenteeism, mitigates complications from undetected/chronic illness and improves the overall health/morale of the workforce. By instituting a change in the wellness paradigm, the County has succeeded in promoting healthy living for employees, dependents and the community.

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