Government of Guam
Worksite Wellness Program
The Worksite Wellness Program (WWP) strives to improve the health, well-being, and productivity of all government of Guam employees, by enhancing all aspects of health. The WWP aims to increase awareness of positive health behaviors, motivate employees to voluntarily adopt healthier behaviors, and provide opportunities and a supportive environment to foster positive lifestyle changes. To that end, we envision a work environment that fosters and maintains individual fitness of both mind and body. The Program exists to provide continuous encouragement and assistance to employees, through voluntary participation in program activities, in achieving and maintaining a healthier lifestyle through environmental and policy change strategies, wellness education, and other events or activities provided at the worksite.
OVERVIEW, BACKGROUND, AND AUTHORIZATION
In the late ’90s, the Guam Health Planning and Development Agency and the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports developed the Guam Physical Fitness and Wellness Plan: Visions 2001, which aimed to improve our community’s health by preventing and controlling lifestyle risk factors through physical fitness and wellness.
In the past decade, two notable executive orders were created that promoted physical fitness and wellness to the Government of Guam employees based on Visions 2001. These were Executive Order (E.O.) 1998-21 and 2009-08.
In 1998, E.O. 98-21 mandated each Government of Guam agency to develop worksite wellness programs to promote physical fitness and wellness to their employees modeling the policies, procedures, and guidelines recommended in the Guam Physical Fitness and Wellness Plan: Visions 2001. This worksite fitness and wellness program was commonly known as the GetUp and Move Program (GUAM).
In 2009, E.O. 2009-08 was created to revive and improve the GUAM Program. This E.O. created the Healthy Guam Initiative’s Government of Guam HEALTH (Having Every Age Live and Think Healthy) Program Steering Committee which was tasked to oversee the development and implementation of a Comprehensive Employee HEALTH Program. The program would have physical activities and education components whose goals were to provide a well-rounded approach to employee health. This E.O. also mandated each agency to designate HEALTH Coaches to coordinate their agency’s Get Up and Move Program and to participate in HEALTH Program Steering Committee meetings. The revisions made include guidelines on monitoring and evaluation to ensure accountability of each employee and to determine the success of the program.
In January 2010, the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) received funding from the American Recovery Reinvestment Act of 2009: Communities Putting Prevention to Work Grant to develop policies or improve existing health policies in Guam. Through this grant, DPHSS sought to strengthen and improve employee worksite wellness leading to the development of a Comprehensive Government of Guam Worksite Wellness Program.
In March 2012, E.O. 2012-07 was signed implementing the Government of Guam Worksite Wellness Program. The executive order supersedes all existing Government of Guam employee worksite fitness and wellness plans or programs resulting from Executive Orders 98-21 and 2009-08. The “new” WWP is designed to provide a holistic approach to employees’ worksite wellness. The program is standardized to all government agencies and departments.
The underlying assumption of the Worksite Wellness Program is that employees perform at their best when they are healthy and that optimal employee performance is necessary for the island community to receive the best public service they deserve. With this in mind, the overall goal of the Worksite Wellness Program is to develop healthy and well-motivated Government of Guam employees who ACT immediately and correctly on tasks assigned to them because they:
- Are productive anywhere they are assigned to complete a task
- Cultivate a happy lifestyle of healthy eating and active living
- Try to reach out to their co-workers to lead a healthy lifestyle
The Worksite Wellness Program targets all government of Guam employees, with the long-term goal of reaching even the employee’s family members. The latter is based on the belief that it takes the whole family to support an employee’s goal of better health and wellness. Major target groups that need to have a buy-in to the Worksite Wellness Program are the department heads and the supervisors that may make or break an agency’s participation. Most important are the Health Coaches who will coordinate the Worksite Wellness Program at the agency level and whose commitment consists not only of running a smooth operation but also ensuring that rules are followed to the extent that no abuses are committed by the participants.
The logic model also recognizes external factors that may play a role in the success of the Worksite Wellness Program. Major factors related to the impact of family conditions and other non-work-related barriers or helpers such as social relations and commitments, economic factors including the need to engage in a second job to make ends meet thus limiting the participant’s time to engage in health and wellness activities.
It is expected that employees will report that the availability of a worksite wellness program contributes to a positive work environment and healthier behavior. Employees who regularly participate in the worksite wellness programs will experience noticeable health benefits, the better quality of life, will report fewer medical expenses, and will report higher levels of work productivity. The Worksite Wellness Program is expected to improve employees’ over-all work performance including providing better service, lesser absenteeism related to preventable health problems, and increasing efficiency in the workplace.
ALARMING RISE IN NUMBERS OF NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES
Guam has seen an epidemic of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes. The burden of these diseases, including their associated risk factors, has affected each and every family in the U.S. Territory of Guam. This has an impact on not only the health but most importantly, the financial resources of the individual and community. These NCDs are preventable by adopting a healthier lifestyle through proper nutrition, increased physical activity, and prevention of risk behaviors such as alcohol, tobacco, and drug use.
In May 2010, the Pacific Island Health Officers Association (PIHOA) declared a regional state of health emergency in the six U.S. Affiliated Pacific islands (USAPIs) due to the epidemic of non-communicable diseases in the region. The USAPI is made up of Guam, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and American Samoa. According to PIHOA the USAPIs have some of the highest rates of NCDs in the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Western Pacific region represents 37% of diabetes cases in the world. Diabetes, heart diseases, strokes, cancer, and other NCDs are the cause of mortality among the people of the Pacific, placing a significant burden on their daily functionality, and threatening the national security of these island countries and territories. NCDs impair workers’ productivity, increase absenteeism from the workplace, cause untold suffering to patients and their families, and lead to increased health care costs, including expenses for off-island medical referrals. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, amputations, and end-stage renal disease.
Health coaches were tasked to spearhead their agency’s physical fitness and wellness program based on the guidelines stated in the Government of Guam WWP policy. About 104 health coaches have been identified from the 52 government agencies and were provided training on Non-Communicable Diseases (heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes) and wellness (nutrition and physical activity), Brief Tobacco Intervention (BTI), Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS), Heartsaver® First Aid CPR AED, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), data surveillance analysis and reporting, and much other health training. This training provided education, information, and skills to enhance the health coaches’ knowledge to implement WWP in their place of work. They were trained on measuring blood glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol, and body mass index (BMI). An Omron® body composition monitor with a scale that measures body fat, visceral fat, BMI, skeletal muscle, and body weight, and a blood pressure monitor was provided to health coaches who completed training.
Since the launching of the WWP in January 2013, the program has seen a gradual increase of government agencies and employees participating in the Government of Guam Worksite Wellness Program. Health cluster screening has been conducted for the 52 government agencies. Employees can avail of blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol, and BMI biometrics, with health counseling. In addition, the WWP has collaborated with law enforcement agencies such as the Guam Police Department, Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency, the Department of Corrections, and the Department of Youth Affairs to include law enforcement personnel into the program to assess their standards to be in compliance with the Air Force standards.
A 2010 survey showed 48% of employees spend most of their day sitting at their desks. To help promote worksite physical activity, the WWP implemented a pop-up video showing simple physical activity at 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. This program promoted stretching and exercises to circulate the blood and promote worksite wellness. More information on the current guidelines may be obtained from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
A Reward System has also been implemented to incentivize employees to participate in the program. Employees who participate in the program have the opportunity to obtain raffle tickets to win quarterly prizes such as round-trip tickets to the Philippines courtesy of The Guam Regional Medical City and SelectCare health insurance. The Philippine Medical and Dental (PhilMD) referral services provide a two-night/three-day hotel stay in Manila, Philippines.
Reporting a Notifiable Condition:
As mandated by Chapter 3, Title X, Guam Code Annotated, Any person licensed or registered to practice any healing art under Chapter 12 of this Title who has knowledge of or suspects the presence of any communicable disease or any other disease dangerous to the public health, shall report the same to the Director within forty-eight (48) hours after diagnosis, unless a different time is prescribed by regulation, together with the name, age, the village of residence and sex of the person afflicted, the house or other place in which such person may be found, and such other information as may be required by regulation. Please refer to the Official Guam Reportable Disease List.
Who Must Report:
- Hotels, boarding house or dormitory
- Master of Vessels; Captain of Aircraft
- Class I Diseases include those with potential for rapid spread or requiring prompt action for effective control and should be reported within 48 hours by phone in addition to the usual morbidity form.
- Class II diseases must be reported within 5 working days by phone, FAX or mail using the morbidity form.
Government of Guam Worksite Wellness Program Policy
Health Coach Confidentiality Agreement
Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 12:00 noon and 1:00 pm -5:00 pm
Closed on Government of Guam Holidays
For more information call 671-735-7154, 671-735-3601, or 671-735-7298
Fax: 671-734-2103 or 671-734-2104