University receives Healthy Arizona Worksites Program's highest award

University receives Healthy Arizona Worksites Program's highest award

By Brad ContentoDivision of Human Resources
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Fewer than 60 employers receive the Platinum-level Healthy Arizona Worksites Award, which requires data-driven programs that impact employees and the community.
Fewer than 60 employers receive the Platinum-level Healthy Arizona Worksites Award, which requires data-driven programs that impact employees and the community.
Helena A. Rodrigues
Helena A. Rodrigues

A diabetes prevention initiative that serves seven counties. A child care reimbursement and subsidy program that pumps more than $1 million back into the state economy. Flu clinics that are free for benefits-eligible employees and family members and immunize more than 3,000 people on the Tucson and Phoenix campuses.

These programs are just some of many that support workplace well-being and health at a scale and sophistication that rank among the best in the state, according to the Healthy Arizona Worksites Program. The program is a public health initiative developed by the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Maricopa County Department of Public Health. In June, the program presented the University with its highest honor, the Platinum-level Healthy Worksites Award.

The award recognizes the University as one of the top employers in Arizona when it comes to positively impacting the health and well-being of employees and the community. Fewer than 60 employers statewide receive the Platinum-level award.

For Helena A. Rodrigues, vice president and chief human resources officer, the award reflects an important pledge that the University has made to its workforce. "Our employees are our most important resource," she said. "Focusing on their well-being strengthens our ability to serve students and the community."

This is the first year the University has reached the Platinum level, which is a step above the Gold-level award earned in 2019. The difference between the two award levels is the extent to which programs are data-driven and positively affect the wider community.

Given its status as a land-grant institution and one of the state's largest employers, the University has a responsibility to listen and respond to the needs of a diverse range of communities. It does so with a holistic understanding of multiple dimensions of wellness.

"We seek cooperative, innovative and evidence-based programs because we have a diverse workforce with many unique needs," Rodrigues said. "A one-size-fits-all approach won't work to truly help employees meet those needs and care for themselves."

In its congratulatory letter, the Healthy Arizona Worksites Program acknowledged the University's efforts to leverage "cross-sector collaborations or partnerships." The resulting programming is able to bolster not only physical health but also personal well-being on a large scale.

To advance employee well-being at this scale, several campus areas work in parallel, including Campus Health, Campus Recreation, the Disability Resource Center, Life & Work Connections, Occupational Health, Risk Management and others. They offer programs designed specifically for University employees, including inclusive and accessible workplace practices through the DRC, worksite health and safety consultations through Risk Management and employee counseling and coaching through Life & Work Connections.

These employee-specific services are free for benefits-eligible staff. They are delivered online and in-person across the University's locations in Tucson, Phoenix, Sierra Vista and others throughout the state.

"We want to be a place that facilitates the best in each member of our community," Rodrigues said. "We know that demand for worksite wellness programming is growing nationwide, and we are hearing more and more from University supervisors that their teams and organizations benefit. We are proud to offer these services for employees, and to extend that philosophy out to the state of Arizona as well."

To learn more, start by visiting the Life & Work Connections website.

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