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Winning at Work: The ADA Program to Manage Diabetes in the Workplace


Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in the US and the American Diabetes Association is reaching out to employers with a unique employee health program. Winning At Work is a tool kit of resources for employees, providing education, risk tests, detection, prevention and management information.

The US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in alliance with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and CDC has set up a website: diabetesatwork.org. The site offers a wealth of information for Human Resources Managers and other employer representatives for developing a diabetes prevention or management program, estimating the number of employees in your organization with diabetes, and designing a health plan for people with diabetes. Diabetics are prevented by federal law from joining the armed forces or becoming commercial pilots.

Glycemic control is a key component of an employer diabetes intervention program. Employees who achieve and maintain good blood sugar control are:
        • more productive on the job
        • able to remain employed longer
        • have lower absenteeism rates
Employers are being asked to look at employee health through a new value model. The old cost/quality model is no longer viable in today's world. The new value model is to get outside of the medical model and look at health promotion as a way of creating healthy employees who are more productive in the workplace. Employee health is then not just another expense that needs to be controlled but an investment with a return to be gained. Efforts to promote employee health can reap huge rewards in medical cost offsets, reduced absenteeism and improved productivity.

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