In October, Healthy Howard, Inc., certified 46 local businesses as "Healthy Workplaces". "The Healthy Workplaces program, a part of the County's overall Healthy Howard Initiative, certifies county businesses that meet specific criteria in six main areas of worksite wellness-physical activity, mental health, environmental health,nutrition, safety and culture of wellness."
Just this past week, Healthy Howard awarded Tower Federal Credit Union and Verizon Wireless for their innovations in wellness. The program awarded $500 to businesses from three categories: small, medium, and large. Businesses that wanted to highlight specific policies designed to benefit the overall health of their workplaces were encouraged to apply for their Innovation Award. The Howard County website lists the benefits of being a member of Healthy Howard as including:
- Public recognition of membership in Healthy Howard from the Health Department
- Increasing employee morale by committing to their well-being
- Eligibility to win an Innovations in Wellness Award
- Business listed in print, and in online publicity
- Healthy Workplaces plaque for display
- Worksite wellness-related newsletters and resources from the Health Department
- Health Department support of efforts and plans for activities and policy development
- Improved employee health and productivity resulting in cost savings
The website also provides a toolkit for initiating healthy workplace policies, a manual for assessing your business's policies, and a list of healthy alternatives for workplace vending machines.