Do Workplace Health Promotion (Wellness) Programs Work? What Does the Latest Research Tell Us?

RESEARCH

Ron Goetzel, PhD, MA

Senior Scientist and Director of the Institute for Health and Productivity Studies (IHPS) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health/Vice President of Consulting and Applied Research for IBM Watson Health


Dr. Ron Goetzel will address the rationale behind workplace health promotion (wellness) programs and their potential impact on employee health, medical spending, and productivity outcomes. He will highlight the “secret sauce” necessary to make workplace programs “work,” how to measure a return-on-investment (ROI) and new ways to quantify a value-on-investment (VOI). He will offer a measurement and evaluation framework useful to program managers who want to determine program success.

Dr. Goetzel will highlight recent findings from a RWJF supported study that examined the relationship between a company’s culture of health and employees’ health risks, medical spending, and stock price. He will also review his “top 10” list of best and promising practices revealed from a benchmarking project supported by the RWJF initiative entitled Promoting Healthy Workplaces.


Presenter Bio(s):

Ron Goetzel wears two hats. He is Senior Scientist and Director of the Institute for Health and Productivity Studies (IHPS) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Vice President of Consulting and Applied Research for IBM Watson Health. The mission of the IHPS is to bridge the gap between academia, the business community, and the healthcare policy world – bringing academic resources into policy debates and day-to-day business decisions, and bringing worker health and productivity management concerns to academia. Before moving to Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Goetzel was on the faculty at Emory and Cornell Universities. Dr. Goetzel is responsible for leading innovative projects for healthcare purchaser, managed care, government, and pharmaceutical clients interested in conducting cutting-edge research focused on the relationship between health and well-being, medical costs, and work-related productivity. He is an internationally recognized and widely published expert in health and productivity management (HPM), return-on-investment (ROI), program evaluation, and outcomes research. Dr. Goetzel has published well over 200 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and frequently presents at international business and scientific forums.

Dr. Goetzel is the principal investigator (PI) for a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation study examining the relationship between an organization’s culture of health, employees’ health risks, medical costs, and company stock price. Dr. Goetzel served as PI on a five-year project sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) focused on obesity prevention at the workplace. He was PI for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Senior Risk Reduction Demonstration, New Opportunities for Healthy Aging in Medicare initiatives, and demonstrations focused on Cancer Prevention and Treatment for Ethnic and Racial Minorities, Chiropractic Care, Vision Rehabilitation, and Health Improvement Incentive Structures for Medicaid Beneficiaries. He also served as PI for the Federal Employee Worksite Health and Wellness Initiative administered by the Office of Personnel Management. For the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Goetzel was PI for a New York City-based project supporting collaboration between the private and public sectors directed at employer health promotion programs. He is now a PI on two CDC initiatives focused on updating the CDC Worksite Health ScoreCard and building a comprehensive CDC Workplace Health Resource Center.

Dr. Goetzel has worked with the Department of Defense (DoD) on two health promotion and resilience training demonstrations for the U.S. Army and Air Force. He supported the Office of the Secretary of Defense as the evaluation contractor for the Healthy Base Initiative focused on managing obesity and tobacco use in the military. Dr. Goetzel is working with the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington DC supporting the CEO Council on Health and Innovation.

In the private sector, Dr. Goetzel has led multiple evaluations of health promotion and disease prevention programs at Boeing, Chevron, General Electric, Dow Chemical, Citibank, Johnson & Johnson, IBM, Procter & Gamble, Duke University, University of Michigan, Vanderbilt University, Motorola, Novartis, PepsiCo, Prudential, PPG, Mass Mutual, Whirlpool, and Bristol Myers Squibb. Public sector partners have included King County Washington, Cayuga County New York, and the State of Delaware. Health plan and insurance company collaborators include Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employee Program, Health Care Services Corporation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Blue Shield of California, Highmark, American Specialty Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Mayo Clinic, and Kaiser Permanente. Dr. Goetzel has also done extensive work with non-profits including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO), Transamerica Center for Health Studies, American Heart Association, and The Health Project. Finally, Dr. Goetzel has established strong working relationships with vendors in the health promotion industry including StayWell, Johnson & Johnson, WebMD, Health Fitness Corporation, Virgin Pulse, Vitality, and Pfizer. Dr. Goetzel’s international work includes projects with Discovery Health in South Africa, the Ministry of Health in Israel, Social Service of Industry (SESI) in Brazil, and The Health Promotion Board of Singapore.

Dr. Goetzel is a Task Force Member for the Guide to Community Preventive Services (Community Guide) housed at the CDC, and President and CEO of The Health Project, which annually awards the prestigious C. Everett Koop Prize to organizations with demonstrable health improvement and cost savings data. He is the Chairperson for HERO and Vice-Chair for The Fries Foundation housed at the CDC Foundation. He has also served on several committees organized by the National Academies of Science (NAS).

Before joining Truven Health Analytics (now part of IBM Watson Health), Dr. Goetzel was Vice President of Assessment, Data Analysis, and Evaluation Services at Johnson & Johnson. Dr. Goetzel was one of the original members of the core development and marketing group at Corporate Health Strategies. Earlier in his career, Dr. Goetzel was the Medical School Education Program Evaluator at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he was appointed to the Psychiatry faculty.

Dr. Goetzel earned his doctorate in Organizational and Administrative Studies and his M.A. in Applied Social Psychology from New York University (NYU), and his B.S. degree in Psychology from the City College of New York (CCNY). He is based in Bethesda, MD.