"Working With Heart" was a worksite demonstration program which occurred in three medium sized companies - Farmers Co-Operative Dairy Ltd., Maritime Paper Products Ltd. and Sears Canada Inc. The purpose of the program was to increase employee awareness and knowledge of heart disease risk factors and to encourage positive changes in behaviour. This was achieved through individual risk factor screening, goal setting and follow-up, and by creating an environment supportive of a heart healthy lifestyle.
The Working With Heart Program was directed at those risk factors which were modifiable. When data from the three industries were combined, there was a statistically significant reduction in modifiable risk scores. These results suggest that worksites are excellent locations for comprehensive risk reduction programs. The goal setting exercise, frequent follow-up and environmental changes resulting from the health policies and programs for employees were critical elements to the worksite CVD prevention program.
Overall, the Working With Heart Program met the goals and objectives originally established. Awareness of heart disease and its associated risk factors occurred through the Heart Check Event and a variety of heart health programs offered at worksites. Employees were supported in their attempts to adopt a healthier lifestyle and overall improvements were seen in the modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
One of the most successful components to the program was the partnership process. A variety of health organizations joined together to collectively develop, implement and evaluate this demonstration program. Each partner played an important role and committed valuable resources and expertise.
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