Johns Hopkins Collaboration

Workplace Wellness: What is the Value on Investment for Diabetes and Hypertensions Programs? 

TI JHU Whitepaper Thumbnail

TI JHU Whitepaper Thumbnail

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the workforce and highlighted the important role of employers in supporting the health of their employees. With many people working remotely and contending with the pandemic, employers can enhance their wellness programs in ways that reduce the risks of many health conditions.

This white paper and more detailed employer guide examine the evidence base and review the effectiveness and value on investment (VOI) of workplace-based programs focused on two of the most common and costly health conditions: diabetes and hypertension.

Because a broad range of options are available to employers, it is important to apply an evidence-based framework when determining the most effective investments. The white paper and employer guide provide practical information for employers and their benefits advisors to evaluate the costs, health impact, and overall VOI when designing their programs.

The white paper and employer guide were developed by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH) with support from Transamerica Institute®. The JHSPH team analyzed and compiled research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Community Preventive Service Task Force which formed the basis for the CDC Worksite Health ScoreCard. Additionally, the JHSPH team conducted interviews and focus groups with subject matter experts from academic, corporate, provider, and consultant disciplines.

The publications are free and available download here:

White Paper 

Employer Guide 

From Evidence to Practice: Workplace Wellness that Works


The rise in health care costs has led many employers to find new ways to help employees stay healthy and productive while simultaneously reducing health care costs associated with preventable chronic diseases. A trend to address this issue is the growth of workplace wellness or health promotion programs. To gain insight into the best practices that are driving the most successful workplace wellness programs across the country, national nonprofit Transamerica Institute® and its Transamerica Center for Health Studies® partnered with the Institute for Health and Productivity Studies (IHPS) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to release an evidence-based, straightforward workplace health promotion guide for employers.

Transamerica Institute partnered with Dr. Ron Goetzel, a senior scientist and director at IHPS, who led the research project and worked with his Institute team to develop a series of actionable steps to help guide employers in designing and implementing a new workplace wellness program or evaluating an existing program.

Employers can use this Guide to implement best and promising practices in their workplaces, thereby maximizing the impact of their program and the benefits to employees and the business alike. The Guide offers easy to use, real world recommendations on the design, implementation, and evaluation of workplace health promotion programs with a focus on addressing a variety of important health factors.

To create a comprehensive program, employers must address both the individual risk factors affecting their employees and the organizational factors that help or hinder employees’ efforts to reduce their risks and get healthier. The strongest programs create a culture of health, intertwining individual-level health promotion efforts with the overall company goals and objectives and ensuring that both leadership and the workplace environment provide support for healthy choices.

Programs are also most effective when they are clearly tailored to the goals and needs of specific populations and provide sufficient opportunities for employee engagement and input. Thus, this guide includes steps to address a variety of factors affecting employee health at both the individual and organizational levels.

This guide includes steps to address a variety of factors affecting different populations of employees and the workforce at large. The guide is free to download here.

Want to read more? Here are a few articles on the Report:

How to Design a Corporate Wellness Plan That Actually Works, Harvard Business Review, March 31, 2016

Report outlines wellness program best practices, by Jack Craver on Benefits Pro, October 13, 2015