The Workplace Health Research Network (WHRN), active from October 2014 through September 2016, sought to engage employers, employees and communities to advance knowledge and implement effective, comprehensive and integrated approaches to promote and protect worker health, safety and well-being. The types of approaches supported by the WHRN included research on environmental, policy, and systems interventions; and behavioral aspects contributing to individual employee health. A key focus was integrated, multi-component interventions to address multiple health risks and concerns in various worksite settings, sectors, and sizes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created the WHRN in October of 2014 to develop and execute an applied workplace health research agenda with the goal of increasing understanding of multiple factors influencing employee health; identifying and testing interventions that promote health at work; and, translating research into sustainable worksite-based programs in communities throughout the nation. The WHRN was established as a thematic research network of the Prevention Research Centers program, with funding from the Workplace Health Program, Division of Population Health, and National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the CDC. The network was made up of a coordinating center and five collaborating centers.
The WHRN developed and executed an applied public health/workplace health research agenda. The network’s research agenda aimed to:
- Further understanding of the individual employee and organizational strategies essential for effective workplace health promotion programs;
- Identify, design, and test interventions that promote health at work; and
- Help accelerate the translation of research into sustainable worksite-based programs in communities throughout the nation.
The research agenda focused on answering questions with a rapid impact on improving practice for promoting employee health and well-being. The WHRN emphasized cross-cutting prevention and health promotion workplace approaches, innovative solutions for difficult problems in workplace settings, and the practical application of research findings, technologies, and information generated by the network. The WHRN worked to increase the capacity of public health networks, employers, and their partners to implement science-based workplace health promotion programs that can reduce health risks and improve the quality of life of working Americans, lower health care expenditures and boost productivity.
Having a network with broad geographic reach and strong relationships among investigators allowed us to achieve more than any individual center could achieve on its own.