The second year of our NJHCN policy helped us understand some of the challenges with implementing a city-wide template policy. Tri-State Transportation Campaign researched dozens of policies and attempted to craft a policy that could accommodate different types of business sizes and sectors. The document incorporated local Camden actions such as referencing the Connect the Lots, Virtua Mobile Farmers Market and Circuit Trails programs. With this, we distributed our policy through existing networks of small businesses and institutions via three different email newsletters that reached hundreds of local Camden partners.
Although we did not achieve as many businesses and organizations to sign up as we had hoped, we believe that this is a good start for Camden businesses and organizations for thinking about healthy eating and active living. Although the online survey format we selected was an easy to use form that could be easily made into a wellness policy, it may have been more beneficial to have face-to-face interactions by coupling the wellness policy with a workshop or health related panel in the future.
Furthermore, incentives to sign up should be considered in a future iteration of this project: Workplace wellness policies often are tied to a company offering a “reward” to the employee whether reduced prices for a health and nutrition talk, a lunch and learn, a walking tour or even small giveaways may have bolstered the enrollment in the program. Companies also pair workplace wellness policies with discounts or access to fitness centers either on site or nearby, so this could be a good partnership as well if there is this type of amenity accessible to employees.
With the Get Healthy Camden Camden group, Camden can work in implementing some of the actions we highlighted in the checklist at workplaces around the city. TSTC will continue to work with the Get Healthy Camden Group, as well as other partners in the City to further healthy initiatives.