Health Links was created to help businesses build sustainable workplace health and safety programs by providing assessment, advising, Healthy Business Certification, and connection to vital local resources. We designed Health Links based on key principles adopted from the CDC Worksite Health ScoreCard, the NIOSH Total Worker Health® model, and the WHO Healthy Workplace Framework. We took a business-friendly approach to design, pilot test, and launch an online assessment tool and conducted a market analysis to identify gaps and strengths to reaching small businesses.
Health Links was the brainchild of Lee Newman, MD and Liliana Tenney, MPH from the Center for Health, Work, and Environment in the University of Colorado’s School of Public Health. A Health Links pilot launched the program in the summer of 2013 in Pueblo, Colorado with a generous gift from Pinnacol Assurance, Colorado’s workers’ compensation insurer. In the first year, the program expanded to 18 counties across Colorado with the additional support of community partners and local public health organizations. In 2015, Health Links expanded to Manatee County, Florida, as part of a plan for national expansion.
Health Links continues to collect data and demonstrate impact on health and productivity as we build capacity in Colorado and in other states. Health Links relies on local partnerships—with civic, business and nonprofit leaders, and workplace wellness and safety experts. Small businesses, county and state governments, chambers of commerce, nonprofits and philanthropy all have a hand in Health Links’ success.