The Wichita Business Coalition on Health Care wants to take a portion of its work and expand it across the state.
It will do so now that it has a $700,000 grant from the Kansas Health Foundation.
The coalition — comprising employers, insurers and health care providers — and the foundation announced the three-year grant Tuesday aimed at creating healthier workplaces throughout the state.
The coalition will use the grant to encourage companies outside of Wichita to develop or expand wellness programs.
The coalition said organizations that have workplace wellness programs often will see enhanced recruitment and retention of healthy employees, reduced health care costs, decreased rates of illness and injuries, reduced employee absenteeism, improved employee relations and morale, and increased productivity.
Ron Whiting, the coalition's executive director, said the goal is to have at least 200 companies in as many as 30 Kansas communities participating in WorkWell Kansas, the name of the state-wide initiative.
"We'll actively work in communities, specific communities, across the state and identify businesses that want to participate," Whiting said Monday.
He said WorkWell Kansas is an extension of Healthy Wichita. Healthy Wichita was a program begun last year that asks business executives to lead the development of a culture of health within their organizations, including implementation of a policy or program that boosts health and wellness in the workplace.
Whiting said specific communities in the state have yet to be selected. Their selection will be done over the next few months, he said. Once communities are selected, the coalition will target businesses and organizations in those communities to participate in the initiative. Those businesses could already have a wellness program in place or not.
"What we find is this is not a journey that you reach your destination," he said of employer wellness programs. "There's always something that can move you further down the path."
Whiting said the coalition is in the process of hiring a coordinator for the program.
The coalition's focus extends beyond promotion of workplace wellness programs. Its primary mission is to control health care costs and improve quality of care.