Healthy Leadership for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Period of Performance: 02/01/2004 - 11/30/2004

$99.4K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Organizational Wellness &learning SYS
Fort Worth, TX 76107
Principal Investigator

Abstract

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The long-term objective of the project is to develop an electronically-based program that facilitates delivery of cardiovascular health promotion programs to workplaces. The short-term objective is to create an Internet program that trains managers and executives in personal and workplace health promotion. Leader health behavior can present significant medical costs to an organization because of "trickle-down" effects: (1) leaders model healthy or unhealthy behavior to associates, (2) leadership style and decision-making can impact psycho-social risk and protective factors in the work environment, and (3) managers and executives make decisions about whether employees will receive health promotion programs, in short, wellness programs that elicit a positive change in heart healthy behavior affect both executives and their business. To appeal to executives, the program will couch health messages within a business-relevant leadership development program. Program content will draw on the empirical relationship between healthy life-style and known behavioral risks in leaders (stress, social isolation, power motivation). Interactive exercises will feature expert opinions and integrate leadership tips with tools for recognizing/addressing psycho-social risks for heart disease. A prototype web-site will be developed and pilot-tested in Phase I. Executives and managers will be interviewed, and provided Internet access along with evaluation instruments to assess potential usefulness of the program. Evaluation data will provide the basis for Phase II development of a program designed to train leaders to self-assess risks, select health programs, and utilize strategies to disseminate similar programs for workers.