The HealthWorks project is national project model for bettering the health of rural citizens. It provides a mechanism by which major employers in small, rural communities can positively influence the health of not only employees and their families, but also the community at large. To this end, the employers listed below have joined with the Center to share ideas and resources aimed at improving the health of area residents.
HealthWorks collaboration serves the greater Bradford area, where 18,000 of 45,900 McKean County residents live. And because HealthWorks member industries employ or provide sustenance for approximately half of county residents, the employer-employee relationship provides a logical venue for offering education and support regarding rural health issues.
HealthWorks began is 2002 as an initiative of the Bradford Regional Medical Center, Zippo Manufacturing, the Center for Rural Health Practice at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. It is currently funded with support from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. Members and their employers have also donated over $10,000 in contributions of professional expertise and goods in support of the HealthWorks organization and its mission.
Currently working with the HealthWorks team are researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, who are collecting data to help determine the extent to which the HealthWorks project can be utilized as a model for healthful change by other rural communities across the United States.
Healthworks has already garnered attention from state and national publications. To read an article in which the HealthWorks project is featured, please go to the following link. http://www.raconline.org/newsletter/web/spring04.html
“A collaboration of local industries and organizations committed to identifying and addressing public health issues in order to improve the wellness of our rural population"