Past Issues

Past Issues

Find articles that bh published through 2017 here. Fifteen years of quality content and counting!

Use our Search feature for easy access to our archive of articles.

June 2017 e-news

Connecting for Canada 150 – towards an Intelligent Nation

Canada’s birthday, July 1, marks the half-way mark in our Canada 150 celebrations. It is an opportunity to take stock of events to date while you still have time to decide how you and your organization… Read More

Bullying – Dinosaur at work

“Is there a dinosaur in your workplace? Someone who yells, insults and belittles others into submission, resignation or worse?” Read More

Is a lunch break at work a luxury?

How many people in your organization basically skip lunch, have a little something while working at their desk, and focus on getting through their “to do” list of tasks? … Read More

Random testing at work – rights vs safety

For years, employees fought against it. The issue went to court and they lost. Then, in the first round of random testing for substance abuse, one employee… Read More

Crowdfunding – A revolution in entrepreneurship

Need money to finance a new project or a new business? Maxed out traditional sources of capital? Want to be part of the entrepreneurial revolution? If so, crowdfunding may be your answer. Read More

bh Updates

Get the latest bh article updates. In this issue: Skin Cancer, Innovation – Awards to Inspire and Reward, Marijuana Coverage: Winds of Change. Read More

Spring 2017 Print Issue

Benefits: A Holistic Approach in an Age of Rapid Innovation

“… in an era of rapid innovation, should we be using a conventional lens? Should the paradigm shift … should the debate move from containing costs to increasing value?” Read More

Interview with Keith Liu, SVP of Products and Innovation, Klick Health

“… successful companies tend to be great at adopting the right technologies in an appropriate context and at the right time.” Read More

The JLABS Story: Getting “There” from Here

“… with new technologies, all companies can … seize opportunities to become more innovative, encourage entrepreneurship, and provide the resources and support … to incubate new ideas …” Read More

Innovations in Medical Technology – Diabetes

“… taking steps to prevent disease … means embracing technology and long-term value, even when there are short term costs.” Read More

Doctor on Call – Diabetes

“Access to technology has been demonstrated to improve diabetes management and thereby improve employee health and productivity.” Read More

February 2017 e-news

Celebrate Canada with the 150 Play List!

When was the last time you built a snowman? How about building one for Canada 150? Read More

Health Benefits – To Tax or Not

While this article was in production, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that – contrary to speculation – the upcoming federal budget will not include measures to tax employer-provided health and dental benefits. Read More

A Global Perspective on Workplace Trends for 2017

What does the future hold for the Canadian workplace in 2017? Can we learn from predictions in the United States and abroad? Understanding the trends and being among the first to act can be crucial to success in business anywhere, but who has a crystal ball? Read More

CAN-BIND – In Search of a Shorter Path to Treating Depression

Does winter get you down? If so you may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD, a sub-type of depression that people experience in fall and winter when the days are shorter and light levels are lower. Read More

When Business Steps Up – Syrian Refugees One Year Later

Government support for refugees in Canada ends after one year. For many, their year of support is over, or almost over. For many, too, the question is, “What’s next?” Read More

bh Updates

Get the latest bh article updates. In this issue: Organ donation, Accessibility, Concussion. Read More

Interview with Keith Liu, SVP of Products and Innovation, Klick Health

“… successful companies tend to be great at adopting the right technologies in an appropriate context and at the right time.” Read More

SALVEO Study Targets Workplace Mental Health

 Mental health is expensive. Over next 30 years, the Mental Health Commission of Canada conservatively forecasts that the overall cost of mental health to the Canadian economy will rise to $2.5 trillion. Read More

December 2016 e-news

Canada 150 – Happy New Year! Happy Birthday Canada!

The countdown is on! It will end December 31, 2016. At the stroke of midnight, the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation will begin. Read More

Starbucks Takes the Lead

Since one-in-three working Canadians report having, or having had, a mental health condition such as depression or an anxiety disorder, news that as of October 1, Starbucks Canada… Read More

Branding Your Business

What’s in a name? Apparently not much for Juliet. When Romeo asked, she replied that “a rose/By any other name would smell as sweet.” Not so, for businesses in the 21st century. Read More

The Dark Side of Sugar

“Sugar and spice and everything nice,” “Sugar is sweet and so are you,” “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. Read More

Certification: A New Standard of Wellness

Who knew? Wellness can be measured. Standards have been created and certification is now available worldwide. Read More

bh Updates

Get the latest bh article updates. In this issue: Management of the pain of arthritis and other conditions, Concussion for regular people, Consultation on maternity and parental benefits and leave. Read More

Fall 2016 Print Issue

A Strong Workforce is Inclusive of All Abilities

We all want a job we love, where we are adequately paid for our work and rewarded with the satisfaction of being a respected member of a team. Read More

Interview with Mark Wafer, President Megleen, Tim Hortons, Toronto

Mark Wafer is a Tim Hortons franchised owner with six locations in Toronto. He is an inclusive employer and has hired more than 130 people with disabilities over the past 21 years. Read More

Making a Difference: Inclusion, Innovation, Opportunity … Success – Profiles of Two Inclusive Companies

Meticulon Consulting & Project Services and Dolphin Digital Technologies Inc. share their thoughts on building more inclusive business environments. Read More

Multiple Sclerosis: The Mystery of Invisible Disabilities

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a special workplace challenge. Its disease pathway is unpredictable and the effects we cannot see often require the most sensitive accommodations. Read More

Dr. Melanie Ursell, Multiple Sclerosis

Dr. Melanie Ursell, Consulting Neurologist, South Muskoka Medical Centre, Bracebridge, Ontario; Assistant Professor, Northern Ontario School of Medicine. Read More

August 2016 e-news

Millennials – Reshaping the Workplace

Who am I? I am well-educated, about to get a master’s degree in political science after eight years of post-secondary school studies in photography… Read More

Dads at Work – What’s Changed?

Are dads at work different today? To find out, and celebrate its 50th anniversary, Canada’s Vanier Institute of the Family, created a timeline that looked back on a half century of men, work and family life in Canada. Read More

Multiple Sclerosis – What’s Different about MS at Work?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, progressive disease that affects the central nervous system. It causes mild to severe disability and, over time, leads to increasing loss of physical and cognitive functions. Read More

What Sanofi Says about Chronic Health Conditions at Work

The 2016 Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey has a lot to say about chronic health conditions at work, including the finding that 59% – more than half of members. Read More

Suicide and the Workplace: Prevention, Intervention and Postvention

Today in Canada approximately 11 people will end their lives by suicide – so begins a definition of suicide offered by the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP). Read More

bh Updates

Get the latest bh article updates. In this issue: Mixed News about Organ Donations, Campaigns for Prostate Cancer – Movember Coming Soon! Read More

June 2016 e-news

Innovation: A Ripple Effect to Prosperity

Beginning with an ‘i’ for innovation, this logo encapsulates the ripple effect that innovation has on society. It’s about a powerful movement that is propelling our nation forward. Read More

Aboriginal Business – Opportunity and Entrepreneurship

Canada’s Aboriginal population is a focus for business opportunities. The population is young and growing. In the future, they will be new customers and consumers. Read More

Obesogenic Workplace? Changes to Reduce Obesity

The venerable Royal Alex Theatre in Toronto is getting new seats – they will be the same signature red, but two inches wider, a change from 19” to 21”. Read More

Immigrants and Refugees: Entrepreneurial and Optimistic

Newcomers are job creators and foresee a positive future. Studies released in March 2016 confirm that immigrants form new businesses more quickly and are more optimistic than the Canadian-born population. Read More

Miscarriage? You’re Fired!

Is miscarriage a disability? In a recent decision, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal has said, “Yes,” opening the door to discussions of workplace responses to pregnancy loss and the stigma… Read More

bh Updates

Get the latest bh article updates. In this issue: Effects of Concussion Last Longer – New Research, PTSD – Help For First Responders In Ontario, Skin cancer selfies one year later: The ugly truth – again. Read More

Spring 2016 Print Issue

Finding Meaning: Doing Good Energizes Us All

To make the world a better place for people in need, we must reach out both internationally and locally. “Doing good” for others is energizing – for the people in need and the ones providing the assistance. Read More

Interview with Jim Estill, President and CEO, Danby Group

Jim Estill is a Guelph businessman who is personally sponsoring 50 Syrian refugee families and, in effect, leading a community-wide settlement initiative… Read More

Putting People And Goodness First…participate, have fun and give back

Brand Momentum Inc. (BMI) says its culture is rooted in Goodness. Cynics are sceptical. They say that the bottom line is always about money, that business cannot succeed without a focus on profits and winning at all costs. Read More

Cardiovascular Disease – Managing the Impact on Workplaces

Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is no stranger in the workplace. It is there with employees whose health history includes a heart attack or stroke or who say they have hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Read More

Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)

Dr. Pandey is a Cardiologist and Assistant Clinical Professor (Adjunct) in the Department of Medicine at McMaster University. Read More

February 2016 e-news

Body scans: Fearmongering or life-saving prevention?

“Body scans are controversial. In December 2015, for example, they were called “fearmongering at its very worst.” Read More

Publicly Funded IVF – A Significant Milestone in Ontario

Would-be parents in Ontario have reason to celebrate. As of December 21, 2016, publically funded in-vitro fertilization (IVF) is available in 50 clinics across the province. Read More

Extended Parental Leave – Help or Hindrance?

Parental leave caught the spotlight in 2015. It was featured in Canada’s prolonged election campaign and was a topic of debate on a wider front, thanks to new books in both Canada and the US. Read More

bh Feature Interview! Depression at Work – Part III: Recovery

Returning to work successfully doesn’t just happen. It is the result of planning and effective communication among all stakeholders. Read More

PTSD – Groundbreaking Help in Manitoba

As of January 1, 2016, Manitoba became the first province in Canada to offer compensation benefits for PTSD to all insured workers without requiring that they first prove that the trauma they suffer was directly caused at work. Read More

bh Updates

Get the latest bh article updates. In this issue: Hepatitis C Cure Costly, Hire Immigrants. Read More

December 2015 e-news

One Last Amazing Christmas – in October

It started with a Facebook posting and ended with a crowd of 7,000 people lining the streets of a small community to watch a parade of 25 floats, bands, ponies… Read More

Feature Interview! Depression at Work – Part II: Intervention

Key questions for employers include, “How can we help employees with depression?" “What kind of training do our managers need?" “Why is it important to help?" Read More

Millennials: Obesity an Unnecessary Threat to their Future

Our future prosperity depends on Millennials, but what do we know about them and should employers have concerns? We know that in the US, approximately 70% of young adults (age 18-34) are in the workforce. Read More

Family Caregivers at Work – Who are they? How can employers help?

When a family member is ill, we typically think the burden of care will fall to a “dutiful middle-aged daughter."1 And yet, almost one half of family caregivers are men. Read More

Flex Schedules – An Alternative to the “Torture" of Sleep Deprivation?

Torture at work – really? Recent research suggests that making staff work before 10 a.m. is the same as torture and makes employees ill, exhausted and stressed. Read More

bh Updates

Get the latest bh article updates. In this issue: Movember Over for Another Year, Concussion Legislation – At Last Read More

Fall 2015 Print Issue

Beyond Engagement: Energizing People at Work

Businesses face a troubling trend: employees who are engaged, but not energized. These people may be loyal, committed to the cause, and take pains to get things done—but they are exhausted. Read More

Interview with Reg Robinson, Managing Principal, Solvera Solutions

Reg Robinson is Managing Principal of Solvera Solutions, an IT and business consulting company in Western Canada with a focus on collaboration and team work. Read More

Teamwork – An Essential Core Value

H&M is a global fashion company. It was founded in Sweden in 1947 by Erling Persson as a single store selling women’s clothing and now offers clothing for everyone in multiple locations around the world, including Canada. Read More

The Team Approach to Type 2 Diabetes: What Research Can Tell Us

Reg Robinson is Managing Principal of Solvera Solutions, an IT and business consulting company in Western Canada with a Type 2 diabetes in the workplace is clearly a problem – the number of cases is growing and costs are rising. Read More

Type 2 Diabetes

Dr Alain Sotto is an occupational physician who focuses on the prevention and management of illness, injury or disability that is related to the workplace. He currently has a particular focus on type 2 diabetes… Read More

August 2015 e-news

Plaid for Dad – An Innovative Workplace Campaign

The inaugural Plaid for Dad campaign took place in the lead up to Father’s Day on Friday June 19th, 2015, a time when the focus was already on men and their families. Read More

Feature Interview! Depression at Work with Dr Ash Bender – A Three-Part Series

The cost of mental illness is high. In 2003, mental disorders in Canada cost an estimated $51 billion, not including the cost of prescription medications. Disability related to psychiatric disorders cost twice the average of all causes ($18,000 vs. $9,027). Read More

The Gender Gap – Why Care?

Is there a gender gap where you work and if there is, should you care? Women make up roughly 50% of the Canadian population. That means that give or take a few percentage points in specific cases, they make up half of all potential employees and half of all consumers. Read More

Obesity: A Foe Worthy of Our Attention at Work

Here’s a question. Of the top three global social burdens, which costs society more: smoking, obesity or war – including armed violence and terrorism? Read More

Creative Sentencing – When does the punishment fit the crime?

Employee health and safety are critical – often life-threatening – issues. What should happen, therefore, when regulations are violated and policies and procedures are not followed… Read More

bh Updates

Get the latest bh article updates. In this issue: Weed at Work, Sick Notes – When Doctors Spread Infection. Read More

June 2015 e-news

When the elephant in the room is blue – Reducing the stigma of mental illness

What does an elephant in the room – more specifically a blue elephant – have to do with a Canadian workplace? Read More

Concussion in the workplace – not just an issue for the NHL

It’s in the news again – the family of another athlete who suffered brain trauma and died too young is taking a major sports league to court. Read More

Weed at work – Legally, that is

The status of weed at work is in flux. New federal laws for access to medical marijuana are being challenged in the courts, physicians have new powers to prescribe, insurers and plan sponsors are under pressure to extend coverage… Read More

Trends in workplace wellness – Benchmarks for plan sponsors

What are the trends in workplace wellness initiatives? To find out and identify benchmarks for plan sponsors, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans… Read More

Hepatitis C – Hope for a NOW curable disease

Chances are someone who works for you or with you has Hep C – especially if you work with boomers. Worldwide, an estimated 170 million people have Hep C. Read More

bh Updates

Get the latest bh article updates. In this issue: Skin cancer selfies: The ugly truth, Organ donation – Good news about transplants, and Obscenities in the street: Consequences at work. Read More

Spring 2015 Print Issue

Leadership: The P’s & Q’s of X’s & Y’s

The story of humankind is riddled with tests of ingenuity, resilience and compassion. It chronicles the actions of leaders, and the rise and fall of the organizations in which they serve. Read More

Interview with Veronica Marsden, BA, BSc, Co-President, Tri Fit & Sue Pridham, BA, MA, Co-President, Tri Fit

Veronica Marsden and Sue Pridham are outstanding in many respects. They are women leaders who have received national and international attention for their contributions to the field of fitness and workplace wellness. Read More

Empowering women to lead What winning organizations do ….

Not so long ago, “first” women leadership stories made the news. Today … not so much. Women have achieved leadership roles and many who are already leaders are networking to encourage others and ensure future opportunities for a new generation of women on their way up. Read More

Leadership When Chronic Illness Strikes

Inevitably, descriptions of women’s strengths in the workplace include characteristics like their relational leadership style and their tendency to be empathetic and flexible. Read More

Dr. Peter Anglin, Doctor on Call…Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Dr. Anglin discusses Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), it’s effects, treatments and it’s impact on patients still in the workforce. Read More

February 2015 e-news

Optimism and Heart Health: More than a Valentine

February is Valentine’s month. Valentine’s Day on the 14th is associated with gifts – roses, chocolates, cards, good deeds for those we love. Read More

Still Alice – Living in the Moment with Dementia at Work

“Live in the moment” – that’s the advice of Dr Alice Howland as she slips into dementia at the end of the trailer to the award-winning movie, Still Alice. Read More

An Hour to Spare? Employer Supported Volunteers

Volunteering is simple, right? You just show up at a not-for-profit organization and lend a hand. Wrong. Matching your skills and the needs of others takes careful consideration and time. Read More

Hiring Immigrants: A Clear Case

Employment numbers tell a confusing story. We have heard through 2014 that unemployment in Canada has been relatively low and the country is facing a future scarcity of workers. Read More

The Power of NOGWOG and Abilities at Work

What does NOGWOG have to do with abilities or, for that matter, disabilities at work? And what, by the way is NOGWOG? More about that shortly. For now, consider how abilities… Read More

bh Updates

Get the latest bh article updates. In this Issue: Supporting employees as Caregivers, Phase II Results of the SALVEO Study on Mental Health, The Engagement Paradox and Domestic Violence: A Workplace Issue. Read More

December 2014 e-news

Prostate Cancer: The Odds are Better than Winning a Lottery – #YesToPSA

Sad to say, a man is more likely to believe he will win a lottery than be diagnosed with prostate cancer. And yet, while lottery odds range in the millions, one in eight men in Canada… Read More

SALVEO Study Targets Workplace Mental Health

 Mental health is expensive. Over next 30 years, the Mental Health Commission of Canada conservatively forecasts that the overall cost of mental health to the Canadian economy will rise to $2.5 trillion. Read More

Domestic Violence: A Workplace Issue for Everyone

What do the NFL’S Ray Rice, CBC’s Gian Ghomeshi and comedian Bill Cosby have in common? Not much until you consider the headlines in late 2014. Read More

Supporting Employees as Caregivers: Preparing for Change

In 2012, nearly 6.1 million employed Canadians – or 35% of Canada’s workforce – provided care to a family member or friend. This care is expensive. Read More

From Ice Buckets to Research: A Crazy Idea that Pays Dividends

Who’d’a’ thunk it ? Grown people – often celebrities – deliberately dumping a pail of ice water over their head and posting pictures of the event for all to see! Read More

Interview with Richard Bergman, BCom, LLB, Founder and President, Titan Building Products Inc.

Founder & President, Titan Building Products Inc.: “Once you have local success, it makes sense to expand your customer base around the world.” Read More

Fall 2014 Print Issue

How To Get SMEs Exporting

Allan O’Dette, President & CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce: “… identifying new opportunities for growth is extremely important. Increasingly, these opportunities are present in new and emerging economies.” Read More

Interview with Richard Bergman, BCom, LLB, Founder and President, Titan Building Products Inc.

Founder & President, Titan Building Products Inc.: “Once you have local success, it makes sense to expand your customer base around the world.” Read More

Canadian Success Stories … Competing with the World’s Best

HoneyBar Products International Inc., LED Roadway Lighting Ltd and Layfield Canada Inc.: “Every day, small, medium and large Canadian enterprises compete with the world’s best – making a difference in every industry.” Read More

Beyond Borders … Perspectives on Inflammatory Disease

Perspectives on Inflammatory Disease: “Immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs) respect no borders. Worldwide, they take a personal toll on sufferers and their families and place huge burdens on society, including the workplace.” Read More

Dr. James Gregor, Doctor on Call…Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative Colitis: “Evidence suggests that when patients experience psychological stress, their disease worsens. Patients need understanding and support at work.” Read More

May/June 2014 e-news

Sign the Charter – A Grassroots Tool in the Fight against Diabetes

Canada now has its first-ever Diabetes Charter. In Canada, we are all familiar with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and various federal and provincial human rights legislation, but what do we know about health charters? Read More

MyMedRec – An App that Mobilizes Medical Records

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as many as half of all medications are not taken as prescribed, threatening harm to people and wasting billions of dollars of public and personal funds. Read More

Depression in the Workplace – The High Cost of Presenteeism

 Absenteeism due to mental illness is expensive – estimates of the costs to the Canadian economy are as high as $51 Billion including direct medical costs, direct work losses, and decreased productivity. Read More

Job or Career? – A Case for Valuing Employees

Do your employees have jobs or are they building careers? Results of a national survey carried out on behalf of suggest that going to work everyday is harder when you see yourself having a job rather than a career. Read More

Reducing Risk Factors – Meeting the 25 x 25 Targets

In 2011 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted as a global target, reducing premature mortality from noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) by 25 per cent by 2025. Read More

March/April 2014 e-news

Doctor Sick Notes – Yes or No?

“Sick workers of the world, stay home. And don’t worry about getting a doctor’s note.” That’s a quote in the Toronto Star from Dr Scott Wooder, president of the Ontario Medical Association (OMA)… Read More

Workplace Mental Health – The National Standard One Year Later

Every week in Canada, 500,000 people miss work due to a mental problem or illness. At $51 billion, mental illness is the biggest, growing cost to Canadian business. Read More

Sustainable Growth and Innovation: The IMS Brogan Private Drug Plan Forecast

The evidence for 2013-2017 is in – “growth in overall private drug plan costs will be sustainable and there is room for innovative new therapies to support a healthy and productive workplace.” Read More

Arthritis and the Power of Movement

What is the Power of Movement? We all know the health benefits associated with being active but for people with arthritis – like the 4.6 million sufferers in Canada – the phrase “Power of Movement” has… Read More

The Skills Challenge – Upskilling the Workplace for a Competitive Edge

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce predicts that skills shortages will threaten future economic growth in Canada. In its 2014 report on the Top Ten Barriers to Competitiveness the Chamber identifies skills shortages as the #1 barrier. Read More

Winter 2014 Print Issue

Putting People First. Creating a Culture of Trust

Great Place to Work® is an international organization dedicated to building a better society by helping companies transform their workplaces. Now, active in 49 countries, GPTW evaluates… Read More

Interview with Scot Rutherford, G.S.C, President & Chief Executive Officer, Scott Builders Inc.

Scott Builders Inc. is a leader in commercial, industrial, and institutional low-rise construction markets offering a comprehensive Design/Build service that provides a single… Read More

“Great People Doing Great Work!” Focusing on People and the Community

Ideaca is a Canadian based consulting firm helping customers from strategy to solution through a portfolio of management consulting, implementation and support services. Read More

The Wide Reach of Psoriasis: The “Greater Patient”Concept

This article is based on a bh interview with Andrew Gosse of St John’s Newfoundland, founder and president of the Canadian Psoriasis Network (CPN), a national not-for-profit organization whose focus is on research… Read More

Doctor on Call : Psoriasis

In addition to teaching at McMaster University, Dr. Ron Vender is a dermatologist who currently practices in Hamilton, Ontario, and is the founder and director of Dermatrials Research Inc. Read More

November 2013 e-news

Drug Plan Management – What Employers are Saying

 Employee views and company values play important roles in shaping benefit plans. Read More

Advances in Absence Management – Fresh Strategies from the International Community

New strategies and tools for monitoring employee absence due to mental health issues can reduce employer costs. Read More

Job Satisfaction – What does it take to create a dream job?

 Factors other than compensation are key to employee job satisfaction. Read More

New International Literacy Study – A Prescription for Health

Governments and employers can help contain healthcare costs by improving employee literacy skills. Read More

Diabetes in the Workplace

Workplace programs are most effective when they motivate employees to control their diabetes. Read More

September 2013 e-news

This Just in … Walking is Good for You!

 In an era of high-tech solutions, research confirms that walking has long-term health benefits. When it comes to measuring and promoting walking in the workplace, however, technology may be leading the way. Read More

Let the Competition Begin…

Do you have a Great Place to Work? According to the Great Place to Work Institute, the essential measure of whether your company is a great workplace is whether your employees say it is. Read More

Psoriasis – A Look below the Surface

October 29 is World Psoriasis Day, a global event that sets out to give an international voice to the more than 125 million people around the world who suffer from psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. Read More

Wellness Gaps Affect the Bottom Line

The 2013 Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey, Merging Pathways to Sustainable Health, opens with a call for “closer, more transparent collaboration between all stakeholders.” Read More

Leading the Way to Better Mental Health

Can you envision a psychologically healthy and safe workplace? How would it function and how would it be sustained? Canada’s new voluntary standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace was… Read More

Summer 2013 Print Issue

Workplace Wellness Reaps Rewards

For success in building a healthy workplace culture you need to set goals and develop strategies that address the specific needs of both your employees and your organization. Read More

Interview with Ronnie Gavsie, Trillium Gift of Life Network

To accomplish our goal (maximizing organ and tissue donation) we started the Gift of 8 Movement and launched the campaign which includes a workplace initiative… Read More

Back in Motion

The key to our wellness program – what makes it unique – is that it is run by staff. Everything that happens, happens at the grass roots level. Empowering staff in this way requires a high level of trust in people. Read More

Things you need to know about ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a common condition associated with broad functional impairment among both children and adults and can have a negative impact on both family and work life. Read More

Adult ADHD in the Workplace

Adult ADHD is often unrecognized or underestimated as a workplace issue, even though approximately 4% of Canadians between 20 and 59 years of age have ADHD. Read More

April 2013 e-news

Focus on Function – De-medicalizing Disability

 How would you answer this question? Receiving medical clearance is the most important element in facilitating an employee’s successful return to work. Yes/No Read More

Workplace Amenities Get Employees Moving

Physically active employees just make good business sense, including dollars and cents. Studies show that physically active employees are more productive at work, are absent less often, and use fewer health benefits. Read More

Infertility Coverage: A Life-changing Benefit

Infertility is a recognized medical condition. Even so, many employers do not include infertility treatments in their benefit packages, an omission that can affect the health and wellbeing of their employees as well as the company bottom line. Read More

Love at Work – Success in the Feelings Economy

In an era of downsizing, doing more with less, and persistent preoccupation with the bottom line, love seems a topic better suited to the worlds of romance or psychology. Read More

More Skinny on Skin Cancer

Cancer is a workplace issue and is a leading cause of disability. It directly affects employees and their performance at work and impacts their families, the community and society as a whole. Read More

February 2013 e-news

ADD/ADHD is Just a Kid’s Condition, Right?

ADD/ADHD is Just a Kid’s Condition, Right? Wrong. Estimates indicate that approximately 4% of Canadians between 20 and 59 years of age have ADHD and of those, only 7% or 51,990 have been diagnosed. Read More

The Innovation Imperative – Finding the Right Box(es)

The Conference Board of Canada says innovation is one of the “great issues” affecting Canada today. Deloitte urges business to “invent and then reinvent" because “innovation provides opportunities… Read More

Basal-Cell Carcinoma: Prevention and Treatment

Dr. Tom Salopek speaks about basal-cell carcinoma (BCC). In Canada, BCC affects 1 in 7 individuals over a lifetime and takes a personal and financial toll on employees and their families. Read More

The Gift of 8 Movement – Supporting Transplant Miracles

Canada’s best known organ transplant recipient had to enlist the support of Justin Beiber and Ellen DeGeneres, and use social media like Twitter and Facebook, to tell people she NEEDED new lungs NOW! Read More

Workplace Wellness ROI

Many intuitively believe that investments in workplace health and wellness increase productivity and result in positive outcomes for both employees and employers. Read More

SALVEO Study Targets Workplace Mental Health

 Mental health is expensive. Over next 30 years, the Mental Health Commission of Canada conservatively forecasts that the overall cost of mental health to the Canadian economy will rise to $2.5 trillion. Read More

October 2012 e-news

Are you getting enough – Sleep that Is?

There is a clear link between sleep – or the lack of it – and performance. A number of recent media stories have focused on sleep and insomnia. Read More

Diabetes –Treatment with a Twist

Diabesity is a growing epidemic but what is it? Diabesity is a combination of obesity and diabetes described by Dr Alain Sotto at a 2011 Pathways symposium in Toronto as a concern for all North American society. Read More

Workplace Health & Profitability – What’s fun got to do with it?

In these uncertain economic times, fun can play a major role in the workplace. For Sue Pridham, president of Tri Fit Inc., “injecting fun into the work environment will go a long way to helping employees lighten the load, reduce stress, be active, and promote healthy relationships. Read More

M.A.P. – Road to Recovery

“People who experience mental health issues face incredible challenges in the workplace. Many are misunderstood, shunned and underutilized. Read More

Workplace Asserts Role – 2012 Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey

How do Canada’s workers view their benefit plans? In an era when tough negotiations are leading to frozen or reduced wages, or when benefits are being cut or scaled back… Read More

June/July 2012 e-news

Veggies are good…but vegging, not so much!

If you think you’re not as active as you should or would like to be, you’re in the clear…the clear majority. About 85% of Canadian adults don’t meet the guideline of 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigourous physical activity. Read More

The CLHIA Explores Prescription Drugs

In March 2012, the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Inc. sponsored a round table discussion on prescription drugs in collaboration with McMaster University’s Centre for Health Evaluation and Policy Analysis. Read More

Making it personal – How about an extra 7½ years?

Despite our fascination with any health issue that affects the workplace here at businesshealth, we imagine that some readers could, occasionally, possibly, consider some articles to be not so personally, uh, compelling.  Read More

Mental Health – Good Guidance for Employers

“The psychological health of Canadian workers and workplaces is critical to productivity, sustainability and well-being.” So begins the letter from the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) to Canadian employers. Read More

Recessions are good news for work injury rates

Recessions are generally not good news for employers, workers, or governments, but there is a silver lining for Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) claims. Read More

Spring 2012 Print Issue

The Strength of Culture: How you engage people is critical to success!

The vision of the Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank (CIFB) is “Working Together to Create a Hunger Free Community". Combining a strong employee culture with engaged volunteers has lead to some remarkable ‘bottom line results’ for this organization. Read More


Diabetes is a largely preventable, global epidemic that costs the Canadian health care system billions of dollars each year. Read More

Health Coaching for Chronic Conditions

More than 50% of Canadians have a chronic disease or condition. Combining direct medical costs and indirect productivity losses, the total economic burden of chronic illness exceeds $100 billion a year. Read More

Interview with Sandra Watt, Chief of Organizational Learning and Development, and Dr. John Colangeli, CEO, Lutherwood

Lutherwood is a non-profit, non-union social service organization operating in Waterloo Region and Wellington County, Ontario. It has 400 employees in seven locations operating three services… Read More

The Drummond Spillover

Ontario is big and likes to think big, with 39% of both Canada’s population and its Gross Domestic Product too. But at $14 billion, it also has the largest deficit relative to GDP of any province, and rapidly increasing net debt. Read More

January/February 2012 e-news

Targeting Drug Adherence

Canadians expect our provincial health plans to provide a safety net against the high cost of health care. Most of us also benefit from employer sponsored drug plans. But despite forty years of Medicare, important gaps in care still exist. Read More

Advertising Junk Food to Kids

About 17% of Canadian children and youth aged 6 and older are overweight; nine percent more are obese. The issue has been linked to child-targeted advertising of foods high in calories, fat, sugar, or sodium. Read More

Are PBMs Ahead or Behind Employers?

Recently, Express Scripts Canada (ESC) made interesting and potentially important announcements about introducing mail order drug delivery and opening its own pharmacy. Read More

Considering the Full Cost of Absence

Absence is undoubtedly a large, if largely unmeasured, cost to employers. But absence is just one of many drains on productivity, which would include the cost of disability programs, overtime, replacement workers, workers’ compensation, and of course presenteeism. Read More

Evolving to a Healthy Organization

Healthy workplaces have evolved. Narrowly conceived as employee fitness in the 1970s, the concept grew to include disease management, and then stress and mental health. Read More

Nov/Dec 2011 e-news

The State of Workplace Wellness in Canada

The 2011 Buffett National Wellness Survey report showed almost all (97%) of the 677 Canadian employer participants agreed that employee health influences overall corporate performance. Read More

Benefits and Small Businesses

It would be hard to find a time when more research has been conducted by insurers and others on health benefit plans in Canada. Read More

More Help Needed for Those with Depression

Mental health issues remain a significant, costly and persistent issue in workplaces. They dominate long-term disability claims. Read More

Next Up – A Fat Tax?

No, the headline is not about taxing overweight people, but unhealthy foods. On October 1, 2011 Denmark became the first nation to impose a tax on food containing more than 2.3% saturated fat. Read More

The Pros and Cons of Covering Biologics

One of the greatest threats to employer drug plan sustainability is coverage for specialty drugs. Read More

Fall 2011 Print Issue

Two sides of the same coin: A great client experience depends on a great workplace culture

Grant Thornton LLP has been recognized as one of Canada’s Best Workplaces by the Great Place to Work Institute for the past four years. Read More

Dr. D. Scott Ernst, MD, FRCPC

Dr. Ernst speaks to the importance of early detection and prevention in dealing with an increasing incidence of skin cancer and melanoma in Canada. Read More

Employers and Elections

Canadians in four provinces and one territory face elections in October. While voting is an act of citizenship for individuals, many organizations seek to understand and sometimes influence issues that are important to them as well. Read More

Interview with Ross Clark, BA, CA, MTS, ICD.D.

L.V. Lomas is a distributor of industrial and fine chemicals. They have 216 employees located in four locations around Toronto, and additional sites in Vancouver and Montreal. Read More

The Skinny on Skin Cancer

Probably because of our cooler and often cloudier climate – especially on weekends! – Canadians don’t pay as much attention to skin cancers as we should. Read More

May/June 2011 e-news

Leaders can lead better health programs

 A new survey involving 442 US employers indicated that just 25% believed their senior leadership and culture was very supportive of employee health management. Read More

Ontario residents – join the Ontario health study!

Over 25,000 Ontarians have already enrolled in this long-term population study of the causes, prevention and treatment of chronic disease. It takes 20-30 minutes to sign up, with brief optional follow-up surveys annually. Read More

A different kind of company

Health promotion programs in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) tend to be quite creative in origin, and are highly social. They reflect the organization, are often personally endorsed by owner-managers, and rely on volunteers. Read More

Can employers end the blank cheques?

Even before becoming an Assistant Deputy Minister, Helen Stevenson enthusiastically implemented two sets of major reforms for the $4 billion Ontario Drug Benefit Plans (ODBP). Read More

Connecting the front lines to the bottom line

 Far from being expendable, front-line employees represent your best shot at improving the bottom line, according to McGill University researcher Jody Heymann. Read More

Employee health risks impact productivity

American research on using health promotion plans to control employer health plan costs is often used to justify similar efforts for Canadian employers. Read More

March/April 2011 e-news

The Easy Life…is Shorter

Canadians have reported increasing levels of physical activity…but more of us are overweight and obese, and have Type 2 diabetes. Muscular strength and flexibility have been declining for thirty years. Read More

What’s the Right Number of Pharmacies?

The pharmacy industry has claimed stores would be closed as a result of a staged 50% reduction in the price of generic drugs in Ontario. But how many pharmacies do we need? Read More

A New Group Product…Research!

 In 2009, the top-ranked group health carrier (insured and ASO) was Sun Life. To help support its position, the company recently published the Canadian Health Index. The report examines the attitudes, perceptions and behaviours of Canadians towards prevention. Read More

One Disability, Many Options, No Standards

A recent report reviews the many ways in which the disabled may access income security plans. Read More

Ontario Residents – Join the Ontario Health Study!

About 17,000 Ontarians have already signed up to participate in this long-term population study of the causes, prevention and treatment of chronic disease. It takes 20-30 minutes to enrol, with brief optional follow-up surveys annually. Read More

Six Pillars and One Dashboard

A new workplace health study relied on about 300 interviews at ten US companies that have sponsored successful health promotion programs. The authors identified six pillars that support “strategically integrated” programs. Read More

Winter 2011 Print Issue

Reporting Employer Best Practices in Mental Health

The Great Place to Work Institute Canada worked with Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC) on a report that reviewed options and actions to address workplace stress. Read More

Why Mental Health Matters

Mental health matters to employers because it is typically the most common diagnosis – either primary or secondary – among those on long term disability. Read More

Living in a Psychologically Safe Workplace

Martin Shain, SJD, Director and Founder of the Neighbour @ Work (N@W) Centre, Caledon, ON. Dr. Shain holds a doctorate in Law, and is a Professor with the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto… Read More

Mental Health

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines mental health as “… a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community." Read More

Mood Disorders Association of Ontario

Up to 20% of your workforce will suffer from a mood disorder at some point. Executives, managers, and co-workers all have a role to play in reducing stigma, encouraging conversation, and opening the door to prevention, treatment and return to work. Read More

Are you getting enough – Sleep that Is?

There is a clear link between sleep – or the lack of it – and performance. A number of recent media stories have focused on sleep and insomnia. Read More

Nov/Dec 2010 e-news

The Skinny on Workplace Nutrition Programs

Obesity is one of North America’s major public health challenges. About 60% of Canadian adults are overweight or obese, as are one in four (26%) of our children. Read More

Another Call for a National Drug Plan

A new report projected that Canada’s prescription drug spending could be cut by over 40% ($10.4 billion) if a national, universal, first-dollar coverage pharmacare program was introduced. Read More

Companies Act to Improve Work-Life Balance

A leaner and meaner workplace might be expected in the face of a slow economy and stubbornly-high unemployment. Read More

Healing the Drug Industry

The business model for the pharmaceutical industry has relied upon blockbuster products, those with annual sales of at least one billion dollars. Read More

Quantifying the Cost of Mental Illnesses

So-called “mental and nervous conditions” have been the major cause of long-term disability for years. A new study uses data from a large Canadian resources company to quantify and… Read More

September 2010 e-news

An Imperfect Storm – Systems issues frustrate return to work

Many smaller firms have just a few employees who have ever become disabled and qualified for Workers’ Compensation or long-term disability payments. Read More

CMA weighs in on health transformation

The Canadian Medical Association has issued the latest in its contributions to encourage public discussion about our health services. Read More

The 13th Annual sanofi-aventis Healthcare Survey

The survey is the national barometer of employee attitudes and perceptions of health benefit plans and the Canadian healthcare system. Read More

Update: More changes in public drug programs

As expected, recent changes to the Ontario Public Drug programs have triggered change in other provinces, and soon right across Canada. Read More

Summer 2010 Print Issue

The Karo Group

The Karo Group is a leading brand management agency with offices in Calgary and Vancouver. Read More

Bone Health

Dr. Marla Shapiro speaks to the importance of bone health, and her approach to managing this issue among her patients. Since the condition presents itself without symptoms, timely and accurate diagnosis is difficult, and effective treatment is rarely prescribed or maintained. Read More

Can you get there from here?

Three provinces have embarked on significant changes to drug policy that affect private plan sponsors. As the provinces again act to control their costs, the pharmacy industry is likely to raise prices elsewhere to compensate. Read More

Environics Communications Inc: Recognising Leadership

Environics Communications is a firm on a roll. After being honoured by its industry peers in January, it recently placed first among 75 organizations named to this year’s prestigious Best Workplaces list. Read More

Osteoporosis and Bone Health

Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue. Eventually, a more fragile bone structure results in fracture, particularly of the hip, spine and wrist. Read More

March 2010 e-news

The Kids are Not Alright

In recent years, there have been sad tales concerning the health of Canadian children. Statistics Canada reported that 26% of our kids aged 2 to 17 were overweight or obese in 2004. Read More

All You Never Wanted to Know about Stress

“Internalizing" stress has been linked to heart disease. Different than chronological aging (the passage of time), biological aging, or what researchers call “allostatic load", is defined as the accumulated effects of strain on the body that can encourage disease. Read More

An Update on Changes to the Ontario Drug Programs

Last summer, key stakeholder groups were invited by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to discuss changes to the provincial drug programs. Read More

Drug Pricing Discrepancies

Maybe you’ve assumed there is little difference in the final price of a drug from one pharmacy to another. But over the last few years, the world has changed, and now drug ingredient costs, mark-ups, and dispensing fees vary significantly. Read More

Putting the Spotlight on Covert Coping

Coping can be described as the active and cognitive responses used to handle stressful events, such as those at work. Coping can be either open, or covert (avoiding conflict). Read More

Fall/Winter 2009 Print Issue

Toronto East General Hospital: “Dreaming, Believing, Achieving”

Eighty years young, the Toronto East General Hospital has been exceptionally well recognized both within and outside the hospital community for its many accomplishments. Read More

Employers and Drug Policy

I’ve been privileged to be part of the insurer-led discussion group working with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care as they review the provincial Drug Benefit Plans (ODBP). Read More

Interview with Helder Botelho

AOC supplies resins, gel coats, colourants and additives for composites and cast polymers. Its Canadian plant in Guelph employs 79 people and supplies resins to several industries, all hard hit by the recession. Read More

Just can’t get enough sleep? Uh oh.

Like the weather, everyone complains about the sleep they get: not enough. Sleep is defined as “a state marked by reduced consciousness, diminished activity in skeletal muscles, and depressed metabolism.” Read More

The High Cost of Poor Sleep

Dr. Morin co-authored a recent study documenting the economic burden of insomnia that suggests employers are bearing a large chunk of those costs through absence and reduced productivity. Read More

August/September 2009 e-news

The Latest on Generic Biologics

Following the first biologic drug approval in 1982, over 250 have been approved in the US. Between 2003 and 2006, they accounted for 24% of all new chemical entities. Read More

Health Impacts Productivity

A new American study concludes that employers must measure and manage absence and presenteeism because they have such a significant effect on total health costs. Read More

Lessons from US Health Reform Efforts

s the United States struggles again with reforming its health system, the non-partisan Commonwealth Fund has suggested a way to pay for change. Read More

Let’s Get It Together

What’s “it”? The Canadian Council on Integrated Healthcare (CCIH) defines “it” as “equitable and reasonable access [to prescription drugs] without undue financial hardship for all Canadians”. Read More

Ontario: Bill 102, Part 2

The Ontario government introduced big changes in its drug procurement systems and cost structure when Bill 102 was proclaimed as the Transparent Drug System for Patients Act in 2006. Read More

Spring/Summer 2009 Print Issue

Where there’s smoke…there’s lost productivity

It may surprise you to learn that Canadian tobacco manufacturers sold an astounding 17.5 billion cigarettes in 2008, according to Statistics Canada. Read More

A View on Smoking, by Dr. David Wolkoff

Although the effects of smoking have been blunted by a generation of science, legislation, and changed social norms, it remains a serious challenge. Read More

An Eye to the Future

Jim Bishop, an American journalist and writer, said back in 1961: “It is difficult to live in the present, ridiculous to live in the future, and impossible to live in the past.” Read More

Making it Easy

Executive sponsorship of workplace health strategy and programming is seen as key to its success. Normally, a human resources executive gets the nod. Read More

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business

The CFIB represents the issues and concerns of small and medium-sized businesses across Canada. Currently, there are five major themes that consume the CFIB’s 105,000 members. Read More

January 2009 e-news

Insight on Incentives

An American survey of 500 large corporations looked at the use of incentives and disincentives to affect employee health decisions. The first key finding was that incentives were “widespread”. Read More

Bad Bosses and Broken Hearts

You may have jokingly said at some point that your boss was going to give you a heart attack. Turns out, that could be true. Read More

Disability Benefits – Challenging the Status Quo

Many employers provide income protection plans for absence, short term disability (STD), and long term disability (LTD). A 2007 paper reports about half of Canadian employees have access to LTD… Read More

Drug Plan Management – Dancing in the Dark

A new review of published Canadian literature suggests drug plan managers tend to rely on intuition and aim for financial expediency. Read More

Generic Drugs Generate Challenge

The federal Competition Bureau released a study in 2007 that stated Canadian generic drug prices were high relative to other countries. Read More

Autumn 2008 Print Issue

The End of Health Promotion at Work?

Information in the 2008 sanofi-aventis Healthcare Survey suggests workplace wellness programs are on the wane. Fewer employees report having access, and fewer said they use them. Read More

Diane Lacaille, MD, MHSc, FRCPC

Biologics are expensive, but are they worth it? Dr. Lacaille has been at the fore in researching the effects of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) on the workplace. Read More

Biologics: The New Face of Medicines

Today we are far luckier than our ancestors of only a generation ago. New hope has emerged for those suffering from certain traditionally hard-to-treat diseases, like… Read More

Cultivating People Gets Business Results

Precision BioLogic Inc. (PBI) is based in Dartmouth NS, and provides diagnostic products to laboratories around the world. It was the proud recipient of a 2008 Best Workplaces in Canada award. Read More

Karen Mason, Sr. Vice President, Group, Equitable Life

A senior insurance company executive, Karen Mason, describes the Conference Board project she’s been supporting for the last two years. Read More

July 2008 e-news

Not just about money: The Cancer Advocacy Coalition’s 2007 Report

The Cancer Advocacy Coalition of Canada produces the annual Report Card on Cancer in Canada. While full of numbers and costs, it also includes a compelling human perspective on living with this disease. Read More

Obesity management: Good for public health; bad for public purse

A major motivation for investing in disease prevention is to reduce costs. For example, it seems obvious that healthcare dollars spent on heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and certain cancers would be saved if obese people returned to normal weight. Read More

Employers speak in the 2008 sanofi-aventis Healthcare Survey

The sanofi-aventis Healthcare Survey is the “barometer" of employee perceptions of their health benefits, their workplace, and the Canadian healthcare system. Read More

ESI Canada sounds the alarm

This year’s ESI Canadian Outcomes Conference wasn’t just trend lines and pie charts. ESI Canada’s President Michael Biskey challenged the private payer community to respond to a number of recent marketplace events. Read More

Key issues in Canadian wellness programs

There is very little published, arms-length, peer-reviewed research on Canadian workplace health promotion strategies or programs. This often leaves employers and their advisors… Read More

Spring 2008 Print Issue

Starting and Sustaining a Healthy Workplace

To assure success and longevity, any healthy workplace strategy must align with business objectives. But more Canadian organizations need to invest the time in careful planning and internal communication to meet this fundamental tenet. Read More

Dr. Errol Ferguson

Dr. Ferguson reflects on almost 40 years of working as a physician, and the important differences in perspectives between private practice doctors and their colleagues in disability management. Read More

Managing Return to Work

Much has been written about disability management, but little has changed. In private disability insurance, so-called “mental/nervous" claims, mostly depression, have become the prime cause of long-term disability. Read More

Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board

In 2006, about 1,000 people died on the job in Canada, including 331 in Ontario. Mr. Mahoney spoke about The Road to Zero, a very important new campaign for the WSIB. Read More

Pushing Drug Plans

 A slate of singular though important changes affecting drug plans has occurred across Canada in recent months. Three older brand-name drugs have replaced their formerly low-cost generic competitors in both public and private plans. Read More

December 2007 e-news

The Issues of Aging

A new US study begins with the startling fact that 43% of those in the workforce between 2004 and 2012 will be eligible to retire over the next ten years. Read More

Hitting the Big Time

You know that the need for healthy workplaces has reached a certain state of maturity when PricewaterhouseCoopers and the World Economic Forum get involved. Read More

Intention to Vaccinate

If you have a pre-adolescent or teenage daughter, you may be unsure whether to vaccinate your child with the new vaccine for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Read More

Re-thinking the Work Relationship

While other surveys report high levels of job satisfaction, a new study says less than 20% of Canadian workers describe themselves as highly engaged. Read More

Canadian Study on Work and Stress

Most companies’ experience with mental health issues at work is, well, depressing. There are many reasons – complexity, ignorance, stigma, poor diagnosis and treatment are chief among them. Read More

More Skinny on Skin Cancer

Cancer is a workplace issue and is a leading cause of disability. It directly affects employees and their performance at work and impacts their families, the community and society as a whole. Read More

Autumn 2007 e-news

The Xerox Email Journey to “Take Back the Hour"

 Have you ever been copied on an email that has no relevance to you? How many times have you started to “just check your emails" and caught yourself two hours later, way off track from your plan for the day? Read More

Cervical Cancer: Progress or Progression

Of the 200 different kinds of cancer, cervical cancer is relatively rare. In 2007, it is expected that there will be about 1,350 new cases, and 390 deaths in Canada. Read More

Dr. Nancy Durand, FRCS, Gynaecologist

The first vaccine for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) was released a year ago. In coming years, the targeted population will expand to include older women and boys. Federal funding of $300 million will have limited impact. Read More

Share the Wealth

Graham Lowe, one of our Advisory Board members, is well known as one of Canada’s foremost experts on the workplace. Through the Canadian Policy Research Networks (… Read More

Debbie Samsom, CEO, Back In Motion Rehab Inc.

Back in Motion Rehab is an exemplary company, finishing first in almost all categories ranked in the 2007 Best Workplaces list. Read More

September 2007 e-news

The Qualities of an Effective Asthma Program

Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that narrows the airways and causes spasms in the lungs. It can be controlled through long-acting ‘preventer’ and quick-acting ‘rescue’ medications. Read More

Benefits: The Line is Drawn

In recent weeks, three surveys have reflected dramatically different needs and expectations among employees and employers. Read More

Cancer: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

As we age, the saying goes, every pain becomes a symptom…and cancer becomes a fear in most of us. According to Manulife Financial, cancer was the third-leading cause of long term disability in 2006… Read More

IWH Update: Safety Training and Disability Management Practices

The Institute for Work & Health (IWH) is essentially the research arm of the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. Read More

Pushing the Envelope

Frequently, we find a greater appetite among American employers for strategies that improve the health of employees and thereby reduce benefit costs. Read More


Diabetes and its complications cost the Canadian health care system an estimated $13.2 billion… By 2010… the associated costs on the health care system will [be] more than $15.6 billion a year… Read More

Spring 2007 Print Issue

The Fight for Progress: Innovation or Inertia?

Change comes slowly in health services, despite an overwhelming need to reflect current science, budgets, and consumer practices. Read More


Diabetes and its complications cost the Canadian health care system an estimated $13.2 billion… By 2010… the associated costs on the health care system will [be] more than $15.6 billion a year… Read More

Mona Fanous, Katz Group.

For many years, pharmacists have worked to align their training and skills with the broader health needs of their customers. Diabetes presents many opportunities for pharmacists to help patients manage their health, whether adult or child. Read More

A Force for Change: Policing Tradition Meets Modern Management

The Toronto Police Service (TPS) has a long tradition of service to the public. Faced with work that is at times both routine and heartpounding, new territory is being staked out in both organizational health and personal fitness. Read More

Donald Speers, Controller, Arrow Hose & Tubing Inc.

 Arrow Hose, a small manufacturer, has taken a lead in developing its pandemic flu plan. Driven by a customer inquiry, it used external resources to create the plan and integrate it with an overall business continuity plan. Read More

Jan/Feb 2007 e-news

US Company Links Benefits to Health Screening

A majority of American companies have disease screening and health programs available for their employees. Though voluntary, the evidence shows positive impacts on both plan member health and corporate costs. Read More

Are The 50 Best Really Top Employers and a Great Place to Work?

The Globe & Mail and Hewitt Associates just published their eighth annual list of The 50 Best Employers in Canada. Last October, Macleans and Mediacorp produced their sixth annual list of Canada’s Top 100 Employers. Read More

Employer Thinking on their Health Obligations

Though this recent article reflects an American perspective, the content is eerily familiar to Canadian benefit plan sponsors. For example, the article begins: Employers have largely been ineffective and unenthusiastic managers of the health benefits they sponsor. Read More

Insight on Job Attitudes

A key question for employers is how important job attitudes are in predicting performance, productivity and workplace behaviours. If attitudes are important, then an action plan can be better focused to improve them and ultimately, productivity. Read More

Physician Views on Drug Adherence

This syndicated, web-based survey of 518 Canadian general practice and specialist physicians describes how doctors across Canada view adherence to drug therapies. Read More

Fall/Winter 2006 Print Issue

What, me worry?

An influenza pandemic will most likely hit Canada quickly and wreak havoc. Very few businesses have written a pandemic plan despite the likelihood of both high risk and high impact Read More

Dr. David McKeown

The City of Toronto is among the best-prepared jurisdictions in Canada for a pandemic, a caution bred from its deadly, expensive, and seriously disruptive exposure to SARS in 2003. Read More

Jay Myers, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

The scope of potential pandemic impacts is huge, with very important human, financial, social and trade consequences. Read More

Thoughts on a Pandemic

1. “Our model predicts that a mild pandemic would reduce annual GDP [Gross Domestic Product] growth by 2 percentage points from what it would otherwise be. Read More

Monitoring Prescription Drugs: A Split Decision

As usual, the 2005 annual report of Ottawa’s Patented Medicine Prices Review Board has good news. Read More

Canadian Employers Could Improve Mental Health

 A March 2006 survey of 1,501 Canadians indicates a largely positive attitude about our own health, and our access to private health plans. Read More

August/September 2006 e-news

Monitoring Prescription Drugs: A Split Decision

As usual, the 2005 annual report of Ottawa’s Patented Medicine Prices Review Board has good news. Read More

Canadian Employers Could Improve Mental Health

 A March 2006 survey of 1,501 Canadians indicates a largely positive attitude about our own health, and our access to private health plans. Read More

Economic Evaluation Made Easier

Faced with scarce resources and competing demands, how do we calculate the value of our drug plan? How do we measure better health? What are the consequences of spending less from the point of view of employees? Read More

Engagement = Satisfaction + Commitment

In the excess of the eighties, searching for excellence was all the rage. Twenty years later, it was emotional intelligence. Now, engagement is the new “e” word. Read More

Help Wanted: Dealing with an Aging Population at Work

Canada’s demographic situation is not quite a crisis, but close. The Conference Board calls this “one of the great challenges facing the country”. Read More

Spring/Summer 2006 Print Issue

The Question of Incentive

The number of employers with workplace health programs and services is still less than 50%. Financial incentives might encourage more employers to get on board, either through the tax system, or through Workers’ Compensation. Read More

Dr. Hyman Tannenbaum

Arthritis can severely affect ability to work, and the activities of daily living…and not just for older Canadians. Most patients are “resourceful and motivated”, but need timely access to specialist care. Read More

Kevin Huckle, Kodiak Group Holdings Inc.

Kodiak brand footwear has been a Canadian icon for fifty years, but since 2000, all its manufacturing had been done in Asia. Last Fall, with the acquisition of Terra Footwear, Kodiak was able to… Read More

A Look at Nova Scotia’s HealthWorks

What happens when you mix the initiative of a well-known patient advocacy group, with federal money, a determined provincial government, several supporting organizations, and a long-term view? Read More


 Arthritis is too often thought of as a disease that strictly affects older Canadians, and those with a lifetime of wear and tear on their joints. Read More

March/April 2006 e-news

What’s New in Worksite Health Promotion? Less.

Dr. Kenneth Pelletier has published six reviews of the scientific literature of health promotion and disease management at American work-sites. His latest update contained a major surprise. Read More

Health Council Reports Dismal Progress

In February 2006, the Health Council of Canada released its second annual report on progress made under the 2003 Health Accord and 2004 10 -Year Plan. Read More

HR: Time to Rethink Attraction & Retention?

 Attracting and retaining employees is a key part of human resources management, and a Top 3 issue for Canadian CEOs. Why the concern? First, boomers are already retiring. Read More

The Evidence on Ergonomics

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are defined as painful or disabling injury to the muscles, tendons or nerves that is caused or aggravated by work. Read More

UK Fund Manager: Less Stress = More Value

The Financial Times of London reported that Henderson Global Investors believes companies need to do far more to manage stress and mental health issues in the workplace. Read More

Winter 2005/06 Print Issue

The Mind of the Consumer

It would be great to know “two-thirds of everything", as David Foot wrote in his 1990s best-selling book. Alas, there is very little hard information available to guide plan sponsors in their interactions and decisions related to benefit plans and member needs. Read More

Brian Taylor, CEO and owner, Liberty Linehaul

Located in Cambridge, Ontario, Liberty Linehaul, “Canada’s Elite Fleet", began operations in 1987 with four trucks and twelve employees. Read More

Dr. Arya M. Sharma

Obesity most often has its origins in lifestyle – diet and exercise – but so do many other conditions like heart disease and various cancers. Read More

Higher Learning at the University of Calgary

Blount Canada, Guelph, ON, now employs almost 900 people manufacturing high quality chainsaw equipment for export worldwide. Read More


Is obesity the new smoking? It seems everywhere we turn, there is cause for worry, because the facts are stark and the message blunt. Most of us, and our kids, need to drop some weight to live better and longer. Read More

Fall 2005 e-news

Healthy Workplaces Begin with Satisfied Employees

This year-long study of 303 Swedish government employees was interesting because it combined and correlated results from an employee satisfaction survey, biological markers, and hard organizational data on absence and productivity. Read More

Mixing Dollars and Sense: How Canada Finances Health Care

There are three truths about health care: it’s expensive, it looms large in Canada’s self-image, and it is an emotional minefield. Read More

Pandemic Flu – Taking a Shot at Business

Most experts now firmly believe an avian flu pandemic will occur – only the timing is uncertain. Such an event will be very different from seasonal influenza, for which there are vaccinations and drug treatments which provide partial protection. Read More

Presenteeism: Making its Presence Felt

In 1999, presenteeism surfaced in health research as a significant uncalculated cost to business. Presenteeism is defined as productivity loss occurring when people function at work below their potential due to poor health. Read More

Summer 2005 Print Issue

Kimberley Hogan, Christie Canada

Q: Kimberley, when did you begin your workplace health initiative and what was your motivation? It began in February 2000 after Electrohome was purchased by Ushio, a Japanese company, and became Christie Canada. Read More

Mental Health

What is Mental Illness? The 9th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD9) category called “Mental Disorders" includes psychoses, such as schizophrenia, with neurotic disorders, such as depression. Read More

Testing the Waters – A National Pool for High-Cost Drug Claims

There’s always lots of news in the prescription drug marketplace, whether in product, program design, or government policy. Read More

Erhard W. Busse, MD

 A Better Model for Mental Health Claim Management During my early training in psychiatry, the general framework for organizing knowledge and understanding complexity came from General Systems Theory. Read More

Turn Up Your Heart Drives Better Health at DaimlerChrysler

The Rationale This is certainly not news – controlling health care costs is perhaps the major competitive challenge for North American automakers. Read More

Spring 2005 e-news

Lower Co-Pays…Lower Drug Costs?

 Normally, employers wanting to reduce their plan costs increase premium or claim co-pays to employees. Fine for cost control, but what if more affordable treatments make plan members healthier and more productive? Read More

A Convincing Case for Healthy Workplaces

 This report presents a compelling and very readable rationale for investing in healthy workplaces. It effectively melds occupational health, lifestyle habits, and issues related to the organization of work and the workplace. Read More

Best Practices in Return to Work

The Institute for Work & Health (IWH) is a research organization funded primarily by the Ontario Workplace Safety & Insurance Board; it is affiliated with four universities. Read More

Insurance and Genetic Testing

Genetic testing is now available on the internet for breast cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, cystic fibrosis, and other conditions. Read More

Learning from GM’s Worksite Diabetes Program

Diabetes is a common chronic disease, with serious, and mostly preventable, consequences. Over 2004, five partners worked together to test the effects of a worksite program at General Motors’ Oshawa site. Read More

Premier Issue - 2004 Print Issue

Turning around short term disability costs

First the good news… At Blount Canada, periodic employee satisfaction surveys reveal high confidence in the company’s health and safety programs, and feedback that the company is a good place to work. Read More

A Primer on Diabetes

What is Diabetes? Normally, insulin helps cells use blood sugar (glucose), but this mechanism is upset in diabetics. Type 1 diabetic patients, about 10% of all cases, are insulin-dependent. Read More

Craig Wallwin, Wallwin Electrical Services

Q: Craig, what motivated you to get involved in a workplace health initiative? It was actually very personal. I had a collapsed lung in February 2001, but the consequences really didn’t sink in until it re-collapsed a year later. Read More

E. Douglas Gat, MD

 In “A Primer on Diabetes", two arguments are presented: 1) Diabetes Mellitus (DM) and its complications have high impact on health and cost, and 2) Interventions can positively impact the consequences of the illness. Read More

Patient Safety – Are Canadian Hospitals “Taking Care of Business"?

In 2002, the Quebec Government passed legislation that obliges all authorities to report medical errors. In 2003, the federal government and five provinces (NL, NB, QC, ON, AB) promised develop guarantees of timely care. Read More