WorkingWell First Program in Indiana to Become NAOHP Quality-Certified

By Karen O’Hara

Working Well, a diverse program serving multiple communities in northern Indiana is the first in the state to obtain a three-year Quality Certification award from the National Association of Occupational Health Professionals (NAOHP).

The award acknowledges that WorkingWell offers an exceptionally high level of occupational health-related services to employers and employees in the region.


“Outstanding Achievement” following a two-day evaluation in December. “Excellent Achievement” is 92-95 percent compliant” and “Honorable Achievement” is 90-92 percent compliant; a 70-89 percent compliance rate results in a one-year provisional certification.

The certification applies to the program’s main location at Saint Anthony Memorial Hospital in Michigan City and clinics in Crown Point, Valparaiso, Hammond and Munster. The program operates under the Sisters of Saint Francis Health Services, Inc., Northern Indiana Region.

“It’s wonderful. I am happy we were able to achieve this type of certification,” said Gene Diamond, CEO of the SSFHS Northern Indiana Region. “We have an excellent program, and NAOHP certification shows we can meet needs as they are expected to be met. The score reflects the high level of preparation that went into this.”

Mr. Diamond, who established WorkingWell as a system-wide program in 2005, acknowledged Tim Ross, regional director of occupational and employee health, for the program’s high marks. “Tim is responsible for regionalizing and growing the program – and it will continue to grow,” he said.

Mr. Ross said senior management vision and support has proven to be a critical success factor for the program. He also praised Mike Polich, nurse practitioner and WorkingWell regional manager, for his contribution to the process.

“A lot of organizational work was needed to satisfy the certification requirements,” he said. “Mike deserves the credit for that.’’

In turn, Mr. Polich, who has also been with WorkingWell since its inception, cited the value of teamwork: “With all the team working together, we were able to apply our strengths to this project and achieve the outcome of Outstanding Achievement with our certification.”

WorkingWell’s certification score is the second-highest awarded since the certification program was launched in 2005. (The highest score, to date, is 98 percent.) Occupational health programs and clinics undergoing site certification are evaluated in comparison to the NAOHP’s national performance standards in six categories: administration, operational framework, staffing processes, quality assurance, product line development, and sales and marketing.

Ms. Gardner noted that WorkingWell excels in comparison to national best practices in a number of areas. In particular, she praised both the program and SSFHS for its customer service orientation; the application of standardized policies, procedures and protocols to

ensure consistency; and its commitment to the health and well-being of its own employees.

“It has been my pleasure to review WorkingWell and see how my vision for a state-of-the-art occupational health program can be realized with dedicated staff and support from senior management and the community,” said Ms. Gardner, a nurse and senior consultant with RYAN Associates who was instrumental in developing the NAOHP standards. “The program’s total health management focus is the health care management system of the future for business and industry.”

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