Reach Vulnerable and At-Risk Populations

reach-at-risk-populationsPerhaps the most important groups for you to target are vulnerable and at-risk populations. For example, historically disenfranchised groups such as African Americans, Hispanics, older workers, disabled individuals, women and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people may have different risk factors and different health needs, so it is important to consider each group when designing a workplace wellness program.10 For example, African Americans are less likely than the rest of the U.S. population to use medications to help quit smoking, so counseling and group therapy may be more appropriate in this population.11 Baby boomers respond best to messages that provoke a sense of personal empowerment, so it’s important to frame communications for them in a way that lets them know they are in charge of their health.12 People with less education may need extra help interpreting their biometric values, such as a blood pressure number, and applying that information to their lives. This means health professionals need to take extra time to explain how to address a risk factor like high blood pressure by monitoring it at home or even at work.13,14 The CDC has developed a series of free, online guides to help reach vulnerable and at-risk populations, tailored to the needs of each population.10