Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research Receives National “Psychologically Healthy Workplace” Award

American Psychological Association Recognizes CHR for work flexibility, employee autonomy, professional development, and fostering a healthy, high-performing work environment

PORTLAND, Ore. (March 08, 2010) — The Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research (CHR) in Portland, Oregon, has earned a “Psychologically Healthy Workplace” award from the American Psychological Association (APA). The award will be presented in a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, March 12, 2011.

David Ballard, the APA’s assistant executive director for marketing and business development, reports that 89 percent of CHR employees who responded to a survey say they’d recommend CHR as a good place to work. That compares to only 53 percent of respondents nationally.

“Having engaged employees who are proud of the work they do is a sign that the employer is doing something right, and it’s one of the reasons we are recognizing the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research with this award,” says Dr. Ballard.

The APA created the awards in 1999 to recognize employers who are making comprehensive efforts to promote employee health and well-being while enhancing organizational performance.

Meaningful work in a collegial environment

“We conduct cutting-edge health care research, and the best way to do that is to hire high-performing people and give them meaningful work, the tools they need, and a collegial work environment,” says Mary Durham, PhD, Director of CHR.

“Our employees like working here because we have flexibility, we care about and respect each other, and when the work is done, we also know how to have fun,” adds Durham, referring to CHR’s annual Halloween kid’s parade, holiday charity auction, and summer picnic.

Because CHR encourages flexible work schedules, many employees can design their work schedule to maximize productivity.

CHR also emphasizes the importance of leadership development. Each year, six employees from different disciplines are chosen to take part in the Leadership Development Group. This group brings employees together to learn about each other’s jobs, receive leadership training, and bring greater cohesion to CHR as a whole.

This honor from the APA follows the Psychologically Healthy Workplace award CHR received in 2010 from the Oregon Psychological Association. This year, CHR competed against winners from the other 49 states, plus some Canadian provinces and U.S. territories, to receive the APA’s national award.

The APA evaluated the winning workplaces on their programs and policies in the areas of employee involvement, health and safety, employee growth and development, work-life balance, and employee recognition.

About the American Psychological Association

The American Psychological Association (APA), in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world’s largest association of psychologists. The APA’s membership includes more than 152,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, the APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession, and as a means of promoting health, education, and human welfare.

To learn more about the APA’s Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award, visit www.phwa.org/awards

About the Center for Health Research

The Center for Health Research, founded in 1964, is a nonprofit research institution dedicated to advancing knowledge to improve health. It has research sites in Portland, Ore., Honolulu and Atlanta.

CHR is part of the Work, Family & Health Network, a consortium of interdisciplinary research teams examining how workplace changes can improve the health of families and also benefit companies.

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