CHICAGO, Dec. 20, 2023 - Chicago businesses, like many businesses nationwide, fully understand that good health for employees is part of doing good business. Health outcomes research has shown that workers in the U.S. experience inequitable health and well-being, with significant variations in the burden of chronic disease, mental health conditions, food insecurity and more, even among those covered by employer-sponsored insurance.[1], [2] Recent studies demonstrate how the workplace can serve as a social driver of health, impacting the risk of conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease.[3], [4] This growing body of evidence underscores the need to equip employers with tools and resources to positively influence the health and well-being of their workforce.[5]

To help bridge this gap, the American Heart Association, a global force for healthier lives for all, today released the Health Equity in the Workforce Employer Resource Guide, developed in collaboration with the Deloitte* Health Equity Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Foundation. This new resource aims to increase employers’ understanding and adoption of health equity in the workplace to help all employees reach their full health potential.

The guide includes an overview of how health disparities can manifest in the workplace and the role of the employer, as well as actionable strategies, economic insights and guidance on measuring progress. Expanding on the foundational work of the Association’s CEO Roundtable in support of the 2024 Health Equity Impact Goal, the guide delves deeper into the practical implementation of health equity policies and practices and the potential impact on workforce health and business performance.

“All over the Chicagoland area, businesses are providing needed services to our communities,” said Azia Provine, The American Heart Association’s community impact director for health equity in the workplace. “To have the best chance of doing that at a high level, organizations need healthy, engaged employees.”

A future of health equity is one in which everyone has an optimal and just opportunity to be healthy, with intentional consideration for those at greatest risk of poor health. Throughout the United States, young Black adults and Hispanic-Latino adults, especially those living in racially segregated neighborhoods, face increased adversity in health outcomes due to disparities in education level, income and insurance status[6]. In Chicago, which carries a 30-year life expectancy gap between the affluent Streeterville neighborhood and the Southside Englewood community, social determinants including external stressors and availability of nutritious food also contribute to the disparity in health outcomes citywide both inside and outside the workplace.

Optimizing the workplace so that all employees can thrive is not only a moral imperative but supports continued business success. Through intentional efforts to align benefits, policies and programs with equity considerations, employers can play a vital role in helping to narrow gaps in health outcomes.[7] In service of these efforts, the American Heart Association shared its Well Being Works Better scorecard with companies throughout Chicago. The Scorecard challenges employers to take a deep dive into how they are meeting their employee’s wellness needs. So far, Chicago- and Illinois-based organizations including UJAAMA Construction, Chicago Transit Authority, Dover Corporation and the City of Bloomington have completed the  scorecard and are using the Employer Resource Guide to implement systemic change in their approach to health equity, employee wellness,  diversity, equity and inclusion. Other companies who have completed the scorecard include:

  • CME Group
  • CompTIA
  • Lake Land College
  • Liberty Bank for Savings
  • Molex
  • RHR International
  • STG Logistics Inc.

The Health Equity in the Workforce collaboration provides employers with actionable strategies to help ensure that their health and well-being benefits, policies, and programs result in equitable outcomes for all employees. An employee-centric, equity minded approach can also help strengthen employee engagement and retention, build consumer trust, and support talent attraction in today’s competitive market.[8], [9], [10] The initiative is powered by the American Heart Association’s Well-being Works Better™ platform, which helps business leaders unleash the power of a healthy, happy workforce.

Click here to access the Employer Resource Guide and learn more.

Additional Resources:




About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on, Facebook, X or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.   

*Please see for a detailed description of Deloitte’s legal structure.


For Local Media Inquiries:
Jorie Goins:

For National Media Inquiries:
Hannah Stebenné: 214-706-1876;
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721) and


[6] Mazimba, Sula, Peterson, Pamela N., “JAHA Spotlight on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Cardiovascular Disease”

[9] Deloitte’s online PDF “The Equity Imperative,” page 12