• Tyler Meenach
    1
    Program Goal

    Recovery Friendly Hamilton County (RFHC) will enable Hamilton County businesses & organizations to espouse advantageous recovery-friendly practices through a collaborative partnership with Hamilton County Public Health (HCPH). It is estimated that over 75% of Americans with a substance use disorder are a part of the workforce (Goplerud et al., 2017). Whether they realize it or not, employers are incurring the cost of substance misuse through decreased productivity, absenteeism, turnover, workers’ compensation, etc. In adopting this initiative, Hamilton County employers can help mitigate the impact of substance misuse in the workplace, champion individuals in recovery, and improve the lives of their employees by adding additional avenues of support.

    In receiving our endorsement, RFHC employers will become a beacon for recovering citizens seeking employment. Recovering citizens remain an untapped resource for employers despite their comparative advantage over the general workforce—research indicating that this population takes fewer sick days per year and incurs less healthcare costs (Goplerud et al., 2017). HCPH will offer its stable of RFHC designees linkage to care for their employees, resource coordination, training, harm reduction supplies, additional recruitment avenues and promotion for their business—all at no cost. In undertaking and overseeing this initiative, HCPH further aims to reduce the stigma associated with substance use disorder and the recovery lifestyle.

    Becoming a Recovery Friendly Hamilton County Employer

    HCPH understands that business leaders and human resources personnel are busy. The RFHC initiative is based on a replicable service model that has been successful through its ease of use and sustainability. Our RFHC designees will be required to undertake the following tasks to gain initial RFHC designation:

    1. Submit a formal letter of intent to an RFHC coordinator at HCPH indicating their interest in the program and willingness to meet its basic requirements. This letter must be signed by human resources personnel and/or senior level management. A sample template is provided.
    2. Make a written declaration of support to their employees signifying their endorsement of the RFHC program and its implications in the workplace. A sample template is provided.
    3. Post the RFHC resource list somewhere visible to all employees.
    4. Undergo a brief orientation training with an RFHC coordinator to gain an understanding of the resources allotted by HCPH. This training can be held virtually or in-person according to the needs of the business and is designed for human resources and/or senior level management.

    Maintaining RFHC Designation

    Once an organization has received formal recovery friendly endorsement from HCPH, they will be required to meet the following annual stipulations:

    1. Ensure supervisors and employees receive education on existing ATOD policies upon hire and on an annual basis thereafter.
    2. Ensure supervisors and employees receive education on the RFHC program and its offerings upon hire and on an annual basis thereafter.
    3. Continue to work with an assigned RFHC coordinator to track the above-mentioned efforts, submit an annual checklist and receive additional support where needed.

    Optional RFHC components

    RFHC designees may utilize the services provided by HCPH to undertake any of the following tasks:
    1. Request that an RFHC Coordinator provide a brief seminar for employees concerning the resources provided through the program.
    2. Create a taskforce to incorporate recovery friendly values into existing health/safety practices.
    3. Participate in one community-based prevention or recovery focused activity annually. Employers will be kept abreast of these events through their RFHC Coordinator.
    4. Work with an RFHC coordinator to build additional, customized workplace protocol and/or training related needs.



    Anticipated Outcomes

    HCPH anticipates that the following outcomes will follow from adopting the RFHC program model:

    • Increased access to services and support for those in recovery as well as better linkage to services and treatment for the employees of RFHC designated businesses.
    • New community connections and an increased knowledge base for employers surrounding available substance use disorder treatment resources that are local to their operation.
    • Improved workplace culture through employee-first practices that encourage individual wellness. RFHC designees will be given the opportunity to review policies and practices from established recovery-friendly workplaces should they desire to adopt new procedures in keeping with the recovery friendly model.
    • Increased labor pool for businesses that may historically have not recruited people in recovery.
    • Destigmatizing recovery and substance misuse disorder in the workplace—promoting the notion that it’s okay to ask for help when needed.
    • Improving the bottom line for employers by promoting principles that mitigate the financial impacts of substance misuse.

    Ancillary Outcomes

    • RFHC is based on a replicable service model that has taken a foothold in states and municipalities throughout America. In undertaking this initiative, RFHC hopes to support greater investment in recovery friendly workplace practices in Ohio and across the United States at large.
    • Contribute to nationwide efforts to destigmatize substance misuse disorder and the recovery lifestyle.

    If you're interested in joining Recovery Friendly Hamilton County or would like to request more information about the initiative, please contact us at or 513-801-6205.
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