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The Employee Wellness Network Web Site Launches

The Employee Wellness Network, a social-networking Web site for professionals responsible for workplace health and wellness programs has launched. The address is

This new online community, which also goes by the acronym tEWN, shares many of the features of popular social-networking communities — such as friend connections, online discussions, event listings, messaging and special-interest groups — but also includes features specific to employee-wellness professionals. A “bookstore” section, powered by, includes books specifically relevant to employee wellness, and a Job section in which users can find opportunities to advance their careers. Membership in the network is free of charge.

In recent years, interest in employee wellness has skyrocketed. “Under the pressure of spiraling healthcare costs and a need to leave no stone unturned in trying to gain a competitive edge, employers learned that employee health and wellness is good business,” says Bob Merberg, tEWN's founder. In order to advance the wellness industry, professionals need ways to easily and economically learn from each other, share ideas, exchange resources, and build community, he says.

“Years ago,” Merberg says, “professional organizations filled this need, especially at their annual conferences.” Now, he says, it’s harder for some to attend conferences, because they increasingly represent smaller businesses with limited travel budgets, they’re too busy and can’t afford the time out of the office, or developments in the field and in their work move so fast that annual conferences don’t provide sufficiently frequent contact. Generally, Merberg says, the business world is looking for instant access to resources and instant results, and tEWN can facilitate both.

Merberg emphasizes that wellness is no longer limited to exercise, nutrition, and weight-management programs. “Employers are finally starting to see that it’s total well-being that counts,” he says. “And that includes employee happiness, work-life balance, employee engagement, workplace environments and, perhaps most important, organizational cultures that foster health and wellness.”

Employee wellness received a boost from the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which includes numerous resources, tax credits and grants for employers — especially small businesses — seeking to start a wellness program for their employees.

“On the heels of healthcare reform, we’ll undoubtedly see a redoubling of employee-wellness efforts and a rapid increase in the number of professionals who either are dedicated to the field or have wellness-related responsibilities added to their existing duties, especially in human resources and benefits,” says Merberg, who also runs an award-winning program for a Fortune 500 company. “These people are going to need to get up to speed quickly, and the Employee Wellness Network is the perfect solution for them.”

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