Description: OPS_BLK_ENG






25 March 2013



Executive Director, Ottawa Police Services Board



Chief of Police, Ottawa Police Service








That the Ottawa Police Services Board approve the negotiation of a contract to a maximum of $300,000 with The Real You Inc., for Phase Three of The Real You Ottawa Police Service Wellness Program.




In 2007, the Ottawa Police Services (OPS) began the search for a comprehensive wellness program for employees. The OPS recognized the importance of individualized wellness programming and the benefits it can provide to both the employee and the organization.   “The Real You” program was selected and a 10-week program was initiated that year for twenty-five (25) employees.  The anecdotal feedback received was positive.


In November 2010, the Ottawa Police Service Board (Board) approved a Memorandum of Understanding with “The Real You Inc.” for the delivery of “The Real You Ottawa Police Service Wellness Pilot Program”.  This holistic health and wellness initiative, customized to members’ unique needs, was launched in March 2011 with one hundred (100) OPS participants.  During the 13 month program, participants worked with the program’s health team (including a medical doctor, naturopathic doctors, a registered psychologist and registered physiotherapists) to identify potential health issues and developed appropriate medical treatments and intervention strategies unique to each participant.  Participant surveys were conducted at the mid-term point of the program and at post-completion, and initial reported outcomes were very positive.  There were indications of significant health, safety and lifestyle benefits to members.


On May 24, 2012, the Board approved a second phase for the Real You program. Based on feedback from the first phase participation, some  changes were made to the program to make it more efficient and effective for Phase Two.  For example, members are now required to fund the portion of medical and other services not covered by their health benefit plans.  For Ottawa Police Association members the amount is roughly $400; for SOA members it is $1,400, in accordance with the terms of their respective benefit plans.  A cost for missed appointments has also been introduced, to ensure effective use of the health and wellness professionals involved in the program.  The Phase Two report also reaffirmed that a comprehensive evaluation of Phase One of the Real You program would be carried out in due course.


The second phase of the program was launched in October 2012 with two hundred and ninety (290) OPS members expressing their interest to be candidates.  One hundred (100) members were selected based on criteria and began medical consultations for the program in December 2012.  This second phase of the program is due for completion in December 2013.


The purpose of this report is to request that the Board approve Phase Three of the program and enable another group of one hundred (100) candidates to take advantage of this program, beginning September 2013.  This report also provides the Board with the preliminary survey results from Phase One (2011-2012) of the Real You Wellness program and an update on the comprehensive evaluation of Phase One. 



As noted in the May 2012  Board report, The Real You program has seen some significant short term results that benefitted individual participants and their families. Medical conditions and ailments have been diagnosed, including valvular heart condition, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, depression, anxiety, problem drinking, colonic polyps, fatty liver and sleep disorders. A total of.38% of participants had been diagnosed with sleep disorders, which are associated with depression and burnout. As well 35% of participants were diagnosed with fatty liver which is the leading cause of liver cirrhosis presently exceeding alcoholic liver cirrhosis.

The initial evaluation demonstrated marked improvements for participants in several areas: 

·                75% of participants agreed or strongly agreed that the program had a positive impact on their personal life, and more than half agreed or strongly agreed that the improvement translated to their professional life.

·                the vast majority of participants found the assessment activities helpful or very helpful (medical 87.2%, psychological 69.3%, nutritional 84.6% and fitness 85.8%).

·                very favourable results in participants’ ability to recognize potential issues, make positive changes and enhance overall wellbeing.

·                significant improvements in participant perception of the general state of their physical and emotional health at the mid-point of pilot as compared to the start.

The Pilot Program has identified a variety of health conditions in OPS members and allowed for the development of appropriate medical treatment and intervention strategies. The earlier in which health ailments are identified and managed, the less harm experienced by our members and the less associated resultant costs experienced by the Service. The preventative techniques and strategies imparted to OPS members by the Program have benefited the overall health of our members and is resulting in a healthier, happier workforce—results that are often associated with decreased absenteeism and associated costs, while enhancing operational performance.


Post-completion Survey of Pilot Program – Preliminary Results


The same positive results and enthusiasm for the program were in evidence when the Pllot Program candidates completed the program.  In October 2012, the Real You Team sent a post-completion survey to all participants of the Pilot Program that ended in April 2012.  Seventy-seven (77) of the hundred (100) participants responded and the initial impression of program outcomes is very positive.  Some of the more noteworthy outcomes as expressed by participants are:


·         90% agree or strongly agree that the Real You program helped them make positive lifestyle changes that will continue in the future

·         87% state that their eating habits and nutrition are better or much better since starting the program

·         100% stated that the program had a positive impact on their personal life (up from 75% in the mid-term survey)

·         92% stated that the program has a positive impact on their professional life (up from 57% in the mid-term survey)

·         69% state the program aids in reducing absenteeism and future medical claims, and improves productivity

·                                 78% agree or strongly agree that the program contributes to an improved police service for Ottawa residents.


Real You Program Evaluation and Logic Model


Both survey results support the Board’s decision to approve Phase Two of the Real You program.  The program’s impacts at the personal, group and organizational levels will be analyzed in greater depth as part of a comprehensive evaluation that staff committed to undertake when the Pilot Program was approved.  In preparation, a program ‘logic model’ for the Real You program has been developed in partnership with the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa.


A logic model’s purpose is to clearly present what a program (or project) aims to address and what is being done to achieve this.  It involves disaggregating individual components and highlighting the linkages between them.  The figure below is a summary of the logic model for the Real You Program.  In the model, the rationale for investing in employee wellness is tied to the strategic outcome of improved organizational performance for OPS in the longer term.  The intermediate steps highlight how the Real You program activities are addressing employee wellness, and the outcomes that are expected in the short-term and the longer-term.  The table below outlines the framework for the logic model.


By highlighting the individual components and linkages within the Real You program, the logic model acts as the research framework for the program evaluation.  As outlined in the May 2012 Board Report, “the evaluation will determine if the goals of the program have been met, establish the costs and benefits of the investment and identify areas for program change and improvement.”


Rationale for the Real You Program: “Health statistics indicate that those in the police profession experience a higher rate of increased rates of premature death, alcoholism, mental illness and sleep disorders.  Police employers face challenging member health issues that give rise to the need for a wellness program geared to the unique circumstances of their occupation.” - OPSB Report, May 2012





Immediate Outcomes

Longer term Outcomes

Program funding and professional expertise/time

Participant profiling, assessment, health promotion and treatment

Assessment results, medical referrals and completed treatments

Increased health awareness, lifestyle changes, and improved wellness

Behavioural change, sustainable healthy lifestyle, improved work performance


OPS Strategic Outcome from the Real You Program: Improved and sustainable organizational performance.



The plans for the evaluation are underway and build upon the logic model framework.  As part of the research partnership with the OPS, the Telfer School will be analyzing the pre/post medical results from the Pilot Program and undertaking an in-depth analysis of the mid-term and post-completion survey results (fully anonymized and consistent with recognized research ethics).  This constitutes the majority of the evaluation analysis and the OPS will benefit from Telfer expertise.


A detailed Scope of Work for the full evaluation is currently in development that integrates the analysis from Telfer, maps out evaluation milestones and the internal / external resources that will be utilized.  The interim results of the evaluation are due to be presented to the Board later in 2013.


Phase Three


Based on the very strong results to date and the appetite for this program within OPS, staff is recommending expanding the Real You Program to include a third phase of 100 candidates, to be launched in September 2013.  This recommendation will:


·                                 Build on the positive experience reported by members;

·                                 Address the current interest by other members to participate in the Program;

·                                 Enable the gathering of additional result data over the longer timeframe; and,

·                                 Demonstrate continued commitment to members’ concerns.


This recommendation is consistent with a key strategic theme of the Board’s 2013-2015 Business Plan: “Engaging and Investing in our People”.  Continued support of this program reinforces the Board’s commitment to invest in the health and wellness of our members.


The practice of requiring that members pay for costs not covered by their health and benefit plans will be continued in this phase. The average cost for OPA participants is $400 and the average cost for SOA participants is $1400.  Staff will also continue to require that a fee be assessed to participants for missed appointments,




Partnership work is continuing with the Telfer School of Management.




Funding is available in the IT Mobile Workstation Capital Project account (906047).


Total Approved Budget 906047:             $1,144,000

Expenditure to Date:                                    $765,195

Balance Available 906047:                                $378,805

Transfer to 906212:                                           $300,000

Remaining Balance:                                      $78,805




The preliminary survey results from phase one (2011-2012) of the Real You program indicate that it has facilitated a range of health improvements for OPS participants, and that the Board’s investment in the health and quality of life of OPS participants has been well received.  Plans are underway to explore these impacts in more detail through a comprehensive evaluation of the program that will be conducted in 2013. The development of a logic model for the program represents an important step towards this.


The OPS has been recognized as a leader in promoting physical fitness through various programs.  The addition of the Real You Program is another example of the leadership role the OPS plays in promoting optimal health and wellness of employees.  Staff showcased the program at a meeting of  police human resources executives from across the country and have received many inquiries about this innovative approach to employee wellness.   Expanding the program to a third phase of 100 candidates supports a key are of the new Business Plan and is concrete evidence of the Board’s commitment to investing in its members.



(Original signed by)


Charles Bordeleau

Chief of Police



Responsible for report:   Director General Debra Frazer