Department of Health and Human Services

Anemia Awareness: Increase the Efficiency & Quality of Work

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Heightened awareness of anemia will empower federal employees with this condition to seek and receive appropriate treatment; this, in turn, will improve the efficiency and quality of their work.


It stands to reason that fatigued workers are not as productive or efficient as they could be.

Fatigue is the most common symptom of anemia, which is a condition where the blood lacks sufficient red blood cells or the red blood cells lack enough hemoglobin.

The Government reports that "9 - 16 % of women of child bearing age in the United States are iron deficient." See Despite this high percentage, "anemia is often overlooked." Iron Disorders Institute Guide to Anemia, 2nd Ed., 2009, p. xv. Indeed, "the National Anemia Action Council (NAAC) has identified anemia as an underdiagnosed public health concern that requires concerted attention and action." Id. p. xv. This is particularly frustrating because anemia can often be prevented; and, if not prevented, it can be diagnosed and often successfully treated.


Using systems already in place, the Government could provide information on anemia to federal employees. As is done for other conditions, an anemia awareness week could be created during which federal agencies could send emails to all employees providing information on anemia. Health units and fitness centers could make brochures on anemia available. When agencies periodically offer health evaluation services at reduced rates, perhaps they could include a Complete Blood Count (CBC), one of the blood tests frequently used to conduct an initial anemia screening. Additionally, information on anemia could be offered through the FedStrive program by requiring FedStrive participants seeking a free gym membership to read information on anemia as part of the registration process. For additional "incentive points" under the FedStrive program, participants could submit the results of a CBC from their doctors.

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Idea No. 16163