HONOLULU (March 8, 2013) -- Tripler Army Medical Center here, has been named a top Psychologically Healthy Workplace for 2013 by the American Psychological Association.

Tripler is the first organization within the Department of Defense to be honored with the national award since the program began in 2006.

Each year, only four organizations within North America receive the award. Tripler won in the government/military/educational institution category.

The annual awards are designed to recognize organizations for their efforts to foster employee health and well-being while enhancing organizational performance.

"At Tripler, we are dedicated to making this hospital and its clinics the best and healthiest workplace possible," explained Brig. Gen. Dennis Doyle, commander, Pacific Regional Medical Command, or PRMC, and Tripler Army Medical Center. "To achieve and maintain that reputation, the staff takes care of each other."

Applicants are evaluated on their efforts in the following five areas: employee involvement, work-life balance, employee growth and development, health and safety, and employee recognition.

"Forward-thinking employers such as Tripler Army Medical Center are taking steps to create a positive work environment where employees can thrive," said Dr. David Ballard, head of American Psychological Association's Center for Organizational Excellence. "In turn, employees are more engaged and committed to the organization's success. This shared responsibility for creating a psychologically healthy workplace promotes an organizational culture that values well-being and performance and delivers results on both sides of the equation."

Some of the programs and services that make Tripler such an employee-friendly place to work include employee fitness rooms, resiliency classes, on-site day care, numerous training opportunities and benefits such as tuition reimbursement, which are available to its more than 4,000 uniformed and civilian employees.

"(The programs and services Tripler provides) all around makes for a better, more productive, well-rounded staff," explained Howard Reyes, supervisor, Care Provider Support Program, PRMC. "It shows the things (that Tripler's leadership) are emphasizing really promote employee participation, and health and wellness make a big difference in the hospital and the productivity of our staff."

Nominees for the national PHWAs are selected from the pool of previous state-level winners. Following a competitive evaluation and judging process, the top candidates are selected for national recognition by American Psychological Association, or APA.

PRMC's Care Provider Support Program, which offers a variety of resiliency classes and resources, was also recognized as a Best Practices honoree for 2013 for its employee growth and development efforts.

This isn't the first year APA has recognized Tripler for fostering employee health and well-being while enhancing organizational performance. In 2011, Tripler's Department of Psychology was recognized as a national- and state-level Best Practices honoree.

"It's an honor to be formally recognized by the APA for a host of reasons," said Dr. David Brown, chief, Behavioral Health, PRMC, who oversees the Care Provider Support Program. "Recognition helps to acknowledge a sound return on investment in addition to reinforcing best practices. Doing the right thing is not always the easiest endeavor; it takes more time and concerted effort. Public acknowledgement really helps to confirm and justify the extra effort of both leadership and their employees."

Tripler's efforts to create a healthy workplace have resulted in lower turnover rates along with increased clinical productivity, financial performance and customer satisfaction.

"There's a positive spirit here," Doyle said. "Everyone here seems to be more relaxed, but at the same time, more engaged and more concerned about patients and each other."

(Editor's note: Brig. Gen. Brian Lein, deputy commanding general of operations, U.S. Army Medical Command, will accept the award on behalf of Tripler Army Medical Center at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., March 9.)