MEMORANDUM: Preventive Health Services at the Federal Workplace
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                           January 4, 2001

                                 January 4, 2001


SUBJECT:            Preventive Health Services at the Federal Workplace

Today, as we celebrate the enactment of the Breast and Cervical Cancer
Prevention and Treatment Act that I signed into law in October of last
year, I am heartened by the progress being made in expanding access to
preventive care for cancer and other serious diseases.  We know a great
deal about screening procedures that can detect diseases early, and about
behaviors, such as smoking cessation and sun avoidance, that can greatly
reduce a person's risk of disease.  The challenge that remains is to ensure
that all Americans not only take advantage of the screening programs and
other effective preventive measures that are available and appropriate, but
that they make positive changes in their lifestyles before disease

The workplace is a logical place to provide employees with health
information and services to help them learn about preventive health.  The
Federal Government, the Nation?s largest employer, has already developed
many programs to encourage preventive health care for its employees.  These
measures, available to Federal employees through the Federal Employee
Health Benefits Program, cover a broad range of preventive health services,
including screening for prostate, cervical, colorectal, and breast cancer,
and screening for sickle cell anemia, blood lead level, and blood
cholesterol level.  The programs also provide for all recommended childhood
immunizations, well child care, and adult preventive care visits.  In
addition, the Federal personnel system provides employees with considerable
flexibility in scheduling their hours of work and taking time off for
medical needs, including routine examinations and preventive screenings.
Many agencies offer creative, effective employee health programs that
provide opportunities for employees to take advantage of preventive health
screenings at the worksite.

There is still room for progress.  Therefore, I am today directing Federal
departments and agencies to review their policies and make maximum use of
existing work schedule and leave flexibili-ties to allow Federal employees
to take advantage of screening programs and other effective preventive
health measures.  Each department and agency should also inform its
employees of the various work schedule and leave flexibilities available to
them to participate in these preventive screenings and examinations.  Such
flexibilities include promoting alternative work schedules (flexible and
compressed work schedules), which allow for a variety of working
arrangements tailored to fit the needs of individual employees, granting
leave under the Federal Govern-ment's sick and annual leave programs, and
granting excused absence to employees to participate in agency-sponsored
preventive health activities.  In the case of employees with fewer than 80
hours (two weeks) of accrued sick leave, I am directing each department and
agency to establish a policy that provides up to 4 hours of excused absence
each year, without loss of pay or charge to leave, for participation in
preventive health screenings.

I am also directing agencies to develop or expand programs offered at the
worksite to help employees understand their risks for disease, obtain
preventive health services, and make healthy lifestyle choices, and to
share these initiatives with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
within 120 days.  The OPM will use this information to identify agency best
practices.  Finally, I direct the OPM to prepare guidance to assist
agencies in carrying out this directive.

Agencies will carry out this policy within available appropria-tions, and
to the extent permitted by law and consistent with the Administration?s
budget priorities.

I want the Federal Government to serve as a model for the rest of the
country.  While Federal agencies have led the way in many instances, I want
to go even further in demonstrating that preventive health care for all
employees is not only desirable, but also very practical and sensible.

                              WILLIAM J. CLINTON

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