Crush COVID Employers Toolkit


Welcome to the Crush COVID Employer Toolkit. It contains all the information and materials you need to implement the Challenge and amass contest points. If you have any questions or would like any supplementary materials or information, please don’t hesitate to contact Joanne Bilotta at Direct links to the various sections are below.

Crush COVID Employer Challenge - Rules and Background

The Crush COVID Employer Challenge is open to employers with physical locations in Rhode Island with two or more employees including non-profit organizations, municipalities, and the State.  A Crush COVID Champion Award will be given out to one large employer (250 or more employees), one mid-size employer (100-249 employees), and one small employer (2-99 employees).  Employers will be given access to an online toolkit containing links to information and materials that will help facilitate participation in the challenge.  The RIBGH Crush COVID Employer Challenge Committee will review the applications and select the winners based on a combination of the greatest number of compulsory points earned, most creative employee engagement strategies, and creative safe workplace executions.

Challenge Rules, Requirements and Scoring Method

  1. The employer must have a physical location with employees in Rhode Island to participate..
  2. The employer must designate a representative from his/her organization to serve as the point of contact throughout the challenge period.
  3. Each employer must submit a completed “Intent to Participate” form. The competition begins February 11, 2021, but later entries will be accepted.
  4. Employers must complete and submit an “Application for Award” form by the deadline of May 31, 2021. Applications received after May 31, 2021 will not be considered for award.
  5. Points toward the award are earned as follows:


Point Winning Activities



Promote COVID vaccination to employees



Send out an announcement to introduce the Crush COVID Employer Challenge to employees



Promote adherence to COVID-19 Social Distancing and PPE Guidelines at the worksite and at home to employees through the distribution of CDC and RI Department of Health (RIDOH) COVID-19 information



Promote flu shot vaccination to employees through the distribution of the Choosing Wisely (CW), RIDOH, and CDC flu information



Distribute the RIDOH Diabetes and Chronic Disease Prevention and Management Program materials to employees



Actively promote the use of the Choosing Wisely website, app, and materials to employees



Attend a virtual meeting or conference call with a RIDOH Community Health Network Manager to learn more about the Diabetes Prevention and Chronic Pain and Chronic Disease Programs available to employees



Attend a virtual meeting with the Choosing Wisely RI Campaign Manager to become a Choosing Wisely RI participating employer. If already a participating employer, send a reminder to employees to use the five questions and download the Choosing Wisely app.  



Promote downloading the Governor’s Crush COVID RI app to employees



Provide no-cost access to flu shots for employees


Employers will also receive extra points for the following:

Introductory Letter for Employees

Downloadable Word document to introduce employees to the challenge here. Worth 10 points.

Encouraging Employees to Get Vaccinated

The most important single step we can all take to crush COVID is to get vaccinated and persuade as many of our employees and their family members to do the same. That is why it is worth 20 points

CEOs and other top executives sharing the fact they have been vaccinated with their employees and preferably doing so by sharing photos of the vaccination itself is a powerful way of overcoming employees’ vaccine hesitancy. Encouraging employees to share with their co-workers that they have been vaccinated is helpful as well.  Additionally, sharing information about how safe vaccines are from authoritative health sources can help reassure employees and combat disinformation.

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states:

“COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines, and these vaccines have undergone the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. This monitoring includes using both established and new safety monitoring systems to make sure that COVID-19 vaccines are safe.

Results from these monitoring efforts are reassuring. While some people don’t have any side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine, many people will have mild side effects after COVID-19 vaccination, like pain or swelling at the injection site, a headache, chills, or fever. These reactions are normal and show the vaccine is working. A small number of people have had a severe allergic reaction (called “anaphylaxis”) after vaccination, but this is extremely rare and when it does happen, vaccination providers have medicines available that they can use to effectively and immediately treat the reaction. You will be asked to stay for 15–30 minutes after you get your vaccine so you can be observed and provided treatment in the rare case it is needed.

CDC recommends you get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you are eligible.‚Äč"

To provide more information for your employees, share the following CDC link:

For specific information on vaccinations in Rhode Island, including which phases the state is in and who is on deck, visit 

Rhode Island Estimated Vaccination Timeline

What to Expect After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 Vaccination Resources

Managing COVID Fatigue and Vaccine Hesitancy

Chronic Disease Prevention and Management

Preventing and managing chronic disease not only makes employees, less vulnerable to COVID, it improves over-all health and cuts employee health care costs.  The Department of Health provides information and resources the enables people to better prevent and manage the following diseases: arthritis, asthma, cancer, diabetes( see diabetes webpage), heart disease, and stroke. Sharing this information with employees, along with the more expansive diabetes programs, earns the employer 10 points. Attending a virtual meeting or conference call with a Rhode Island Department of Health Community Health Network Manager to learn more about the Diabetes Prevention and Chronic Pain and Chronic Disease Programs available to employees is worth an additional 15 points. You can enroll by contacting Diabetes Prevention Program - Kelsea Tucker at and/or Chronic Disease Prevention Programs - Jasmine Franco at

More information here from the Rhode Island Department of Health Center for Chronic Care and Disease Management.

Persuading employees who are employees with chronic conditions to enroll in the RI Department of Health approved and sponsored management program that fits their situation best will protect health, guard against the worst impacts of COVID, and cut health care costs. Distributing the information for how to enroll in these programs as well as the information on combating other chronic diseases also found in this toolkit to employees is worth 10 points.

These evidenced based programs run by Community Health Network will substantially improve health outcomes for participating employees and are free or low cost:

Diabetes Prevention Program
1 hour per week, 16 weeks; followed by 6 months of follow up | Free

Helps lower your risk of getting Type 2 Diabetes by eating healthier, increasing physical activity, and losing weight. The DPP focuses on lasting changes that are manageable for each patient. Participants must have a pre-diabetes diagnosis, be screened in based on the CDC screening tool, or have a history of gestational diabetes. It must also be medically safe for them to lose weight.

Diabetes Self-Management Program
2.5 hours per week, 6 weeks | Free

Teaches you to manage symptoms of diabetes such as fatigue, pain, hyper/hypoglycemia, stress, depression, anger, fear, and frustration. Participants must have a diagnosis of diabetes or have a family member, friend, or patient with diabetes who they are learning on behalf of.

Diabetes Education
Requires insurance

CDOEs and CVDOEs are registered nurses, dietitians, and pharmacists who can teach you how to manage your glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol, medication, and nutrition. Participant must have a diabetes diagnosis and physician referral to participate.

Tools for Healthy Living
1 hour per week, 6 weeks | Free

Teaches you how to manage symptoms and medications, communicate with family and doctors, relieve stress, eat well, exercise, and set achievable goals.

Chronic Pain Self-Management Program
2.5 hours per week, 6 weeks | Free

Provides you with the tools to manage medications, fatigue, frustration, proper nutrition, and communication skills, and teaches you to evaluate treatments and make an action plan.

Walk With Ease
Self-paced, 6 weeks | Free

Teaches you to safely make physical activity part of your everyday life to reduce pain or be more active.

To enroll, contact:

Diabetes Prevention Program - Kelsea Tucker at

Chronic Disease Prevention Programs - Jasmine Franco at

Community Health Networks: by email:   Community Health Network at the RI Parent Information Network ( or by phone 401-432-7217

Informational PDF’s for distribution to employees:

American Diabetes Association Resources

Weight Management and Obesity Resources

Flu Prevention

Getting a flu shot is the single best step anyone to take to prevent getting the flu and it is safe. As CDC states, “An annual flu vaccine is the best way to reduce your chances of getting the seasonal flu and spreading it to others. CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older receive an annual flu vaccine. For more than 50 years, hundreds of millions of Americans have safely received seasonal flu vaccines.”

Promoting flu shot vaccination to employees through the distribution of CDC, Choosing Wisely, and RI DOH flu information below is worth 10 points. Provide no-cost access to flu shots for employees earns an additional 20 points.

Flu Prevention Resources:

Choosing Wisely

Choosing Wisely not only provides information about how to prevent flu; it has a wealth of other information that will help employees make better health decisions.Launched in 2012 by the American Board of Internal Medicine's ABIM Foundation, the Choosing Wisely campaign is a leading international effort aimed at reducing unnecessary tests, treatments, and procedures in healthcare in order to produce better health outcomes and at lower cost. The core of the campaign is educating patients in how to spark productive conversations by asking their doctors 5 basic questions:

  1. Do I really need this test or procedure?
  2. What are the risks and side effects?
  3. Are there simpler, safer options?
  4. What happens if I don’t do anything?
  5. How much does it cost? (Will my insurance pay for it)

Actively promoting the use of the broader Choosing Wisely offerings, including the website, app, and materials to employees is worth 10 points. Attending a virtual meeting with the Choosing Wisely RI Campaign Manager to become a Choosing Wisely RI participating employer earns an additional 15 points. Email to arrange the meeting. If you are already a participating employer, you can earn the 15 additional points by sending a reminder to employees to use the five questions and download the Choosing Wisely app.

Choosing Wisely Resources:

Encouraging Employees to use Governor’s Crush COVID App

CRUSH COVID RI is the state's pandemic response mobile app with a privacy-first focus. CRUSH COVID RI provides Rhode Islanders with easy access to all of the resources required during the public health crisis, including a location diary that helps users identify the people and places they are in contact with and a symptom checking survey. All Rhode Islanders are encouraged to use the CRUSH COVID RI app and take an active role in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in Rhode Island. CRUSH COVID RI app is available for download in the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Encouraging your employees to download the app earns 10 Points. They can visit to learn more and to get more specific instructions about how to download the app or go directly to this link for the Android app or this link for the Apple app.

Additional Resources: