[Excerpt from author] A human resource crisis threatens the viability of Canada's health system. Workforce aging and unhealthy, low-quality work environments pose significant risks to achieving health system goals. Creating healthy work environments is not optional - it must be viewed as an essential prerequisite for building future health human resource capacity. Retention, development, and better utilization of existing staff has to be a top priority, and for this to happen, work environments must be healthy. To move in this direction, health system decision-makers need answers to very practical questions. Foremost among these are the following:Which interventions will make the biggest improvements in employee health and wellness?How can healthy workplace change be designed for maximum positive impact on system outcomes, particularly patient care and operational effi ciency and eff ectiveness?What combination of human resource management, health and safety, and work organization practices will contribute most to a more sustainable and high-performing health system?In short, while improving the health and well-being of people working in the health system is important in its own right, health authority boards and executive teams require a business case for making these investments.