County wellness program racks up awards

Corp! Magazine has named OakFit, Oakland County's employee wellness program, as one of its Best & Brightest in Wellness® winners for the fourth year in a row, County Executive L. Brooks Patterson announced Monday.

"Oakland County's employee wellness team is one of the best in government it's reflected in winning the Best and Brightest award for the fourth year running," Patterson said. "Not only are they finding new ways to help employees improve their overall health, they continue to save taxpayers money on the county's employee healthcare costs."

OakFit has received a total of 11 awards since its inception in 2007. These awards include the Best & Brightest in Wellness award for four years running; National Association of Counties Achievement Awards in 2007, 2010, and 2015; Governor's Fitness Awards in 2014 and 2015; one of Crain's Detroit's Michigan's Healthiest Employers in 2013; and the Value Based Health Award in 2011. Fox News Channel has also spotlighted the wellness program as a national model for innovation in government.

"One of the keys to OakFit's success is that we offer timely health-related topics and classes with wide appeal to our employees," said Jordie Kramer, director of human resources for Oakland County. "That is one of the reasons we have a lot of employee participation."

The nationally-recognized OakFit program will be honored at the Best and Brightest in Wellness® Symposium and Awards Gala on Oct. 20 and featured in the November print edition of Corp! Magazine.

Oakland County launched OakFit back in 2007 to help manage the county's rising healthcare costs. Since its inception, OakFit has helped the county save more than $168 million in health care costs. Eligible employees are asked to participate in an on-site biometric health screening by a third party vendor which provides immediate results for cholesterol, blood glucose, and BMI (Body Mass Index). It also includes one-on-one time with a nurse who discusses employees' health histories and provides tools to help them toward a healthy lifestyle. In addition, employees fill out an online health risk assessment. Employees who participate in both the health screening and the health risk assessment get $100 added to their paychecks.

OakFit also offers a number of innovative programs to assist employees with embracing healthy lifestyle behaviors including weight watchers at work, instructor-led exercise classes, walking programs, competitive challenges, and lunch and learn series covering topics such as how to manage diabetes, among others.

Published: Thu, Sep 21, 2017