OakFit program to receive statewide recognition

The Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports will spotlight Oakland County’s innovative employee wellness program OakFit for a second year in a row, County Executive L. Brooks Patterson announced last week. Michigan Fitness Foundation CEO James. J. Tighe will recognize Oakland County as a Diamond Level Healthy Workplace Award winner during the Governors Fitness Award Celebration emceed by Lila Lazarus at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 23, in the Ford Field Atrium in Detroit, and earlier that day during a legislative reception at the State Capitol.
OakFit, which has improved the overall health of county employees while helping to avoid millions of dollars in health care costs, will be among 32 employee wellness programs receiving awards that night.

“My vision for Oakland County is to improve the quality of life by supporting healthier and more active lifestyles and that begins with our employees,” Patterson said. “With OakFit, we have seen a measurable improvement in the overall health of county employees. We are grateful that our efforts are worthy of this coveted award.”

Tighe said the Healthy Workplace Award recognizes organizations that demonstrate leadership in supporting their employees and citizens to make healthier eating choices and be physically active.
“Oakland County is a great place to live and work and we are looking forward to recognizing their efforts next week at the Governor’s Fitness Awards,” Tighe said.

Oakland County launched OakFit back in 2007 to help manage the county’s rising healthcare costs. Since its inception, OakFit has helped the county avoid more than $24 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, glucose, blood sugar 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 taking responsibility for their health including weight watchers at work, instructor-led exercise classes, and lunch and learn series covering topics such as how to manage diabetes, among others. For more information, go to www.OakGov.com/exec and click on “OakFit Wellness Review.”

The mission of the Michigan Fitness Foundation and the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports is to inspire active lifestyles and healthy food choices through education, environmental change, community events and policy leadership. The council works to bring about behavior change through programming, special projects and events that encourage citizens to build
physical activity and sound nutrition into their daily lives. By empowering, facilitating and celebrating healthy choices, the Foundation works to foster prosperity for all. Improving the health of citizens requires changes in the culture and physical environments where we live, work and play.

Since 1998, The Healthy Workplace award program has been honoring Michigan companies and organizations which have made worksite wellness a priority. For additional information, go to
http://www.michiganfitness.org/.

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