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News Release

Larimer County Wins Gold Well Workplace Award

Department: Board of County Commissioners
Release Date: Mar 29, 2011

Contact Information:

FROM: Deni La Rue, Community Information Manager, (970) 498-7150,
CONTACT: Liz DeJongh, Larimer Wellness Program Coordinator,
(970) 498-5984,
Virginia Clark, CanDo Coordinator, (970) 495-7517,

Giving the Welcome: Larimer County Commissioner Lew Gaiter.
Photo courtesy of Richard Ricchiuti

Larimer County government was awarded the Gold Well Workplace Award by CanDo, the Coalition for Activity and Nutrition to Defeat Obesity, on February 23, 2011 at the Fort Collins Well City CEO & Business Leader Breakfast in Fort Collins, Colorado. CanDo Coordinator Virginia Clark said the award, received by Larimer County’s Wellness Program Coordinator Liz DeJongh, was awarded to the County for their outstanding, results-oriented employee wellness program.

 ·         Larimer County formally adopted its wellness initiatives in 2008 when a full time wellness coordinator was hired, wellness committees were formed, and a comprehensive wellness program was designed and put into place for its employees. 
·         In 2009, 36% of eligible employees participated in the year-long program.
·         In 2010, 39% of eligible employees participated. 
According to DeJongh, the program is prevention-oriented, “We have onsite screenings, flu shots, weight management programs, lunch and learns, wellness coaching, behavior change campaigns, and more. To compliment the program, the medical insurance plan is also prevention-oriented with programs like tobacco cessation which is fully reimbursable and preventive office visits that are covered at 100%.” 
Members of County’s medical insurance plan have access to an employer-sponsored medical clinic at no additional cost. Since promoting health prevention efforts, Larimer County has seen positive outcomes. According to DeJongh, “In 2010, Larimer County’s Medical and Prescription Claims increased 3.3% over the previous year. Average claim increases are usually 8% or more for organizations like ours. We discovered that 7% of total claims for employees who participated in the wellness program were preventive in nature compared to 4.5% for those who did not participate in the wellness program.”
“So far, our efforts seem to be working. The County provides many preventive benefits aimed at helping maintain or improve health and well being; hopefully, employees and family members will continue to take advantage of them and make wellness a priority,” said DeJongh.
Larimer County is one of 13 organizations to receive a Well Workplace Award in Fort Collins, making the City of Fort Collins a step closer to becoming a designated Well City USA.
Well City USA is a national program of the Wellness Councils of America (WELCOA). It is a community-wide initiative that encourages employers to develop worksite wellness programs that meet the standards of excellence as defined by the Well Workplace Model.
CanDo, the Coalition for Activity and Nutrition to Defeat Obesity is acommunity wide task force working to improve the health of the northern Colorado community by increasing physical activity and healthy eating to reduce and prevent obesity. The vision of CanDo is that Fort Collins and Loveland become model 21st century communities in which healthy lifestyles are valued and practiced by citizens, and opportunities for physical activity and healthy eating are created and supported by local government, worksites, schools, and the health care community. CanDo is supported by the Poudre Valley Health System Foundation and LiveWell Colorado. Visit CanDo’s web site at:
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