Keenan Blog

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New Partner Program Helps Cities Build Wellness

Steve Gedestad 2/12/2013
Steve Gedestad

Our cities face limited options for reducing health care costs through traditional avenues like underwriting, plan design or funding contributions. Making a sustained impact requires improved workforce health through wellness and disease management.

The League Partner program of the League of California Cities has just launched a new initiative called “Cities for Workforce Health” to help improve employee wellness. It’s a collaboration between the Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Cities Campaign, Keenan and Kaiser Permanente.

Here are some facts to consider:

  • Employers investing in effective employee wellness programs experience a 3-to-1 return in reduced medical and absenteeism costs (Harvard Business Review).
  • Robust wellness programs have improved employee health and productivity, with 37% fewer days of unplanned absence (Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine).
  • Over 200 local officials cited employee wellness as one of their top three priority policy areas (HEAL Cities Campaign, 2008 survey).

Tier 1 of “Cities for Workforce Health” is free to League cities and provides online tools to help build a successful program. Resources include case-making content to gain leadership buy-in, tool kits with step-by-step implementation instructions, employee communications, and testimonials on successful programs.

Tiers 2 and 3, to include educational webinars and one-on-one engagements, will be introduced over the next few months. In addition, five League cities will be offered a $5,000 grant for workforce health program implementation in 2013.

Many cities throughout the state have demonstrated they can achieve employee wellness results and generate a positive return on investment. They’re seeing improved productivity and morale, decreased absenteeism, and stabilized health care costs over the long run.

We’d be happy to share examples of some very successful efforts.

And, for more information on Cities for Workforce Health, visit: