FRANKFORT, KY (11/16/12) – The Commonwealth of Kentucky took the top prize one Thursday, November 15, at the Business First’s Greater Louisville Healthiest Employer awards. Finalists and winners were recognized in five categories for commitment to making wellness a reality for their employees.
“We’re honored to be recognized as a leader among Kentucky employers”, said Governor Steve Beshear. “It’s our goal to provide Commonwealth employees with unique health and wellness incentives and opportunities, and to find innovative methods to improve the well-being of all Kentuckians.”
“We are very excited about today’s announcement. Our wellness team has done a great job creating an engaging and rewarding program. Many of our members are benefiting by leading healthier lifestyles,” said Tim Longmeyer, Personnel Cabinet secretary. “We remain focused on improving the health of the state workforce, and events like today’s are key to supporting those efforts.”
The Personnel Cabinet oversees core human resource functions for nearly 33,000 state employees and administers the Kentucky Employees’ Health Plan (KEHP). KEHP provides health and wellness benefits to more than 275,000 teachers, state employees, retirees, many quasi-governmental employees and their families. In the greater Louisville area alone, more than 15,000 KEHP members have access to the state’s health and wellness program, LivingWell.
The flagship program HumanaVitality™, provides members with a variety of wellness offerings and rewards them for making healthy choices, such as participating in an annual online health assessment, biometric and preventive cancer screenings, immunizations, physical activities and educational courses. Rewards range from gift cards and sports equipment, to electronics and hotel stays.
LivingWell provides a personalized health coaching platform. Health coaches work one-on-one with members to provide preventive care, identify wellness goals and provide support. A disease management program is also available for members who need assistance managing chronic health conditions.
Tobacco cessation programs offer educational resources and treatment discounts. KEHP also incentivizes members who do not use tobacco products with lower health care rates than those available to tobacco users.
In addition, annual health campaigns focus on heart health, stress and mental health, diabetes prevention and management, weight loss, getting active and nutrition. A coalition of wellness champions, made up of KEHP stakeholder representatives, meet regularly to increase member engagement in annual campaigns.
“We are focusing our wellness efforts on the entire family,” said Longmeyer. “It is hard for one person in the family to get and stay healthy alone, so we are rewarding those who make wellness a family priority.”
The LivingWell Healthy Kids program rewards the younger members of the family for completing a youth health assessment, participating in sports leagues and receiving immunizations and preventive care. In partnership with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, the KEHP also offers a Healthier Generation benefit, which is aimed to help reduce childhood obesity.
LivingWell recently launched a pilot onsite health clinic program. Clinics are housed in four of the larger state office buildings in Frankfort and offer basic wellness and medical services at no cost to state employees. Onsite clinics, a new and growing trend for employers, are shown to reduce missed work days and increase productivity.
“Improving the bottom line is one good reason to offer wellness benefits and programs.” Longmeyer said. “Productivity, attendance, retention, teamwork and culture are others. Our passion for wellness originates from improving overall quality of life and designing programs around people.”
Information provided by Crystal Staley
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