CHICAGO – The City Colleges of Chicago Board of Trustees voted today to contract American Healthways Services, LLC to implement a district-wide Wellness Program, as part of the City of Chicago’s plan to improve the health and wellbeing of city employees. The program will provide a wide-range of on-site screenings, assessments and supports to all eligible full-time employees and their spouses/domestic partners that are currently enrolled in City Colleges health plans.
“We are committed to the well-being of our employees and today we have taken a significant step to help them take control of their own wellness and develop habits that lead to healthy lifestyles,” said Paula Wolff, chair, City Colleges of Chicago Board of Trustees.
“The wellness plan is a win-win for employees who can expect health benefits now and into the future, for our students who will can reap the rewards of healthier faculty and staff, and for the taxpayers as this program will no doubt lower healthcare costs over the long-term,” said Chancellor Cheryl Hyman.
The City Colleges of Chicago’s Wellness Program will encourage employee involvement in their own wellbeing via health assessments and training on preventative lifestyle choices. American Healthways Services will offer Biometric Health screenings, Well-Being Assessments and Health Risk Coaching as well as on-site health coaches and wellness coordinators to support City Colleges employees in their wellness goals.
The program will also include on-site wellness challenges designed to motivate employees to address critical health issues, including: physical fitness, weight and stress management, nutrition and eating habits, and tobacco cessation. City Colleges expects to see tangible benefits for employees and the institution including: reduction of absenteeism and turnover, improved productivity, improved employee health habits and increased levels of physical activity by employees. City Colleges will ensure that the program also includes access to its athletic facilities so employees can partake in exercise independently as one key part of a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle.
American Healthways Services will implement the City Colleges Wellness Program for three years beginning October 1, 2012 for an estimated $333,000. The contract is part of a joint purchasing agreement which has been advertised and awarded through the City of Chicago.
City Colleges of Chicago is among many city agencies that have joined the Wellness initiative including employees of the Public Building Commission of Chicago; members of all three unions associated with the Chicago Park District and the Park District’s unrepresented workers, the unrepresented workers of the Chicago Housing Authority, and Chicago Public Schools unrepresented employees. The Wellness program is projected to save the City $20 million in the first year of the program, with dramatic increased savings in the future.