Camden County sets example for healthy work initiatives

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(Camden, NJ) – Camden County employees are feeling better than ever thanks to new efforts to keep workers healthy. In fact, the initiatives have worked so well that the county is a Silver winner at the 13th Annual Health at Work Awards hosted by health resources provider ComPysch. Camden County stood out from other applicants for its use of on-site wellness coaches and its new program to help smokers quit tobacco.

County Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez, the freeholder board’s liaison to the Department of Health and Human Services, says it is the success of the programs that set them apart.

“What really stands out is how many people are seeing the benefits of this in such a short period of time,” Rodriguez said. “A lot of these innovations weren’t implemented until very recently, and we’ve already seen hundreds of employees take advantage and start living healthier, happier lives.”

The on-site wellness coaching program has seen particularly remarkable results since beginning in July 2016. During the program’s first year a total of 736 employees engaged with the coaching staff approximately 4,000 times. Those interactions have led to incredible changes, as those who took advantage of the program saw significant improvements in four of the most common health risks: blood pressure, lack of exercise, body mass index (BMI), and stress.

From July to December of 2016, 101 employees had experienced a significant reduction in their blood pressure; nine employees began a new exercise regimen; and 17 had improved their BMI. Those who have consulted with the county’s wellness coach for weight-related issues have already experienced a reduced rate of obesity by 10 percent, and those coached for high blood pressure have experienced a reduction in the rate of hypertension by 66 percent.

For the county, the resulting wellness boost will not only be beneficial to the well-being of its employees, but will likely reduce future healthcare costs which currently make up the second-largest expense in the county’s budget.

“We really want all of our employees to take advantage of this program, especially now that they’ve seen the results it produces and how much it has helped their peers,” Rodriguez said. “Our goal is to constantly be trying new ways to innovate the system, and get our people the best service we can.”

Conner Strong Buckelew, the County’s health benefits consultant, helped guide the county in the creation of its employee wellness program, recommending and procuring the various vendors who support the wellness initiative. 

“Our firm is proud of the role we played in helping Camden County create its outstanding employee wellness program,” said Tammy Brown, Senior Vice President & Managing Director of Conner Strong Buckelew, “We want to congratulate the county for this much-deserved recognition.

The Health at Work Awards are sponsored by ComPsych and its HealthyGuidance program. Winners were selected based on their wellness program’s comprehensiveness, delivery, promotion, participation rates and results achieved. ComPsych Corporation is the world’s largest provider of employee assistance programs and is the pioneer and worldwide leader of fully integrated EAP, behavioral health, wellness, work-life, HR, FMLA and absence management services under its GuidanceResources brand.