Oakland County is among Michigan’s healthiest employers because of OakFit, the county’s employee wellness initiative. Michigan’s Healthiest Employers, which is “a statewide program with a goal of showcasing how companies are using wellness programs to make a positive impact on their employees’ lives,” gave Oakland County the top spot in the 1,500-4,999 employees category for Metro Detroit.
“Kudos to our H.R. Director Nancy Scarlet and her team,” County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “They have developed an outstanding employee wellness initiative that is improving the health of our employees and ‘bending the trend’ on health care costs that is saving taxpayers millions of dollars.”
Back in 2007, under the leadership of Human Resources Director Nancy Scarlet and Dawn Hunt, the county’s wellness coordinator, the Patterson administration established OakFit to improve employee health and curb rising health care costs. Since then, the county has avoided approximately $17 million in additional health care costs while spending only $1.9 million on OakFit, more than eight times the return on investment.
Employees are asked to participate in a health screening with an outside medical vendor who then tells them whether there are any health indicators that may require a closer look from their personal physicians. The employees also fill out a health risk assessment online.
“When we started the (screening), 15 percent of our employees were at high risk. This past year, we were a little over 3 percent,” Scarlet told Michigan’s Healthiest Employers.
In addition, OakFit offers programs for employees to improve their health and wellness such as Weight Watchers on campus, Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, and smoking cessation classes.
For more information on Michigan’s Healthiest Employers, go to http://www.crainsdetroit.com/section/michigans_healthiest_employers2013. Michigan’s Healthiest Employers is sponsored by Priority Health, Crain’s Detroit Business and MiBiz.