Pontiac, Michigan -- For the second time in less than a year, the national spotlight will be on Oakland County's OakFit employee wellness program. Oakland County employee Shanda Reardon of Waterford will be interviewed by popular health author and television host Dr. Mehmet Oz as part of the "Care About Your Care" national event Thursday, September 15. Reardon, who is at risk for diabetes because it runs in her family, took a diabetes care and prevention class through OakFit.
Medical Network One in conjunction with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan taught the course to Oakland County employees who are pre-diabetic or have family members living with the disease. The eight-week course, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, introduced a new topic every week such as nutrition, exercise and how to test your blood. Medical Network One brought Reardon to Dr. Oz' attention through the Greater Detroit Area Health Council, which was asked to recruit participants for the "Care About Your Care" national event.
"Diabetes has taken a terrible toll on my family," said Reardon, an office leader in Oakland County Circuit Court's Family Division. "My aunt and grandfather both died from complications of it. Another aunt also has diabetes. Last year my father was diagnosed."
"My employer, Oakland County, has a wellness program where they have classes and events for employees to live healthier lifestyles; when they offered a free eight week program on diabetes during lunch, I decided to sign up and learn how to better manage my health," said Reardon.
This is not the first time OakFit has received national attention. USA Today, Fox News Channel, and other media featured Oakland County's wellness program in January of 2011 after the county revealed OakFit was largely responsible for $12 million in employee health care cost avoidance in the county's budget.
"In 2007, our outside consultants referred 15% of our participating employees to their primary physician. Four years later, only 4% were referred," said Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson. "So you can see what is happening: high-risk employees are being identified, referred for treatment, and the potential development of costly chronic health conditions is being reduced. Ultimately it represents significant savings to the county through 'cost avoidance.'"
"Care About Your Care" is a coordinated month-long effort led by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to increase awareness about what consumers can do to identify and receive better health care. On Thursday, September 15, the "Care About Your Care" event will include a live national noontime broadcast featuring Dr. Oz.
To get more information about the event and the national "Care About Your Care" campaign, visit http://careaboutyourcare.org/.