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Public Date: 3/11/2014 12:00 AM
Contact: Bill Mullan, Oakland County Media and Communications Officer
Phone Number: 248-858-1048
 
Pontiac, Michigan -- Oakland County's employee wellness program, OakFit, is among the recipients of Michigan’s 2014 Governor’s Fitness Awards. “The Governor's Fitness Awards are a platform for recognizing individuals and organizations in Michigan that have made outstanding contributions to health and physical fitness during the last year,” a Governor’s office press release said.

“Our innovative OakFit program continues to garner recognition for the genius of its simplicity and its outstanding results,” Patterson said. “Not only are we improving the quality of life of our county employees, we are saving taxpayers millions of dollars in healthcare costs.”

Patterson thanked his staff for making OakFit such a success.

“Kudos to my Human Resources Director Nancy Scarlet and Wellness Coordinator Dawn Hunt for the outstanding job they do managing our wellness initiative.”

Back in 2007, Scarlet and Hunt oversaw the establishment of OakFit to help manage the county’s rising healthcare costs. Eligible employees are asked to participate in an on-site biometric health screening by a third party vendor which provides immediate results for cholesterol, glucose, blood sugar and BMI (Body Mass Index). It also includes one-on-one time with a nurse who discusses employees’ health histories and provides tools to help them toward a healthy lifestyle. In addition, employees fill out an online health risk assessment. Employees who participate in both the health screening and the health risk assessment get $100 added to their paychecks.

OakFit also offers a number of innovative programs to assist employees with taking responsibility for their health including weight watchers at work, instructor-led exercise classes, and lunch and learn series covering topics such as how to manage diabetes, among others. This year, OakFit added “fitness unleashed,” a walking program which allows employees to walk the dogs housed at Oakland County Animal Control & Pet Adoption Center during their lunch hour. More than 400 employees participated in this program this past summer.

"We see a real difference in the health consciousness of our employees," Scarlet said. "More and more of our employees are taking ownership of their health and reaping the benefits of a healthier lifestyle."

Since 2007, OakFit has helped Oakland County avoid more than $27.3 million in projected health care costs.

The Governor’s Fitness Award is not the only recognition for OakFit in the past year. Crain’s Detroit Business named Oakland County one of Michigan's healthiest employers. OakFit and 61 other organizations, events and individuals will be honored April 24 during the 2014 Governor’s Fitness Award Gala Celebration at Ford Field.

For media inquiries only, please contact Bill Mullan, Oakland County media and communications officer, at 248-858-1048.