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Cities For Workforce Health Launched To Improve Health Of California's Municipal Workers

OAKLAND, Calif., March 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With the goal of improving the health and wellness of municipal workers across the state, the League of California Cities and partners announced the launch of Cities for Workforce Health. Together, the League of California Cities, Kaiser Permanente, the Healthy Eating Active Living Cities Campaign and Keenan & Associates will provide wellness tools and resources to all 482 California cities.

Studies demonstrate that 75 percent of health care spending is devoted to chronic conditions — asthma, diabetes and obesity. These conditions can add about $3,600 per year per person to employer health care costs. Kaiser Permanente has long recognized the importance of a healthy American workforce, and the need for employers to keep health care costs low. As companies invest in preventive care and employee wellness programs, many employers are now seeing critical results: less absenteeism and presenteeism, increased worker productivity and cost savings.

Cities for Workforce Health provides evidence-based wellness programs developed by Kaiser Permanente to help control overall health care costs for cities, and supports the League of California Cities' ongoing efforts to build healthy and sustainable communities. Cities for Workforce Health is designed specifically for cities to affordably phase-in employee engagement and build stronger wellness cultures over time. The first phase of the program connects all League cities to Kaiser Permanente's free online health and wellness tools and resources to help develop communication and implementation plans, develop senior management support, and prepare them to achieve successful results from employee wellness.

Later phases will be introduced throughout 2013. These will include a series of educational webinars and one-on-one engagements for select League cities that achieve readiness. The Cities for Workforce Health program and the League Partners Program will offer five cities a $5,000 grant each to use toward workforce health program implementation in 2013.

"We are thrilled to support cities on their path to making the healthy choice the easy choice," says Elisa Mendel, national vice president, Health Works and Product Innovation, Kaiser Permanente. "We understand that in order to make a lasting impact on health, we need to engage people where they live and work, not just when they visit the doctor."

Kaiser Permanente has funded and worked with the California Center for Public Health Advocacy to conduct the HEAL Cities Campaign, which has been formally endorsed by the League since its inception in 2008. The program bolsters municipal efforts to pass resolutions supporting healthy eating and active living.

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