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City Communications Office

City of Kansas City, Mo.

CONTACT: Mary Charles, city communications officer, (816) 513-1356


City’s Fountain of Health Wellness Program receives national recognition

The City of Kansas City, Mo.’s, Fountain of Health Wellness Program has been honored by the Wellness Council of America with the prestigious 2009 Gold Level Well Workplace Award. The Wellness Council of America is a national non-profit organization dedicated to helping organizations of all kinds build and sustain results-oriented wellness programs.

Organizations of all kinds compete to be recognized as one of America’s Healthiest Companies. The Well Workplace Award is driven by a rigorous set of criteria and includes the following seven benchmarks:

      1. Capturing Senior Support

      2. Creating Cohesive Wellness Teams

      3. Collecting Data to Drive Health Efforts

      4. Developing an Operating Plan

      5. Choosing Appropriate Interventions

      6. Creating a Supportive Environment

      7. Carefully Evaluating Outcomes

The City of Kansas City, Mo., is the only Missouri municipality to receive the 2009 Gold Level Award. Since 2007, there have been only two other Gold Level Award winners from Missouri: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City and St. John’s Corporate Health. Nationally, since 2007, only six other municipalities received the Gold Level Award: Dublin, Ohio; Charleston, S.C.; Fort Collins, Colo.; Ames, Iowa; Providence, R.I.; and Hartford, Wis.

The City’s Fountain of Health Wellness Program, administered by the Human Resources Department, was established in 2002 with a goal of helping employees be healthy in mind, body, and spirit, and controlling the rising cost of medical benefits for the City. Benefits-eligible employees have a multitude of opportunities to get involved in the wellness program. Recent Fountain of Health initiatives include; weight management classes, incentive programs, health-risk assessments, biometric screenings, smoking cessation classes, stress management courses, lunch-n-learns, monthly wellness challenges and various health screenings. Programs and classes are free to employees and participating employees are rewarded.

Since inception, 3,345 employees have participated in Fountain of Health programs or events. In 2009, more than 2,100 employees participated in Fountain of Health programs or events.

“The high level of employee participation in the City’s Fountain of Health program not only demonstrates success in meeting employees’ wellness needs, it also shows that our employees are making efforts to improve their health,” said Gary O’Bannon, director of the Human Resources Department. “This national recognition is a testament to the program’s success and the many benefits it is providing to City employees,” O’Bannon said.

A City Council resolution to accept the award and honor the Human Resources Department, the Fountain of Health Wellness Program staff and the departmental Fountain of Health Wellness Ambassadors is scheduled for the City Council Legislative Session on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 26th floor, City Hall, 414 E. 12th St.

For more information about the Fountain of Health Wellness Program, contact Katy Lovill, wellness coordinator, (816) 513-1386.

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