Salt Lake City Education Program Manager Stephanie Yau questioned the need for a colonoscopy but went in for her annual preventive screening anyway. The colonoscopy revealed cancer but early detection resulted in a successful outcome.
“We caught it early enough, we were able to deal with it and get rid of it, so that was a really good thing,” said Yau. “My philosophy is that prevention is always better than a remedy.”
Yau thought she was a sensible eater but she also agreed to participate in a nutrition program recently piloted in partnership with the City’s Human Resources Benefits Division and PEHP. After twelve weeks of trying a new diet recommended by a nutritionist, Yau dropped 18 pounds of body fat, lost five inches around her waist and lowered her cholesterol.
“I feel better,” said Yau. “I walked away very happy with the results. It takes some discipline and determination but it’s worth it.”
This week, Mayor Jackie Biskupski announced the start of the new SLC360 wellness program that offers even more incentives for employees and their spouses to use preventative health care.
“This program will keep our employees healthier,” said Mayor Biskupski. “It will also save taxpayers from the catastrophic costs resulting from chronic diseases. Plus, employees will be more productive and have fewer sick days.”
The City’s new wellness program is designed to help employees and their families focus on preventative screenings. It also encourages participation in wellness challenges to promote lifestyle changes.
Employees and their spouses can earn up to $150 each during the plan year by participating in the new program. Incentives are given for completing various health challenges throughout the year such as: biometric assessments, health risk assessments, preventative screenings, educational courses, stress reduction, work life balance, financial education and much more.
“This directly impacts the employee’s pocket book and can save them money down the road in health care premiums,” said Carolyn Campbell, City Benefits Manager. “It also helps contain the overall cost for healthcare as the City pays for 95 percent of the premium for medical coverage.”
Salt Lake City Police Officer Kyler Prettyman participated in the pilot program and said it changed his life. The 19-year veteran said he would usually come home and sit on the couch. but the program convinced him to play basketball and skateboard with his sons. Now his family walks together two miles every evening.
“I feel healthier when I get up and get around,” said Prettyman. “Everybody should do it. It’s free. It will help you relax more, exercise more and be a better person.”
Participants can use the WellRight app or their own fitness app to keep track of their activities to help earn incentives.
“This fully-customizable program allows the City to incorporate a holistic approach to wellness that is tailored to fit the needs of the diverse employee population and their families,” added Trent Steele, City Benefits Analyst.
Employees can go to slc360.wellright.com to get started.