The county of Marin has about 2,000 employees and our employees are very diverse. Developing a wellness program was
something that the county identified as a need several years ago. It was really driven by the fact that we
have an aging workforce. The average age in our workforce is almost 49 years of age. We were able to rally the support that we
needed from our different departments to institute a program. Kaiser Permanente is the primary health care provider for
employees here at the County of Marin. They came to us when we identified this
need with some great products that were already packaged. Thrive Across America, was just a huge hit. We had over 800
employees that served on teams of 4 to 10 people. And during a 10-week period, they collectively did over a hundred days of exercise. I think that went a long way in terms of, you know, motivating people to get out and to do something. The best thing
about that was that, that it was fun. One of our really high performing teams that actually won the Thrive Across America challenge is a group from the
Child Support office. They walk the lagoon regularly as a walking club; in the last six months, they’ve lost, I
think, over 150 pounds as a group. People do circuits around this really
long building. I do my 10,000 steps a day, that’s whether it’s raining, shining. I’ve never
seen a program like this that’s worked. And I’ve worked for
the county for twenty years. I’m also noticing that in our snack areas, our employee rest areas,
we’re seeing more fruits and nuts and vegetables with
yogurt dips. And the pieces that are own educate has been a partnership with Kaiser Permanente. When Dr. Selleck has come in and talked to people about knowing their numbers, and what do those indicators mean, that was wonderful… that people really
appreciated that. And I think they, the people that were there, were really paying attention and wanted to know
about their lifestyle and what they should do. It’s not just your
employer providing you healthcare or Kaiser providing you health care. It’s
about living your best life in the best way and getting the most
years out of that life and healthy productive living. I think the message is that both Kaiser and the county care, and I think that goes a long way. I’ve never worked at a place that cared about my health. I think it’s an
important message to send to people that, “Hey, we do care about you, and we’re doing something about it.”