SPECIAL TO THE SENTINEL
For the third time, the City of Douglasville has won the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Healthiest Employer Award for a medium sized agency (100-499 employees), also winning the first place award in 2017 and 2018.
The awards were announced at a ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 2 at Zoo Atlanta.
The city’s Wellness Program, ‘D-Fit’, began in 2016 as an objective set forth by the Douglasville mayor, council, and City Manager Marcia Hampton and assigned to the Human Resources Department.
“The ‘D-Fit’ Wellness Program started as a method to reduce costs associated with health insurance coverage for our employees,” Human Resources Director Teaa Allston-Bing explained. “Our Wellness Program, the buy-in we’ve received from city leadership, employee engagement and assistance from our insurance broker, NFP, have all helped us achieve and exceed that goal.”
To begin the program, a Wellness Committee was formed and included representatives from each of the city’s departments. The function of this committee is to brainstorm wellness initiatives that bring the idea of health and wellness into the workplace in a fun and interactive way.
“Initially, about 30% of employees participated in some aspect of D-Fit,” said Allston-Bing. “Today, that number is more than 50%”.
As a result, the city has held wellness challenges to encourage its employees to get active and maintain healthy habits. Some of the highlights of these challenges include water consumption challenges, Mindful Minute Seminars, gym memberships, walking step challenges, an annual employee health fair, and many more incentives.
The city was able to continue its wellness initiatives even through the pandemic by turning to Microsoft Teams to connect.
“That has proven to be beneficial,” said Wellness Committee Chair Allison Parker. “We have chats among employees pertaining to wellness and it has created a stronger wellness committee.”
The pandemic did not slow plans down for an onsite employee Wellness Center to open on May 16, 2020. The clinic serves as an opportunity for employees and their dependents to conveniently attend an appointments, have an annual check-up, get COVID testing and the vaccine, fulfill prescriptions and much more. The wellness center also helps to reduce health insurance costs for the city.
“We believe when you are your best self, you are the best employee,” said Parker. “We are working to make health more accessible, and we will do anything to get our people on the right path.”
For more information on the Human Resources Department and the Wellness Center at the City of Douglasville, please visit www.douglasvillega.gov.