Cities for Workforce Health Launched to Improve Health of California's Municipal Workers

Mar 26, 2013, 11:34 ET from Kaiser Permanente

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.

"The League of California Cities is proud to work with our partners to provide our members with resources that help increase employee wellness, reduce workplace absences and conserve city resources," says Bill Bogaard, mayor of Pasadena and president of the League of California Cities. "City employees are on the front line in the delivery of core services to our residents and this program supports city employees."

Cities and workplaces that engage their employees and empower them to take an active role in managing their health create a supportive and motivating wellness environment. Research shows that simple interventions, such as walking clubs, changing food options, and helping employees track their activity and diet, link directly to increased productivity, reduced direct health care costs and utilization of health services, reduced sick days, and lower overall workers' compensation claims.

About the League of California Cities
Established in 1898, the League of California Cities is a nonprofit statewide association that advocates for cities with the state and federal governments and provides education and training services to elected and appointed city officials.  For more information, please visit

About the League Partner Program
The League Partner Program connects California's businesses, nonprofit associations, labor communities, and other organizations with local government leaders from the state's 482 cities. The program provides a unique opportunity for dialogue and participation between League Partners and local decision-makers.

About the HEAL Cities Campaign
The Healthy Eating Active Living Cities Campaign is a resource for city officials seeking to create opportunities for residents and employees to engage in physical activity and to access healthy food. It is a partnership of the League of California Cities and the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, founded in response to a 2006 League assembly resolution. To date, 142 cities have joined the Campaign.

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America's leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We serve more than 9 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to:

For more information, contact:
Brendan Doherty, 510-271-5624,

SOURCE Kaiser Permanente