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112 cities, towns, and other local governments recognized for commitment to employee health

Media contact:
Julie McDowell
Health Promotion Supervisor
(360) 753-4137

Olympia, WA – The Association of Washington Cities (AWC) announced that 112 cities, towns, and other local governments have earned the distinguished WellCity Award. This recognition is awarded to entities that meet the AWC Employee Benefit Trust’s stringent WellCity standards and demonstrate a commitment to employee health.

“We are happy to release a record-breaking list of employers that place employee health among their core values,” said AWC chief executive officer Peter B. King. “Award requirements reflect a broad-based strategy that supports employee health and productivity, and results in reduced health care costs.”

Award winners receive health benefits from the AWC Employee Benefit Trust, Washington State’s largest local government employee benefit pool for cities, towns, and other local governments. By providing benefits to more than 260 public entities, the trust provides health coverage for 36,000 employees and their family members.

The 112 public employers that met the WellCity standards will earn a 2% discount on 2017 medical premium contributions. Collectively, these jurisdictions are expected to save more than $3 million.

“The great thing about the WellCity program is that it promotes healthy lifestyles and wise consumer education as key cost containment efforts,” said Beverly Lakey, program manager for the AWC Employee Benefit Trust. “Through each employer, we provide covered individuals with educational tools and resources that encourage healthy behaviors and wise use of health care resources.”

The dividends an employer receives by investing in employee health go beyond the premium discount, Lakey said. Jurisdictions with robust health promotion programs also benefit from improved employee health and report fewer employee sick days, higher morale, and better retention.

“Anytime we can improve employee health and minimize health care costs, it’s a win for the employee, the jurisdiction, and the greater community,” King said.

A complete list of the cities that earned this year’s award can be found here.

AWC serves its members through advocacy, education and services. Founded in 1933, AWC is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan corporation that advocates on behalf of cities and towns, provides training, and pooling programs such as the AWC Employee Benefit Trust. AWC created the AWC Employee Benefit Trust in 1969 to assist cities in meeting state-imposed medical coverage mandates for local law enforcement officers and fire fighters.