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County workers earn rewards with health choices

Program stresses healthy food, exercise, education, volunteering

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POSTED: December 9, 2012 12:00 p.m.
Photo by Rosa Warner/

Dr. Bryan Ristow of Liberty Cardiology speaks at the county Lunch-N-Learn session at the Liberty County Courthouse Annex. The luncheon was part of Liberty County’s L.I.V.E. Well program, which stresses healthy eating, exercise, education and volunteering.

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Liberty County encourages its government employees to make healthy lifestyle choices and rewards them for doing so. The county’s grant-funded L.I.V.E. Well program combines healthy eating, exercise and education while stressing the importance of volunteering and regular health screenings. Employees who participate rack up “points” they can exchange for prizes.
The points-accumulation portion is open only to full-time employees because of stipulations set forth in the grant that funds the program, according to county human resources specialist Laura Troutman.
“We do allow part-time employees to be involved and participate as well,” she said. “They just don’t earn points, and we have several who participate.”
According to Troutman, the program’s goal is to raise awareness and help employees achieve good health, which promotes productivity.
“It’s a win-win for everyone,” she said. “Healthier employees means less time off, which also means lower health-care costs for both parties.”
The program offers an array of events where points can be earned and even offers incentives to get people to participate. There also are 10 major health screenings offered throughout the year that range from blood-pressure and cholesterol checks to mammograms.
The program is at the end of its second year, and about 60 people turned in claim forms last quarter, Troutman said. L.I.V.E. Well works on an honor system that allows participants to track their activities and turn in documentation by the seventh day of each month to get credit for what they’ve done.
Troutman said she listens to the participants and takes suggestions so she can accommodate more employees and raise participation among shift workers.
Points are earned on a monthly basis, and at the end of every quarter the person with the most points wins a $50 Visa gift card and an embroidered shirt.
A L.I.V.E. Well employee of the year also will be announced at an awards luncheon today.
Annette Richardson, who works in the clerk of court’s office, was the 2011 winner.
“It is announced at the end of the year at the awards luncheon and is a complete surprise to everyone,” Troutman said.
“We do this because it’s the only time everyone is all under the same roof, and it feeds the program and puts it in the forefront.”
Troutman meets with new hires and provides them with packet of information and a brochure about the program.
She also produces a monthly newsletter with a wellness spotlight and sends reminder emails to current participants.
For more information, go to www.libertycountyga.com or email Troutman at laura.troutman@libertycountyga.com.

 

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