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Town of Oro Valley wins award for employee wellness program

November 16, 2016

On November 1, 2016, the Town of Oro Valley received an award from the Society for Human Resources Management of Greater Tucson for Technology/Process Improvement. The award recognizes the Town’s employee wellness program for outstanding achievements in furthering the health of employees and their dependents through a variety of programs that serve to educate, identify health risks and provide for early intervention and follow up.

“The decision to invest more than $150,000 annually in employee health and wellness demonstrates the Town’s ‘people first’ approach to human resource management,” said Human Resources Director Gary Bridget. “Our philosophy is if we take care of our employees, they will be better able to take care of the business of the Town.”

As part of its focus on wellness, the Town of Oro Valley opened an onsite health clinic for employees and their dependents that provides free access to basic medical care. The Town also provides an onsite health coach and health/wellness programming through the Wellness Council of Arizona, and it engages its employee assistance program to provide classes, programs and services to improve the psychological wellbeing of employees and dependents.

During its first year of operation, the Employee Health Clinic registered a total of 464 clinic patients, which includes a combination of employees and their dependents who participate in one of the Town’s healthcare plans. The total number of appointments for the first year of operation was 1,221.

Based on conservative estimates of the typical cost for a visit to a doctor’s office, urgent care clinic, or laboratory, the estimated savings in the first year of operation to the Town of Oro Valley is $73,853 dollars, which includes an estimate for savings on lost productivity in time spent traveling to an appointment.

“Equally important is that by shifting 1,221 appointments from our healthcare plans to the onsite clinic, we are reducing the rate of utilization with claims to our healthcare company,” said Bridget. “This will have a positive impact on future renewal rates.”

Award Category Criteria
“Developed and implemented a process, system or tool that enhanced employee process or changed the organizational culture. Created a process or implemented a system that improved employee participation in a program, increased employee knowledge or realized a cost savings. Enhanced an HR activity (i.e.: recruitment, benefits, etc.) by the implementation of a system or process that resulted in measureable change.”