Some Wellness Policies Already In Place

Nearly seven years ago we introduced you to WCSD employee Darcy Burton.

A former smoker, he was overweight and had a family history of diabetes and heart disease.

All of that changed with the district's Wellness Program.

“Nothing is new so its just a matter of drilling it into your head, so you know hey wake up you need to do this if you want to extend your quality of life,” said Burton.

Employees who have the district's health insurance are asked to participate in the program, or pay an additional $40 dollars a month for insurance.

In Burton's case he was only asked three questions to participate--body mass index, blood pressure, and tobacco use--all on line.

But in the last two years the program has asked more questions--specifically about lifestyle.

The coordinator of the program says its not about punishing people.

“Its not necessarily you know, shame on you, your blood pressure is high. But to help you understand where is is and how you can make it better,” says Laura Edman, WCSD Wellness Coordinator.

Edman says while WCSD does not charge extra to employees who smoke or who are overweight, some companies who require such information do.

She says the district has a 90% participation rate in the program.

With the cost of health care, such wellness programs can really pay off, especically for the self insured.

For the school district, it's meant a savings of more than $3,000,000 in the last 13 years.