County looks to improve employee health

Published 7:17 am Friday, July 9, 2010

The county is set to apply for a $1,700 grant to help its employees improve their health.

Unlike the county’s former shape-up challenge, this program aims for longer-term lifestyle changes.

“It’s kind of a comprehensive plan where we’re doing things year around,” said Emily Croswell, a registered nurse.

The county board won’t put any money toward the project, they’ll simply submit the grant application.

That’s not to say the county won’t benefit in the long run. According to Commissioner David Hillier, healthier employees would lower insurance costs. However, it typically takes a long time to see those benefits.

Hillier also said healthy employees often have better morale.

If the county is able to secure the grant dollars from the Minnesota Department of Health, it is likely the county will receive the same funding every year, Croswell said.

Other commissioners expressed their support for the project.

“I think it’s a good opportunity,” Commissioner Tim Gabrielson said.