Following the acquisition of City Plaza, the City continues its resurgence of Downtown Atlanta with the opening of the Wellness Center. CONTRIBUTED

Atlanta opens employee wellness center

The city of Atlanta celebrated the grand opening of the new employee Wellness Center on Aug. 9. The new, 12,000-square foot facility located in the City Plaza building across from City Hall is the only one of its kind in the ten-county metropolitan region. It offers health, fitness and Employee Assistance Program services under one roof as well as giving city employees a new resource to achieve their personal health goals.

As part of Mayor Kasim Reed’s ‘A Healthier You’ initiative, the Department of Human Resources partnered with Healthstat, Kaiser Permanente to plan the new Employee Health Center. The facility will offer an on-site medical clinic, which will provide access to acute care, urgent care, health risk counseling and chronic disease management.

Healthstat will coordinate with Morehouse Medical School and Grady Health System to provide physician leadership for the employees covered under BCBS and all other active employees. Kaiser will provide medical services for employees who have medical insurance with its health plan.

The new, approximately $3 million facility was funded entirely through insurance reserve funds generated through contracts with insurance vendors, pharmacy rebates and performance guarantees. No general fund dollars were used for the project. According to 36-month projections by EPIC Brokers and Consultants, this care will allow the city to save $2 in health care claims costs for every $1 it invests in the program. These savings will come from the clinic’s combined ability to reduce the rising cost of health benefit plans and improve city employees’ productivity.

The Wellness Center includes a 5,000-square foot Fitness Center that will be managed by one of the nation’s leading onsite fitness management firms, Aquila Fitness Consultants. The facility will triple the number of exercise machines available to employees, and features full-service locker rooms and a juice bar. Employees will be able to take advantage of group and individual fitness training programs, lifestyle and wellbeing engagement programs, nutritional programs and access to fitness coaches.

Psychological Services and Employee Assistance Program educational and wellness programs will be offered in the Health Center space. The city’s PSEAP offers employees access to low or no-cost counseling and other psychological wellbeing services during periods of difficulty such as the winter months, when Seasonal Affective Disorder is common, or following the death of a loved one or colleague.

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