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California Leaders Announce Wellness Program for Public Sector Workers

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, May 1, 2012

State officials and health groups announced a new workplace wellness initiative for state employees.

CHIANG:"This is going to be an evidence based project."

California State Controller John Chiang said even the smallest of successes in disease prevention could bring millions of dollars in savings to the state.

He cited a new study - finding that in 2008, almost a quarter of public employee health costs (about $362 million dollars) was the result of treating preventable conditions.

CHIANG:"These are the diseases that we really need to attack - they include diabetes, hypertension and heart disease."

Chiang shared a stage with Yvonne Walker of the Service Employees International Union.  

WALKER:"We want to get to the place where we're working, we've got a horrible state budget, we're doing more with less, and we want to be able to take a fact based approach and say you know what, it is ok for an employee to go out and take a walk for a half an hour."

The details of the initiative have not been determined.

The pilot project will start with employees at the California Department of Public Health.

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