Mayor Kasim Reed Celebrates Grand Opening of New Employee Wellness Center

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

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

“I am proud to offer this new Wellness Center to the hard-working women and men who keep our city running,” said Mayor Reed. “The City of Atlanta is the only local government in the state to offer paid family leave, to achieve a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index for four consecutive years, raised minimum wage for workers and is now the only local government to offer a health and fitness facility of this caliber to its employees. The City of Atlanta invests in its employees’ physical health, emotional health and financial wellbeing.”

As part of Mayor Reed’s ‘A Healthier You’ Initiative, the Department of Human Resources partnered with Healthstat, Kaiser Permanente to plan the new Employee Health Center.  The Health Center will offer an on-site medical clinic, which will provide access to acute care, urgent care, health risk counseling and chronic disease management. Healthstat and Kaiser are two of the country’s most innovative workplace health promotion and wellness providers. 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 our employees who have medical insurance with their health plan. Through the collaboration of these key partners, the clinic will deliver remarkable care to all city employees.

“The job of a public health servant is an extremely challenging one. If we can help City employees and their families receive more convenient access to care and achieve their personal health goals, we can create a more productive workforce — all while better managing the City’s overall health care costs,” Healthstat CEO Crockett Dale. “Our goal is to change lives, and we’re honored to play a role in the continued success of Mayor Reed’s ‘A Healthier You’ initiative.”

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 of Atlanta 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.

“Through the vision of Mayor Reed and the hard work of the Department of Human Resources, the City of Atlanta has again shown how we are the leading public employer in the metropolitan area,” said Department of Human Resources Commissioner Yvonne Cowser Yancy. “The new Wellness Center is a symbol of this Administration’s commitment to its employees and to downtown Atlanta.”

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.

Finally, 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.

The Reed Administration has consistently made significant investments in employee compensation and benefits. In the midst of the worst economic recession in 80 years, the Administration eliminated furloughs and layoffs citywide, built the largest fire department to date and eliminated staffing shortages on fire trucks, brought the city’s police force to 2,000 officers for the first time in the department’s history, and restored command staff at the city jail. Two years ago, Mayor Reed made the City of Atlanta the first local government in the state to offer up to six weeks of paid parental leave for primary caregivers and up to two weeks for secondary caregivers.