July 31, 2012

Chicago launches its innovative wellness program designed by Healthways, setting an example for the rest of the country

Chris Cigarran and Ernie Banks

Chris Cigarran, vice president at Healthways, and Cubs legend Ernie Banks celebrate the kickoff of Chicago’s new wellness program at a July 27, 2012 press conference.

This past Friday brought much excitement—both for our nation, as we began cheering on Olympic contenders, and for our company, as we cheered on the city of Chicago in the launch of its new wellness program, designed and implemented by Healthways.

Introduced by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel last Friday at a press conference, the Chicago Lives Healthy program is now available to more than 47,000 city employees and their spouses/domestic partners who are eligible. It’s one of the largest, most comprehensive government wellness program ever introduced.

Aimed at helping people achieve improvements in their well-being and live healthier lives, the program offers access to a comprehensive suite of tools and capabilities through Healthways. Chicago Lives Healthy is also expected to help contain out-of-pocket healthcare expenses while saving the city and taxpayers money.

Healthways Vice President Chris Cigarran spoke at the press conference, helping introduce the groundbreaking wellness program. “It’s simple,” he said, “healthier people cost less and are more productive.” On a deeper level, he went on to say, “Chicago Lives Healthy is about making a difference in people’s lives. It’s about giving people the support they need and information they need to live more productive lives.” To hear more of what Cigarran and other speakers like Cubs legend Ernie Banks said, you can watch the video of the press conference online.

The city of Chicago also shared a press release on Friday with more details about the program. Together with the press conference, it garnered the attention of several news outlets. In the press release, Ben R. Leedle, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Healthways shared, “The program’s visionary and groundbreaking initiatives, led by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, will propel the city and its employees to even greater heights.”

While Chicago will see the direct impact of this program in the short and long term, it’s exciting to think about a potential ripple effect it could have across the nation (or world) as other governments take notice of the example Chicago sets. Working together toward improved well-being, we can be healthier and happier—not just in terms of our physical health, but also our financial health.

To learn more about how Healthways supports populations, visit our capabilities page.

Written by: Jennifer Rudloff

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