City of Washougal recognized for employee health

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The Association of Washington Cities (AWC) recently named the city of Washougal as one of 105 cities, towns and other local governments that received its 2021 WellCity Award, given to entities that meet the AWC Employee Benefit Trust’s WellCity standards and demonstrate a commitment to employee health.

“Many of our programs are designed toward behavioral changes, like exercising on a regular basis and eating more nutritional meals, because healthy lifestyle changes can lead to reducing or minimizing health risks and decreasing medical costs,” Coston said in a news release issued by the city. “Our team-based programs promote a competitive spirit and support our fellow colleagues.”

Award recipients are part of the AWC Employee Benefit Trust, Washington’s largest local government employee health benefit pool for cities, towns and other local governments. The trust provides health benefits to more than 270 public entities and more than 36,000 employees and family members across the state.

The city of Washougal saved an estimated $27,347.67 on its 2021 medical premiums by meeting the WellCity standards, according to the news release.

“Employers that place employee health among their core values and demonstrate that belief through healthy workplace policies, environments and wellness programs empower their employees to value and maintain good health,” AWC chief executive officer Peter King said in the news release. “Both the employer and the community benefit from more productive employees. It’s a win for everyone.”

The AWC is an Olympia-based nonprofit corporation that advocates on behalf of cities and towns and provides training and pooling programs.