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Partnerships put focus on fitness for Erie County employees

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Thu, Dec 10th 2015 01:40 pm
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz (second from right) is joined by partners from the Labor-Management Healthcare Fund, BlueCross BlueShield of WNY, and Pharmacy Benefits Dimensions along with Erie County employees to cut the ribbon on the new fitness center for county employees at the Edward A. Rath building. The fitness center will be available at no cost to county employees.
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz (second from right) is joined by partners from the Labor-Management Healthcare Fund, BlueCross BlueShield of WNY, and Pharmacy Benefits Dimensions along with Erie County employees to cut the ribbon on the new fitness center for county employees at the Edward A. Rath building. The fitness center will be available at no cost to county employees.

Insurance providers, county wellness committee create 6th floor fitness center in unused space

Erie County employees will have increased opportunities for exercise and fitness following completion of a new sixth-floor fitness center at the Edward A. Rath county office building.

Occupying space that had once been a cafeteria for county employees, the fitness center is a joint venture between the county wellness committee and county insurance providers, including the Labor- Management Healthcare Fund, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York and Pharmacy Benefits Dimensions.

"Providing opportunities for employees to enjoy healthy exercise and activities can help to reduce workplace stress, improve productivity and create a healthier workplace environment overall," Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said. "This partnership has made it possible for Erie County employees to explore healthier lifestyles and will also help to control health insurance costs going forward.

"I would like to thank the wellness committee and our insurance provider partners for collaborating to build a healthier, stronger Erie County."

"We are pleased to partner with Erie County and the Labor-Management Healthcare Fund to designate the latest BlueCross BlueShield Healthy Zone for county employees," said Julie R. Snyder, vice president, corporate relations, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York. "As the county's partner in health, we believe the fitness center will provide a destination for our members to lead healthier lives."

"One of the Labor-Management Healthcare Fund's primary goals is to promote good health among its members. We are very pleased to have been given the opportunity through our program to provide wellness-related activities and exercise equipment to the employees of Erie County government," said Vicki Martino, executive director of the Labor-Management Healthcare Fund.

"Through our strong partnership, Erie County and Pharmacy Benefit Dimensions are committed to further improving the health and well-being of county employees," said Lynne Olewine, vice president, Pharmacy Benefit Dimensions. "A key piece in achieving this shared goal is encouraging prevention and wellness by providing county employees with the resources to take greater responsibility for their health. We are proud to support Erie County in helping to engage their employees in their health and wellness."

The sixth-floor space has been reconfigured to provide room for several types of fitness and exercise. Class space for Zumba, yoga, walking classes and similar activities has been created and includes a television with DVD capabilities for instructional classes. A separate room houses cardio equipment and free weights, while a third room is designed for meditation and reflection.

The fitness center will be available at no cost to county employees before and after their workdays as well as during their lunch hour, with employees required to show their identification to gain access. Employees must sign a waiver with the personnel department prior to using the fitness center.

Equipment in the fitness center was provided through the partnerships with insurance providers at no cost to taxpayers, and includes two stationary bikes, two treadmills, two elliptical machines, a three-station weight machine, a rack of dumbbell weights and a bench for those workouts.

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