Governor Issues Executive Order Aimed at Promoting Healthier State Employees

For Immediate Release
June 6, 2006
Contact: Communications Director
Office of the Governor

CONCORD - Gov. John Lynch today issued an Executive Order aimed at promoting healthier state employees.

"The health of our state employees is important to the quality of their lives, and also to their ability to best serve the people of New Hampshire," Gov. Lynch said.

"In addition, encouraging state employees to get healthy and stay healthy is critical to our efforts to control health care costs into the future, which is important to our state employees and New Hampshire's taxpayers," Gov. Lynch said.

The 2005-2007 state employees' contract created an eight-member Health Benefits Advisory Committee, with four members from the state management team and four from the State Employees Association. That committee is working to develop a comprehensive wellness program to assist state employees, retirees and their dependents in living healthier lives.

To support that effort, Gov. Lynch's Executive Order:

  • Directs the Health Benefits Advisory Committee
    • to create or improve wellness programs
    • create measurements to gauge the effectiveness of wellness initiatives
    • Identify models for workplace wellness programs
  • Directs all state agencies to support the effort and to appoint a wellness coordinator
  • Encourages state employees to participate in the Foundation for Healthy Communities' WalkNH program and other state wellness programs.

The Foundation for Healthy Communities began WalkNH to encourage children 6 to 12 to pledge to walk either the length - 190 miles - or the width -70 miles - of New Hampshire. WalkNH is now being expanded to include adults.

On Friday, WalkNH will hold a walk from the State House beginning at noon to mark its first anniversary and to celebrate the accomplishments of the children who participated. Gov. Lynch is encouraging state employees to participate in the walk as well.

Earlier this year, Gov. Lynch created the Citizens' Health Initiative to help him meet his long-term goals of controlling health care costs, increase access to quality health care, and ensuring that New Hampshire remains one of the healthiest states in the nation.

One part of the Initiative's work is to bring greater attention to disease prevention and encouraging healthier lifestyles.

"If we focus first on improving the health of our citizens, we will also help control costs and increase our ability to insure more people," Gov. Lynch said. " With this Executive Order, we are working to make state government a leader in promoting a healthier New Hampshire."