Montgomery County healthy living program shows success

We’ve all heard that time is money. But now, a new local report is showing that health and wellness is money, too.

The report, compiled by Montgomery County, based on a 2009 initiative, found that $35 million in health care costs were due to diseases considered to be preventable or manageable: asthma, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

As part of the initiative, Montgomery County Public Schools implemented the “Well Aware” program in 2010—of which 5,300 of 10,000 employees participated. The program, which aimed to raise awareness about health and exercise, found relative success.

Outcomes included combined weight loss of 16,490 pounds and average body mass index, which started at 26.2, ending at 22.4, Montgomery County said in a press release. The weight loss moved the group from the obese category to the normal weight category.

Montgomery County Council's Health and Human Services Committee, its Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee and its Education Committee will hold a triple-joint meeting Thursday in an effort to inspire similar programs among other County employees.