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Get Healthy Now

Louisville, KY, USA

Partners F-J

Get Healthy Now (Louisville, KY, USA)

Wellness Program Title / Year Implemented

Get Healthy Now, 2005


Demographics / Details

6500+ employees
9,000 covered lives, self-funded medical model

Primary Goals

  • Nurture culture of health
  • Incent and engage employees as part of total rewards
  • Contain health care costs
  • Decelerate rate of increase in overall cost of coverage


Wellness Program Overview

Get Healthy Now (GHN) was launched in 2005 as an integral part of a comprehensive employee benefit package. It is a voluntary, incentive based program. Participating employees receive a $40 monthly premium incentive for participation ($480 annually). Additional incentives can be earned based on program-specific participation. The program is open to spouses, qualifying adults, and retirees.

  • Vendor partner: Health Fitness Corporation (HFC). HFC provides the program’s online health risk assessment, health advising, dedicated health coaches, web platform, and support with facility management of UofL’s Get Healthy Now Wellness Center.
  • The GHN Wellness Center is a 22k square foot employee-based facility that offers comprehensive well-being support through health and wellness classes, coaching, motivational programs, state-of-the-art fitness equipment, integrated clinical care and friendly, professional staff.
  • Participation rate: 75%
  • Website: Louisville Edu - Get Healthy Now
  • Comprehensive Wellness Offerings designed to mitigate UofL’s top three lifestyle drivers of health care cost: obesity, stress and lack of physical activity.


Awards & Recognitions

  • CUPA-HR National and Regional Award
  • American Heart Association’s Platinum Fit-friendly recognition
  • Business First’s 2010 “Healthiest Employer of Louisville” Award (5,000+ employees)
  • Mayor’s “Healthy Hometown Movement Veteran Worksite Wellness Award”


Key to Success / Best Practice

  • Removing silos through systematic partnership
  • Integrating health and disease management strategies (data collection, analysis and marketing)
  • Strong leadership support
  • Engagement with campus and community constituents through alignment of mutual goals


Return on Investment (ROI)

Evaluation methods and results completed to date:

2009 Health Risk Assessment Time 1 vs. Time 2 Comparison:

  • 3:1 ROI
  • 5+ health risks decreased; depression and stress high risk rate decreased
  • Annual health care cost increase for program participants = 2.5% compared to 19.5% for non-participants


2012 Overall Program ROI:

  • Approximately $4.3 million in reduced claims spending (Oct. 2007 – Oct. 2011)
  • Benefit cost ratio of 7:1 (savings after four program years)
  • GHN program participants average claims savings = $1,300


Value of Investment (VOI):

GHN supports the universities ability to recruit, retain, recognize and reward a high performing workforce, as evident in the following employee testimonies.



“…I really am thankful for GHN. It was something that I found attractive about the position here at UofL when I was going through the job search process last year”.



“When I first started…in 2008 I was close to 170 lbs. and was horrified that I had let that happen. It was amazing to me to discover that with GHN there is no judgment or shame attached to any advice/guidance given. I cannot express fully how valuable that is and how grateful I am for that. I am so happy that for the last three years I not only have lost the weight (and am continuing to do so) but I have kept it off!!!”

Via Twitter:” @ULGetHealthyNow “Had a great workout this afternoon! Thanks for such a terrific gym! One of the best things about working at U of L!”



“I’m so glad I was able to make it to yesterday’s session. I cannot even believe how much better I felt when I left! My whole body felt better! My shoulders were up to my ears when I arrived (that’s where I carry my stress) and by time I left they felt better than they have in a very long time! I never would have thought just some simple “day dreaming” and “breathing” could be so powerful! Thanks again for sharing these powerful tools with us!”

Via Facebook: “YES! It was fantastic! Finished in 2 hours and 34 minutes running the whole way. Many thanks to …the GHN running club for taking me from walker to half-marathoner is just a few short months!!"



“My husband...took GHN’s free blood screening back in November. His glucose registered just in the pre-diabetic range – which motivated him to lose weight. He lost approx. 20 lbs. (we’re still working on eating more vegetables + exercising…), just had his blood work re-done and he’s no longer pre-diabetic! Thanks a bunch! I’d been trying to help him be healthier for a while – but the physical/blood work was really what finally motivated him.”

“I wanted to commend you on what a WONDERFUL program you have developed. Your Get Healthy Now team is awesome, they are all dedicated to what they do and do it well. I think this is one of UofL's BEST benefits. I'm getting ready to start Zumba classes AND Water aerobics, two things I would never have been able to participate in due to working with a ONE income family, you and your team encourage good health every day with Healthy tips, and numerous other ways to get healthy with support and confidence, I can't say enough about your program. Thank you for all you and your staff do for UofL employees.”

Health Management = Wealth Management

GHN supports the economic well being of everyone in our Cardinal family by adopting a “living wage” program (Nov. 2013), increasing the minimum salary for regular staff employees to $10 per hour. Funding for the program was possible due to the savings incurred through the health insurance program. 

As quoted in a recent campus communication from UofL President, Dr. James Ramsey:
“Through strong management of our resources and thanks in part to the success of Get Healthy Now, we have been able to reallocate savings from our health insurance program to this important initiative – without raising insurance rates or cutting back on our employees’ health benefit.”


Community Engagement

  • American Heart Association Mission Committee: The AHA Mission Committee, chaired by Patricia Benson, UofL Get Healthy Now Director, supports local business and organizations seeking industry best practice on employee wellness programs. Valuable AHA health resources and national wellness initiatives aimed at preventing heart disease and promoting healthy lifestyles are discussed at each meeting.
  • University Wellness Alliance of Kentucky (UWAK): This alliance was formed to support Kentucky higher education institutions seeking best practice on employee wellness programs. The alliance meets every Fall and Spring semester. UWAK Co-chairs: Patricia Benson (UofL), Jody Ensman (UK), Wade Pinkard (Western Kentucky).
  • National University Wellness Summit: The University of Louisville is represented on this national university wellness summit planning committee. The first University Summit for Faculty and Staff Health and Wellness was held on September 23, 2013. Plans are well under way for a consecutive summit due to the demand for industry-specific knowledge and information on comprehensive, strategically implemented employee wellness programs that support the well-being of the campus community. The half-day, invitation-only university summit targets senior administrators and leaders responsible for the delivery of faculty and staff health and wellness programs



Louisville, KY, USA



Louisville Edu - Get Healthy Now



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