Hooked On Health makes a positive difference - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Hooked On Health makes a positive difference

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

December 8, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A mission to get Dougherty County employees hooked on health, financial, emotional and physical health, started three months ago. And it's paid off.

One county employee who's so hooked, he doesn't plan to stop anytime soon.

When 200 Dougherty County employees took a stroll through Downtown in July, they were kicking off a program to drop 715 pounds collectively-- a goal they met and exceeded.

"This just gave me a little more incentive when you got other people doing it with you," said Hooked On Health Winner Mike Chappell.

The Public Works employee dropped 47 pounds while taking part in the challenge.  "A little competition never hurts," he said.

And the competition didn't just change his pants size. It improved his health. "It helped in other aspects of my health, my blood pressure, my sugar, glucose, all of that has been helped."

Human Resources Project Manager Project Manager Jawahn Ware says the program, paid for by grants through the Health Department, benefits both the employees and the county. "The healthier an employee is, the more productive he or she will be."

And the less money the county will hopefully pay out in insurance claims. But she didn't just talk about the program, she participated, losing 19 inches. County administrator Richard Crowdis was another top finisher in the amount of inches shed. 

"Of course, if we are going to have a program, we're going to have to lead by example." And while the competition may be over, for Chappell, there's still work to be done.  "I'm going to reach my goal."

He plans to lose another 100 pounds, and gain years of health and happiness.

The participants dropped a total of 864 pounds, and almost 400 inches. Eighty people lowered their cholesterol, and more than 50 saw an improvement in blood pressure.

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