Eden city workers getting health coach

EDEN, N.C. — To help lower health costs and keep employees fit, the city hired a health coach to guide workers on eating healthy and exercising.

“I’m going to be able to help them achieve whatever they want to,” said health coach Emily Juengel.

Juengel will be responsible for meeting with all 306 city workers one on one, evaluating their current medical and physical conditions, and getting them started on a plan to get them healthier.

“They know they’re supposed to be exercising,” Juengel said. “A big part of why I’m here is to be able to actually motivate them to actually do it.”

That motivation will be critical for some.

Sixty-one city workers have severe or chronic illnesses like kidney disease, diabetes or hypertension. One hundred and twelve employees are at risk.

“We want everybody who works for the city of Eden to be safe and healthy,” said Sergeant Sam Shelton who is on the city’s Wellness Committee.

Shelton says a health coach will help lower the $2,000,000 a year the city now spends on health care costs.

“If we can save money while being healthy, that’s a two-win situation,” Shelton said.

Shelton says the health coach will cost the city to $37,440 a year.

A small price he says to save thousands of dollars.

“The big thing is it saves their lives,” Shelton said.

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