State of Colorado Employee Wellness Program Teams Up With the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center to Bring Health Solutions to State Workers

Share Article

The State of Colorado recently provided the 16-week State of Slim weight loss wellness program to employees in a successful pilot with the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center. Overall, the group lost more than 282 pounds.

Workplace wellness brought State of Colorado employees into a new "state of slim" with the Universtiy of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center

In terms of weight loss, the program teaches employees how to get outside their comfort zone and transform themselves. "I’m thrilled with how much I lost, how quickly I lost it and how confident I am that I can keep it off."

The first group of 20 State of Colorado (State) employees lost an average of 8.59% of their body weight while participating in the 16 week State of Slim pilot program, offered through the employee wellness program. Overall the group of lost 282.1 pounds, with some of the individuals losing as many as 34 pounds.

The University of Colorado (CU) Anschutz Health and Wellness Center’s research-based, results-oriented weight-loss program State of Slim, was offered through the State of Colorado Employee Wellness Program, which encourages State employees to live healthier lives through incentives and innovative programs. The wellness program empowers employees to take action by creating long-term healthy behaviors and routines, and supports Gov. John Hickenlooper’s goal to make Colorado the healthiest state in America.

All interested employees completed a voluntary application and signed a commitment to the State of Slim expectations. CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center experts selected 20 employees for the program based on the center’s criteria and participants’ level of readiness.

The employees met with a State of Slim transformation coach for 16 weeks of curriculum-based, face-to-face group sessions. To promote engagement, employees paid a small fee, and if employees met the expectations and promises for the program they earned their contribution back.

In terms of weight loss, the program teaches employees how to get outside their comfort zone and have the right mindset and motivation to transform themselves. Unlike typical weight loss programs, State of Slim teaches participants not only how to get the weight off, but how to keep it off.

“State of Slim class participants often come to us for weight loss but soon learn they are in for a lifelong transformation,” said program creator Holly Wyatt, MD, medical director of the CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center and co-author of the book State of Slim. “The information we teach is based on 30 years of scientific research, which showed us that changing your mindset is just as important as diet and fitness when it comes to taking weight off and keeping it off long-term. We are thrilled to partner with the State of Colorado in its organizational wellness journey as it offers the State of Slim program to its employees. It truly demonstrates the State’s commitment to walking the talk and the importance of a healthy workplace.”

Department of Personnel & Administration (DPA) employee Greg Mechem lost 20.6 pounds by changing eating behaviors, habits and patterns. “I love the way this whole concept has been introduced,” said Mechem. “The explanations of how we've gotten to where we are ring true. The insight as to what needs to be done to change the cycle and that this is not just a temporary change but a permanent one, is profound.”

Another DPA employee, Sabrina D’Agosta, dropped 18.2 pounds she had previously struggled to lose. “As a lifelong vegetarian, I thought I was eating really well, and exercise alone wasn’t helping me accomplish my weight loss goals after I had kids. State of Slim made me re-examine my food choices and fundamentally changed the way I think about not just my diet, but my overall health and well-being. I’m thrilled with how much I lost, how quickly I lost it and how confident I am that I can keep it off. I’m hugely appreciative that the State offered this program and hope that many others will participate.”

Moving forward, the State plans to offer additional State of Slim programs to select departments in a phased approach. One of the State’s health plan partners, UnitedHealthcare, sponsored the cost of the first phase of the program.

“State of Slim is an innovative and exciting way to get State employees to make healthy choices a part of their everyday life,” said Beth Soberg, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Colorado. “UnitedHealthcare is grateful for the opportunity to support this program and help Coloradoans live healthier lives.”

“As we continue to advance the employee wellness program, we are always looking for opportunities to collaborate with local partners who offer wellness solutions that not only engage State employees in their health, but help them make positive lifelong changes,” said Nate Sassano, wellness manager for the State. “The CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center’s State of Slim program brings training and education on-site and supports our vision to build a work environment where it is easy to engage in healthy activities.”

State of Colorado Employee Wellness Program:
In 2012, the Governor’s Office released the State of Health Report: Colorado’s Mission to become the Healthiest state in the Country. The plan outlined ways to support Coloradans in their efforts to achieve their optimal health, promote prevention and care management, expand coverage, and improve health system integration and quality. As the second largest employer in Colorado, the State recognized the opportunity to improve the health of more than 31,000 classified State employees and lead the way as a wellness-focused employer. The State of Colorado Employee Wellness Program was launched on July 1, 2013. The goal is to create a worksite environment that inspires, encourages and supports employee health and well-being through programs, policies and culture. The program is offered to all State of Colorado employees. Employees on a State-sponsored benefit plan are eligible to receive up to $20 off of their monthly benefits premium if they 1) take an annual health assessment through their carrier and 2) earn 400 coins monthly on CaféWell, an online Health Optimization Platform™ of resources and programs that drives consumer engagement through a novel combination of social, gaming and personalized activities. For more information on the employee wellness program, visit colorado.gov/dhr/wellness.

State of Slim:
The State of Slim program was created by Holly Wyatt, MD, medical director at the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center and medical director for the ABC-TV hit show “Extreme Weight Loss”. Wyatt’s revolutionary 16-week transformational weight loss program is based on the book State of Slim she co-authored with CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center Executive Director James O. Hill, PhD. The CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center is now offering a corporate version of the State of Slim program to employers dedicated to improving the well-being of their employees. State of Slim is unlike traditional weight loss programs, transforming lives and empowering employees through behavior-change and sustainable health solutions.

University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center:
The University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center is an innovative, state-of-the art research, education and consumer care facility located on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado. The Center's mission is to transform the lives of individuals and communities through science-based wellness strategies. Research is translated into customized programs and offerings, delivered through the Wellness Clinic and Fitness Center.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Marcia Neville
University of Colorado Denver|Anschutz Medical Campus
+1 303-656-8362
Email >