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NEWS RELEASES
City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor
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For Immediate Release
City & County Celebrate National Employee Health & Fitness Day

May 15, 2007 - The City of Knoxville is joining Knox County Wednesday, May 16, to celebrate National Employee Health & Fitness Day.

Included among the activities will be a walk led by Mayor Bill Haslam, some health-related "Lunch and Learn," programs on "Workday Wellness" and a badminton tournament on the City County Building lawn pitting teams from the city against the county.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee; the Knoxville Track Club, the YMCA of East Tennessee and Court South, are all involved in the activities.

This is the first time the City has officially taken part in National Employee Health & Fitness Day.

Kessala Dorsey, a benefits coordinator with the City's Risk Management office who is one of the coordinators of the event said the city wants to support activities that encourage employees to live healthier.

Megan Amburn, benefits assistant with the county's human resources office, is coordinating the event for Knox County.

"We want to keep our employees healthy and we want to keep them around here longer," Dorsey said before adding that the city would like the event to grow.

"When it does grow we'll have more competitions, different speakers and two or three lunch and learns going on at the same time," she said.

The schedule begins at 10 a.m. when Mayors Haslam and Ragsdale issue a joint proclamation declaring it National Employee Health & Fitness Day in Knoxville and Knox County.

Mayor Haslam and representatives from Blue Cross Blue Shield, the YMCA, the Knoxville Track Club and Court South will then lead a walk through downtown Knoxville to Market Square and back.

The lunch and learns are set for noon to 1 p.m. in the Human Resources Conference room in the City County Building and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Knox County Health Department's Community Room.

The badminton tournament will begin at 1:30 p.m. on the City County Building lawn.

Dorsey said representatives from the YMCA and Court South will be doing a nutrition spot while speakers from the Knoxville Track Club and Blue Cross Blue Shield will discuss the Walking Works program during the Lunch and Learn.

She said the city plans to get involved in the Walking Works program and hopes to encourage employees to walk in the downtown area and on greenways among other sites.

"We thought it would be great to make it into a competition with the county," she said. "We thought if we made a friendly competition out of it, that would keep up the interest."

Dorsey said the city hopes to install software on its intranet that would allow employees in the program to convert their steps, or the distances they walked on a greenway, for instance, into miles.

"I'm excited about it (the day)," she said. "When we spark the interest it will be bigger next year and in years to come.

 

For Immediate Release
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