Interesting that they will track health claims back to see how effective the program is in time...BD

Every Thursday morning at 9, staffers at Weymouth Town Hall trudge downstairs to the health offices in the basement and step on a scale. They're competing for cash prizes in a weight-loss program based on the hit reality TV show, "The Biggest Loser."

In Whitman, the town manager is drafting a policy that would require new municipal employees to undergo drug and alcohol screening. In Plymouth, public works employees are given sunscreen in the summer to protect their skin while working outdoors. In Norwood, town employees can work out at the Recreation Department's gym facilities, or stop by Town Hall to get their blood pressure checked, a diabetes screening, or a flu shot.

It's exciting," Flynn said. "We're looking at incentives we can offer employees, and we're also going to try to track claims based on the wellness programs" to see what impact they have.

Whitman soon will require all new municipal employees to undergo physical exams and substance-abuse testing. The new policy is being written by Town Administrator Frank Lynam and will be subject to approval by the Board of Selectmen.

Town Hall, the new HMO - The Boston Globe


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