Ready To Launch: The State of Colorado Employee Wellness Program

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NASCA, Public Sector, Innovation, Wellness, Agile Workforce, Public-Private Partnerships, Evidence-Based Organization, Leading Change, Culture Change, Change Management, Citizen-Centric Services

Learning Objective

This case study explores the leadership challenges developing effective public-private partnerships, working across agencies, leading change, establishing new organizational structures and systems, and scaling innovations.


Colorado is committed to healthy living, and in 2013 the state launched a robust effort to improve the health and wellness of over 30,000 state employees. In collaboration with several private sector partners, they created an online web portal, accessible to all employees regardless of their insurance provider, to establish incentives and support customized programs to improve employee wellness. Within three years they had more than 50% of employees participating in activities such as health screenings, targeted diabetes programs, walking and exercise programs, and new partnerships to offer near-site health clinics. This case study examines their initial efforts focused on redefining the relationship between partners, developing trust, and increasing participation, which necessitated working across diverse agencies with different needs, cultures, and ways of communicating. It also considers how the program evolved, and how the state restructured its partnerships to provide a more innovative, outcome-focused program

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