The Chester County Commissioners received an American Diabetes Association Health Champion Designation award at this week’s Sunshine public meeting. Presented by Dr. Kevin Kelly, Area Executive Director of the organization, this national designation recognizes companies that inspire and encourage organizational well-being and is part of the American Diabetes Association’s Wellness Lives HereTM initiative.Chester County Commissioners’ Chair Michelle Kichline said: “We are honored that our commitment to making the health and wellness of our employees a priority has been recognized by the American Diabetes Association. Ever since the adoption of our County wellness program 11 years ago, our goal has been to encourage county staff – and in turn, their families – to take on board healthy habits which not only benefit their physical and mental health, but that also improve morale and productivity.”To qualify for the Health Champion Designation, Chester County had to meet the healthy living criteria in the areas of nutrition and weight management, physical activity and organizational well-being. In addition to establishing a smoke-free workplace policy, the County qualified for the award through offering many other initiatives such as access to free drinking water, providing healthy eating choices, establishing health and fitness classes and coaching, health & wellness fairs, walking routes and health assessments. “Chester County has taken a lead in incorporating health and well-being into the business day, and this recognition by the American Diabetes Association reinforces our efforts,” said County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone. “In addition to our own wellness program, Chester County’s Health Department encourages businesses large and small to introduce worksite wellness programs, which give employers the opportunity to save health care dollars, increase productivity, reduce injuries and decrease absenteeism.”County Commissioner Terence Farrell added: “Chester County has consistently been identified as the healthiest county in Pennsylvania and we continually strive to create an environment that encourages good health and wellness, at work and beyond. Engaging people in healthy living and encouraging healthful habits is no easy task, but the rewards are great. I thank our County wellness program staff for their hard work in developing the program, and in helping Chester County to earn this American Diabetes Association recognition.# # #The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes® and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Since 1940, our mission has been to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information, about Wellness Lives Here and the Health Champion Designation, please visit diabetes.org/wellnessliveshere.