Well City Milwaukee has a strong foundation and solid history. In 2006 the respective health care task forces of the Greater Milwaukee Committee (GMC) and the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) merged to form one united initiative under the leadership of T. Michael Bolger of the Medical College of Wisconsin. As the group discussed Milwaukee’s health care issues and their impact on the community, one particular strategy began to emerge that entire group could embrace – workplace wellness.

The Well City Milwaukee project was launched in 2007 through five leading partners: The City of Milwaukee, the Greater Milwaukee Committee (GMC), the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC), the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee and the Wellness Council of Wisconsin. Together these five organizations set out to address the issues through encouraging best practice workplace wellness programming as a key business strategy to enhance the health and wellbeing off the workforce, manage health care expenditures and raise community awareness of the importance of healthy lifestyles.

They adopted the Well City USA model set forth by the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA), the nation’s most trusted resource for workplace wellness.  The Well City USA designation challenges local business leaders to work together toward building healthier communities beginning in the workplace. Achieving Well City USA designation requires that 20% of a community’s working population must be employed by Well Workplace accredited organizations.  

The project was a success! Over 40 employers took the lead, working together to secure this designation and help create a healthy and vibrant Milwaukee workforce. Through inspiring meetings, hard work and dedication 34 of these organizations who collectively employed over 75,000 employees earned Well Workplace accreditations and are now on the path to operating data-driven, results oriented worksite wellness programs.  Milwaukee became the largest city in the nation to earn the coveted Well City USA designation at the silver level for reaching 30% of the workforce through the effort. Click here to see WELCOA’s Well City Milwaukee proclamation.    

Since then, other cities in Wisconsin have followed Milwaukee’s lead, making Wisconsin the only state in the nation with more than one active Well City project.  To learn more about Wisconsin Well City projects, click here.  

To read more of the Well City Milwaukee story, click here.


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