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State of Rhode Island Wellness Program Wins International Health Award

Providence, RI - The State of Rhode Island's "Rewards for Wellness" program is one of three winners of the 2011 International Health Promotion Awards (IHPA) competition. The winning programs, announced last week in Rome, Italy, were chosen for their innovative strategies to improve overall health and reduce the risk of chronic disease. The "Rewards for Wellness" program was honored along with Lesotho, Africa's Apparel Lesotho Alliance to Fight AIDS and Brazil's Telecare to Remote Areas.

"I am proud of our state employees who participate in the 'Rewards for Wellness' program, which has deservedly won this noteworthy award," Governor Chafee said. "This is a great honor, especially notable because its focus is the health and wellbeing of the people of Rhode Island."

Rhode Island's "Rewards for Wellness" program encourages employee health through activities that contribute to positive lifestyle changes. These include smoking cessation programs, health coaching programs, and physical activity challenges such as Shape Up Rhode Island and Weight Watchers. The "Rewards for Wellness" program works under the premise that promoting a healthy lifestyle leads to understanding preventive strategies and an increased probability that dangerous health conditions are discovered early. Employees who make an effort to better their overall health conditions are awarded co-share credits for their commitment.

Information on how Rhode Island will continue to foster healthy lifestyles among its employees can be found at, including links to health resources and a calendar for tracking health progress.

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