Pinal County Wellness Program Saves Money, Earns Gold

Program to reduce absenteeism and increase employee health recognized

By Dana Trumbull

The Pinal County Wellness Program for county employees has really paid off with a net value of approximately $1.1 million saved through the reduction of sick hours.

Pinal County Human Resources Director Patrick Camunez spoke at the June 27, 2018, Board of Supervisors meeting in Florence, AZ, sharing the news of the county’s award winning effort. The statewide Healthy Arizona Worksites Program recently conferred Gold Level status on the county as an employer, thanks to wellness efforts that extend to all county offices and employees.

“Last year, we sat down with Public Health and really tried to do an evaluation of what we were doing with the wellness program, where we wanted to go and what our targets were,” said Camunez. “Ultimately, our target ended up becoming that we wanted to reduce employee absences. The county had been averaging approximately 100,000 hours per year [in sick time] for a number of years. We thought, ‘We need to reduce this; get people here to work; get them productive.”

With input from the Public Health department and a coordinated effort in employee education and wellness opportunities, the Wellness Committee made a significant impact. “We ran the final numbers today,” stated Camunez. “I am proud to announce that we reduced sick hours by 26% last year. It got down to a total savings of 27,619 sick hours. That is approximately $1.1 million in savings.”

Supervisor Todd House applauded the effort, “The health of our employees has always been a big issue, and we want to do the best we can to keep them in a healthy situation. We’re really happy that we had such an advancement; that’s a substantial amount of numbers that you’re showing us. We appreciate all the hard work they’ve done.”

The Healthy Arizona Worksite Award seeks to recognize employers who are making evidence-based efforts to support the health and well-being of their employees and their families. Organizations that meet the Healthy Arizona Worksite Award criteria are recognized in statewide communications, at a recognition event and on the Healthy Arizona Worksite Program website.

Gold Level is the second highest you can get with the statewide program. It is awarded to businesses that are tracking and documenting outcomes and behavior change. Gold level programs have demonstrated institutional support and have integrated worksite health programs with business policies and benefits. Their programming is data and outcomes driven. (

Photo above: Members of the Pinal County Wellness Committee posed for a photo op with the County Supervisors. L-R (red shirts): Anisa Ayer, Joe Pyritz (white shirt), Anne Rubel, Krishna Fick, Sonia Ortega, Aleshia Quick, Patricia Shriner, Yvette Patterson (black shirt), Patrick Camunez – Not in Photo: Tonya Martinez, Christine Trent, Nicole Hudson, Chris Martinez, Jacquetta Hough, Hunter Rankin


  1. Pinal County Wellness Program offers remarkable validation to the fact that small improvements are the key to long-term results. Milt Wood, Ph.D. (Human Factors)

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