November 18, 2015

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

Secretary Mosier Recognizes 2015 Kansas Health Champions

Governor's Council on Fitness convenes 4th Annual Obesity Summit

Junction City, Kan. – Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Secretary Susan Mosier, M.D., MBA, FACS presented the 2015 Kansas Health Champion and Outstanding Service Awards to the following individuals and organizations during the fourth annual Kansas Obesity Summit:

The Health Champion Award was developed by the Governor’s Council on Fitness to recognize and promote exemplary contributions to fitness in Kansas. Eligible nominees include volunteers, schools, communities, employers, media organizations and policy makers that put forth exceptional efforts to model, encourage and promote fitness in Kansas.

The Governor’s Council on Fitness presents the awards during its annual Obesity Summit, which provides practical ways to increase opportunities for physical activity and access to healthy foods, and then engages summit participants in determining action steps for their communities.

Health Champions
Mim McKenzie is the Vice President of Community Development of Greater Wichita YMCA. In 2004, Mim was the primary person behind the formation of the Health & Wellness Coalition of Wichita (HWC). The Coalition promotes people, programs and policies in the community to help ensure sustainable community changes that advocate healthy living. HWC fosters partnership among public health, private business, government, schools and more – the coalition now has more than 135 members from close to 100 organizations. HWC has received grants for the City of Wichita and Sedgwick County to implement health and wellness programs in their communities. Mim continues to work as a leader in the Coalition.

Live Well Crawford County began more than seven years ago with the assistance of the Kansas Health Foundation’s efforts. Its mission is to promote healthy lifestyle choices through education, motivation and support for all generations. Live Well has continued to grow and has established four task forces: Live Active, Eat Well, Breathe Well and Age Well. These task forces are targeted to improve the life of Crawford County citizens and help to prevent chronic diseases. The policy, systems and environmental work of Live Well should help move Crawford County to a better placement in the health and wellness indicators.

Honorable Mentions
Wendy Burton is a teacher, coach and district health and wellness coordinator in USD 465. Wendy is said to have a gift for encouraging others and promoting health and wellness in everything she does. Wendy voluntarily started a running club for elementary students and teaches several classes to help adults stay active. Wendy has also been a leader in the district’s wellness committee, which has taken steps toward improving students’ health.

City of Ottawa has excelled in its efforts to improve the health of employees and citizens. The city and partners have taken a number of steps to encourage tobacco-free living, provide access to infrastructure that supports physical activity, and adopted policies and programs that encourage physical activity and healthy eating. In 2008, the city implemented a wellness program for employees. In 2009, the city was designated as a Play City community and created a Play Taskforce dedicated to improving the health of children and families through healthy play. The city has also partnered with the Franklin County Health Department to work on programs identified in the Community Health Assessment.

Outstanding Service Award
Paula Clayton was the state’s first Chronic Disease Director and worked for 29 years modeling, promoting and encouraging health and fitness in Kansas. Paula dedicated her career to developing effective partnerships to combat the rise in chronic disease in Kansas. Her constant and reliable leadership and vision contributed to advancements in the field both in Kansas and across the country.