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YMCA of the USA, has named the Ozarks Regional YMCA (formerly the Springfield Family YMCA) as one of 20 YMCA Activate America: Pioneering Healthier Communities campaign communities. Mike Smith has the story:
A news conference was held Wednesday, November 16, 2005 at 10:00 a.m. at the Ozarks Regional YMCA (formerly the Jones Family YMCA) to introduce the community visioning team and how existing health and wellness programs can play a role in this initiative.
Activate America: Pioneering Healthier Communities is a nationwide initiative creating a community foundation to respond the public health challenge of obesity and physical inactivity. Obesity is poised to be the leading healthcare epidemic of the 21st century. Several diseases, including diabetes and heart disease can be traced directly to obesity.
Through the Activate America Initiative, local community leaders are mobilized from government, public health and private sectors to drive a forceful response to the challenge of promoting a healthy lifestyle. The community leaders selected to the strategic visionary team includes:
Jodie Adams, Assistant Director of Parks, Springfield-Greene County Parks ;
Jim Anderson, President Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce;
Roseann Bentley, Commissioner 2nd District, Greene County, Missouri;
Roy Blunt, U S Congressman, 7th District, Missouri; Tom Carlson, Mayor, City of Springfield; Rhoda Clark, Development Director, Ozarks Regional YMCA;
Matt Gifford, VP & General Manager, Springfield Cardinals; Sally Hargis, VP Corporate Strategy, Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling Company; Lisa Nally, President ACR Nally Communications; Mike Peters, VP Public Affairs St. John's Health Systems; Ron Prenger, VP of Support Services and Administrator of Cox Walnut Lawn, CoxHealth; and Dr. Norman Ridder, Superintendent of Springfield Public Schools; Deb Scott, Commercial & Investment Real Estate Sales Agent, Wilhoit Properties and Brad Toft, CEO, Ozarks Regional YMCA.
These leaders will assemble at the Activate America: Pioneering Healthier Communities National Conference in Washington, DC, November 30- December 2, 2005. The conference will provide a platform for these leaders to develop the strategies and action plans that will respond to the health and wellness challenges that the citizens of Springfield-Greene County face.
The other cities chosen for the campaign were: Tulsa, Oklahoma; Marshall, Minnesota; Coatesville, Pennsylvania; Fort Worth, Texas; Greenville, South Carolina; Rapid City , South Dakota; Lincoln, Nebraska; Madison , Wisconsin; Marshalltown, Iowa; Shreveport, Louisiana; Lexington, Kentucky; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Attleboro, Massachusetts; Charlotte, North Carolina; Tucson, Arizona; Tustin, California (Orange County); Clearwater, Florida; Reno, Nevada; and State Alliances of YMCAs in Arkansas.
For more information regarding the YMCA Activate America: Pioneering Healthier Communities Campaign log on to www.springfieldymca.org.