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Sept. 7, 2012
HUTCHINSON Gov. Sam Brownback is scheduled to recognize the 2012 Kansas Health Champion Award winners on Thursday at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson.
This year’s awards will go to Dr. Rick Werling of Fort Scott and to the Derby Recreation Commission of Derby, according to the Governor's Office.
Honorable mention recipients are Michel Loomis of Lawrence, Ashland Fitness Center in Ashland and the Kansas Recreation and Park Association in Topeka. The recognition will be held at 2 p.m. in the Corporate Tent by the Encampment Building.
The awards were developed by the Governor’s Council on Fitness to recognize exemplary contributions to fitness promotion in Kansas.
Individual Health Champion Award
Werling recently retired as superintendent of Ft. Scott Unified School District 234, where he was a consistent promoter of improving physical activity and nutrition policies and practices for students and staff.
Under his leadership, the district implemented novel approaches to incorporating additional physical activity throughout the school day. He also assisted with the development of statewide policy and practices through the Kansas School Health Statewide Advisory Committee.
Organizational Health Champion Award
The Derby Recreation Commission has been creating quality fitness opportunities for Derby USD 260 residents for 32 years. With efforts such as the Derby Health Collaborative, it fosters improved community wellness by providing education and promoting healthy choices and activities for all ages.
• Michel Loomis is an English teacher at Liberty Memorial Central Middle School in Lawrence. She promotes youth fitness through activities such as morning open gym for students arriving early for breakfast, establishing and promoting a “Smart Strength” program and providing continued leadership for the annual Fun Run, which she helped start 25 years ago.
• Kansas Recreation and Park Association acts on behalf of nearly 1,000 park and recreation professionals, citizen board members and students in serving as a resource for education, advocacy and communication. Additionally, KRPA promotes healthy lifestyle initiatives both on a state and local level through a variety of programs and projects.
• Ashland Fitness Center started when a group of volunteers from the small western Kansas town had a vision for a community fitness facility. After 1,000 hours of volunteer labor, a Kansas Department of Commerce grant and several private contributions, the fitness center opened in January 2012. Now, it provides educational programs and fitness opportunities for all ages.
To nominate future awardees or for more information go to kansasfitness.org.
The KHI News Service is an editorially independent initiative of the Kansas Health Institute and is committed to timely, objective and in-depth coverage of health issues and the policy making environment. Find more about the News Service at khi.org/newsservice or contact us at (785) 783-2529.