The YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City is spreading the word about new ideas to stimulate healthy change in communities across the metro, officials said. It’s part of the YMCA of the USA’s Pioneering Healthy Communities (PHC) initiative to bring high-level community leaders together to influence healthy behaviors through environmental and policy change. Key figures leading the program presented the information to the Oklahoma City School Board.
“What we are trying to do is to marry everyone together to create a vision for where we want the city to be as far as health and wellness,” said Angela Jones, Director of Health and Wellness for the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City. “That is why we decided to come to schools there are so many issues they are facing as a district”
Questions were asked by members of the OKC Public School Board, particularly by chairman, Angela Munson.
“Programs are often developed based on their wellness,” said Munson. “Coordination is the key and who is doing what where. Depending how you slice it is how the other partners will emerge.”
“I think one of the key things is that this first year is about assessing and identifying the needs in this community and creating a shared vision for a healthy community that is sustainable,” added Jones “Fortunately, we already have a lot of different projects now like the Health and Wellness program, strong and healthy program and neighborhood events.”
The YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City selected seven community leaders to serve on its PHC team who went to Washington, DC last month to learn how to stimulate healthy change in communities across the metro. Team members include: Karl Springer,
Superintendent of OKC Public School District, Tricia Everest, Assistant Attorney General; Jackie L. Jones, Executive Director of Central Oklahoma’s Turning Point; Raul Font, Assistant Superintendent for Santa Fe South Charter School.
Others are Crystal Hedges, Health Promotion Specialist for Oklahoma City County Health Department; Judy Duncan, Director of Physical Activity and Nutrition for Oklahoma State Department of Health and Claudia Barajas, Director of Health Services for Latino Community Development Agency.
PHC is part of Activate America, the Y’s response to the nation’s growing health crisis. PHC was developed with expert advice and assistance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. For more information about Pioneering Healthier Communities visit www.ymca.net/activateamerica.