As LiveHealthy2020 partners, signatory organizations have access to community resources and increased visibility for their programs. Each month, the signatory highlight section of our monthly community newsletter features partner organizations and how they are collectively engaging in a community effort toward one Common Agenda – a healthier Snohomish County. Are you a partner who would like to be featured in our monthly signatory highlight section? Contact LiveHealthy2020 Program Manager, Rachael Chiarelli, firstname.lastname@example.org
Signatory Highlight – An interview with Scott Swanson of Campbell’s Fresh
While it’s a brand we are all familiar with, some may not be as familiar with their Campbell’s Fresh division and the Healthy Communities work which has been extremely active in Snohomish County. We talked with Scott Swanson from the Everett Plant about their work and contributions to LiveHealthy2020.
Q: We’re excited for 2017 and the community impact we can make together. Tell us your hopes and goals for this year in terms of your work and partnerships within LiveHealthy2020.
We are honored to be part of the LiveHealthy2020 initiative. Campbell has embraced a collective impact model for our Healthy Communities work, which essentially defines LiveHealthy 2020. Coming together helps us deliver measurable and sustainable change. At the Everett Plant, we have skilled community-oriented employees who have a passion for improving lives in the Everett/Casino Road area. Our goal is to continue to nurture and grow our connections to provide greater opportunities for our generations to come.
Q: Which LiveHealthy2020 programs and projects are you most excited about for 2017? Why?
The Nutrition and Activity Council is beginning to take action with what we call “accelerator groups.” One is focused on emergency food packs for kids. We partnered with the Packs for Kids program within the Mukilteo School District and are working to break down barriers that limit the program’s potential. The group is working to bring together community members and programs and create a united voice to the effort.
Q: How do you envision this work moving forward this year and positively effecting your organization and the communities you serve?
The Healthy Community team at our plant is anything but patient. We like to act FAST. The accelerator groups tap into that spirit of action to make a quick, positive impact. By working together, listening to each other and moving forward in one loud voice—we will make sustainable change.
Signatory Highlight – An interview with Dr. Robin Fenn of the Verdant Health Commission
This month we are highlighting one of our most dedicated signatories. Robin Fenn is a PHD and LICSW who recently became the new Superintendent at the Verdant Health Commission. A new year means new goals and plans, so we checked in to see what the Verdant team had planned for 2017.
For someone who has never heard about Verdant, what is it all about?
Verdant works to improve the health and well-being of the residents of South Snohomish County by investing in innovative programs that will make a lasting impact in our community. We invested approximately $6.5 million in programming in 2016, and the programs range from chronic disease prevention to healthy lifestyle habit development. The Verdant Community Wellness Center in Lynnwood offers free and low-cost community health classes and programs.
We truly are working to make our community in South Snohomish County the healthiest in the state. We serve the nearly 200,000 residents of Brier, Edmonds, Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, Woodway, and portions of Bothell and unincorporated Snohomish County through our programs and classes.
What motivates you as a signatory to continue your work and strong involvement with the LiveHealthy2020 initiative?
We deeply value collaboration and connection with other community groups, and that is a great benefit to us as a signatory. Learning from each other and hearing about new ideas taking shape in other areas of the county is very valuable. The LiveHealthy 2020 Initiative supports our core values of improving the health and well-being of our residents.
What is Verdant excited about for 2017?
I personally am excited to dig in and continue the good work happening at Verdant. The board finalized our strategic plan in 2016, and we will continue to work on our goals of improving our community’s mental health, reducing childhood obesity, creating long-term improvements that support healthy lifestyles, improving treatment and access to healthcare, and improving dental care access.
Are there any events our readers can look forward to attending?
Our next big endeavor is something we’d like to invite all of our signatories to attend, and that is the Verdant Healthier Community Conference, which takes place on Monday, Feb. 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Lynnwood Convention Center. We will have Anthony Iton, MD, JD, MPH, of The California Endowment in to speak during the breakfast keynote about health equity. His talk will focus on the fact that your zip code contributes more to your health status than your genetics, and he’ll provide examples of how this is evident. For the lunch keynote we’re bringing in Kevin Breel, who is a writer, comedian, and mental health advocate. His personal message about how mental health and substance use have affected his family and what he has done about it as an advocate for mental health access will provide us all with relevant food for thought.
Registration just opened and the Early Bird registration rate of $49 per person (including breakfast and lunch) is available through Jan. 31. Starting Feb. 1, the Regular registration rate is $69 per person. We hope that many signatories will want to join us and may even consider securing a table of 10 for $490 this month. Visit verdanthealth.org for more details or to register.
Signatory Highlight – An interview with Signatory Wendie Collins
When Wendie Collins, a wellness coordinator for the Department of Social and Health Services, was sent by her employer to attend last year’s inaugural Edge of Amazing health summit, she didn’t know what to expect. It turned out she enjoyed the experience so much she signed up on her own as one of LiveHealthy2020’s signatories.
But her health and wellness journey goes back further than last year.
In 2010, when Collins met her fiance, she was overweight and diabetic. Jean-Michel Fouard was an inspiration. Just a few years earlier, he had turned his health around by running and eating healthy foods. She followed his example and shed 100 pounds and the diabetes. She gained a passion for healthy living and a new mission.
Collins, who lives in Marysville with Fouard, provides crew support for Fouard’s two-man ultra relay team, RunStrong. Fouard and his relay partner Dameon Hahn, of Mukilteo, don’t shy away from challenges. Together, the two men completed the grueling Ragnar Northwest Passage race in 34 hours. They’re scheduled to participate in the Relay World Championship Aug. 19-20 in Ruby Lake, Nevada.
RunStrong’s charity of choice is the YMCA program ACT! Actively Changing Together. ACT! promotes ways for children and parents to make healthy choices and lifestyle changes.
Q: What inspires you about he LiveHealthy2020 initiative?
A: I became a signatory because I believe in the initiative and the goals it has set for the community. The initiative inspires me to understand that we are a united community. The more people decide to take control of their health, the better we are as a tribe. Not just physically and mentally, but financially. Every healthy choice we make is a better end-result for our community. Our healthcare costs go down, our quality of life increases.
Q: What advice do you offer people who want to make healthy lifestyle changes?
A: I currently run a wellness group of about 200 people on Facebook. The biggest piece of advice I can offer is that the journey to better health is the easy part. You realize what needs to change and implement that change. The hard part is maintaining those changes over time and accepting that change as permanent… the only way to be successful is to build a community of success. Surround yourself with like-minded people and limit exposure to bad choices as much as possible. The more people are involved in this (LiveHealthy2020) initiative, the less temptation and bad choices there will be to make!
Q: Please share some of RunStrong’s longer-term goals with us.
A: RunStrong has a long term goal of raising $25,000 for the YMCA of Snohomish County ACT! program. We would like to align this goal with the 2020 timeframe of the initiative. Once the relay championship is complete, we’ve discussed the idea of completing a few other Ragnar races as a two-man team – perhaps a few on the beaches of Florida Keys or Hawaii!
To contribute to ACT! Actively Changing Together through the RunStrong team, please click here. Then select RunStrong for ACT! under the designation category.