Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Kathie Ruffatto, Partnership’s Program Associate for Worksite Health, co-presented with Bill Sells ,Vice President, Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association at the YMCA State Wide Pioneering Healthier Communities Conference today. The YMCA State Wide Pioneering Healthier Communities Initiative was launched in 2008 at local and state levels in six states and in 32 communities. This year Illinois, Michigan and Ohio have been selected to join the movement to create healthier communities through policy, systems and environmental change strategies.

Participants from each state were able to attend various break-out sessions on different topics. The focus of Kathie and Bill’s break out session was how employers and employees can increase their health through worksite wellness policies. Bill Sells discussed the importance of physical activity both in the workplace and the community and how the workplace can influence one another. He emphasized that creating a culture of health amongst the nation’s youth should be top priority for policymakers.

Kathie followed Bill’s presentation by highlighting the significance of good nutrition in workplaces and underscored the important role CEOs and top management play in creating environments conducive to good health. With new Leading by Example publications, Kathie was able to give specific examples of successful nutrition policies from the featured companies.

The presentations spurred a lively discussion on the importance of worksite wellness and how they could help support businesses within their communities. Questions ranged from transportation to program and/or policy implementation. All of these communities are or will begin to take great strides in removing barriers so that their citizens can be healthy. They are taking an important first step in understanding what it takes to create a culture of health.


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