Archive for May, 2011

Featured Wellness Coalition Member: Brian Johnson

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Tell us about the coalition you work with.
I’m a part of the Stockbridge Wellness Coalition. We are in the early stages of the process of determining the greatest needs for Stockbridge as it relates to being a more healthy community.

Why did you choose to join the CWF Stockbridge Coalition?
I decided to join because I believe it’s easier to make a point than it is to make a difference. Anybody can make a point that the greater Stockbridge area has issues of being unhealthy(like any community does) but that doesn’t really help anybody. I want to make a difference and improve the quality of people’s health in the community by providing alternatives to unhealthy practices.

What do you like best about being on the coalition?
What I’ve enjoyed the most so far about being on the wellness coalition is getting to know a diverse group of people in a way that I would not have. It’s exciting to be on a journey with these people towards really making a difference for our community. I appreciate their experiences, their opinions, and their enthusiasm. I really think at the end of this process that I’ll treasure the journey more than the destination.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself!
I’m am an over the top crazy North Carolina Basketball fan. When my daughter was born, I put her in a cheerleading uniform for the big game against Duke. Some call that brainwashing, I call that good parenting!

Interested in joining one of our Wellness Coalitions? Let us know here on Facebook or email Matt Pegouskie at and let him know if you live in Chelsea, Dexter, Grass Lake, Manchester or Stockbridge.

Buckle Up for Safety, Buckle Up!

Friday, May 13th, 2011

When many of us were children cars didn’t have seatbelts. Then came an ad campaign you may recall:

Buckle up for safety, buckle up.
Buckle up for safety, everybody buckle up.
Put your mind at ease, buckle seat belts please,
Buckle up for safety, everybody buckle up.

Shortly thereafter it became law to wear a seatbelt & later, to put children in car seats. There is no denying we’ve saved lives as a result and few of us would consider letting our child ride in a car without a buckled seatbelt.

This is the impact carefully designed policy can have on our society.

Policy can be law or it can be something individual communities decide for themselves: like putting crossing guards on street corners when kids are walking to school. Employers can have their own policies: perhaps providing smoking cessation for those interested in kicking the habit.

As 5 healthy towns, we can use policy to make a healthy difference in our lives. Let’s remember to wisely take advantage of this tool in our efforts to become the healthiest communities in the Midwest.

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It’s Not a Secret Society

Friday, May 6th, 2011

In each of our five healthy towns a group of volunteer citizens formed a Wellness Coalition (WC). The WC started when the CWF asked a few people in each town to ask a few others who asked a few others… if they were interested in working on a Comprehensive Wellness Plan (5H) for their town.

5H is about developing a plan to help communities eat better, move more, avoid unhealthy substances and connect with each other in healthy ways.

As people hear about the WCs, they are wondering who’s on the coalition & how they were selected. If you hear anyone asking, please let them know the WC members are self-selected. There is an open invitation to anyone interested in joining their local WC. Everyone is welcome!

Not sure how to get connected? Email Matt Pegouskie at Be sure to tell him if you live in Chelsea, Dexter, Grass Lake, Manchester or Stockbridge. He’ll give you the information you need to be part of your local WC and the 5H project.

Be Grateful You Live in the Midwest!

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Be Grateful You Live in the Midwest (where common sense is more likely to prevail).

Under New York law, games like tag & Wiffle® ball are to be designated “non-passive recreational activities with significant risk of injury” subject to regulation by local health officials.

To borrow from texting language, WTH! (What the heck!). The nation is in a fight for our health with a huge focus on childhood obesity, and NY decides tag is too risky for children to play without regulation from health officials?

Our desire to keep our children safe is laudable. In our own family, Wiffle balls were often used as ammunition & bats as swords, so I guess NY officials are right that it’s a risky activity. But keeping kids continually safe means eliminating a lot of active play and active play is an important part of healthy childhood living (physical, intellectual & emotional). There is no question more of our kids will be harmed from an early diagnosis of diabetes than a game of tag.

Lucky for the kids of New York, Sen. Patty Ritchie says she’ll fight this. She says “I’m just trying to save summer.”

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