Volunteers of CCH, Kiwanis Club and other community organizations donate to the Live It Program

The Wisconsin Hospital Association Foundation, Inc. has recognized the combined effort of the Columbus Community Hospital (CCH) Foundation, CCH dieticians and educators, the Columbus and Fall River School Districts, UW Department of Nutritional Sciences and Food Sciences students, and the Step Sisters – a local ladies group –to end the trend of childhood obesity in the Columbus and Fall River communities and motivate middle school students in making educated choices regarding nutrition and physical activity.

The WHA Foundation’s 2014 Global Vision Community Partnership Award was presented to the Columbus Community Hospital and Columbus Community Hospital Foundation on Oct. 22, 2013 for providing the Live-It! Pre-teen Nutrition Program for middle school students within the health classes at Columbus and Fall River Schools, St. Jerome Catholic School, and Zion Lutheran School.

This annual competitive grant award is presented to a community health initiative that successfully addresses a documented community health need. The award, launched by the WHA Foundation, Inc. in 1995, seeks to recognize and support ongoing projects that support improving the community’s health. Columbus Community Hospital is the 38th hospital to receive the Global Vision Community Partnership Award.

CCH began offering the Live It! Program in 2012 through a Wisconsin Office of Rural Health 2012-2013 FLEX Grant. The program is based upon the fact that healthy eating and regular physical activity can lower the risk of becoming obese and improve one’s wellness.

Live It, which aims to motivate students to make nutrient-rich food choices while emphasizing the importance of physical activity, has continued as a result of community donations, a commitment from CCH to provide the education, and cooperation from school administration to allow students to participate during school hours.

"Whether it was information about proper nutrition, how to read labels, or great ways to get out and exercise, the students are bringing that knowledge home with them and applying it to everyday living," said Emily Dilley, CCH Foundation Executive Director. "This gives them the power to make life-changing, healthy choices at an early age that they can continue throughout their lives."

The physical activity lessons are taught by CCH’s Education Manager, while the nutrition lessons are instructed by Columbus Community Hospital Dietitian Staff or UW Dietetic Students.

"Funding for the program, which costs about $30,000 annually to run, is provided by Columbus Community Hospital as well as proceeds of the Betty Becker Memorial Walk/Run - organized by the Step Sisters, and private donations from businesses, services clubs and community members," said Dilley.

WHA Foundation Director Jennifer Frank says the Global Vision Award submissions received by the WHA Foundation each year are wonderful examples of the types of projects that Wisconsin hospitals sponsor regularly, which are designed to address a documented need and improve the overall health status of their communities.

For more information regarding making a donation to the Live It Program at Columbus Community Hospital call the CCH Foundation at 920-623-1370 or by email at edilley@cch-inc.com