TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and Candice McField of the Governor’s Council on Fitness presented the 2019 Kansas Health Champion awards at a luncheon Thursday during the Community Health Promotion Summit in Manhattan. The Health Champion Award was developed by the Governor’s Council on Fitness to recognize and promote exemplary contributions to fitness in Kansas.
“Eligible nominees include volunteers, schools, communities, employers, media organizations and policy makers that put forth exceptional efforts to model, encourage, and promote fitness in Kansas,” said Awards Committee Chair, Candice McField. “The winners were selected from the nominations of several worthy candidates in each category”.
This year’s winners were:
Individual Health Champion: Pastor Adrion Roberson, Kansas City, Kansas
Organizational Health Champion: The Monarch Cement Company, Humboldt
Individual Honorable Mention: Jody Hoener, Fort Scott
Organizational Honorable Mention: City of Emporia
In giving the award to the Humboldt plant, KDHE said the Monarch Cement Company places an immense value on their employees and their overall health. They have an onsite clinic for employees and dependents. The clinic offers basic labs, medications, and immunizations at no cost with over 86 percent using the clinic in one way or another. Monarch is a WorkWell Kansas worksite and in 2017, a primary focus became physical activity. Every employee received training on proper stretching, and the company has a designated walking path in the corporate office. Elizabeth Ablah, who nominated the organization remarked, “Improvements have been made, and are continuing to be made, which will have a lasting impact on the lives of Monarch’s employees, families and their community for a long time to come.” Interest by employees in other physical activities, like pickleball, has spread over to the community; where the local recreation department is developing plans to put pickleball courts in the city park and even offered equipment to the local elementary school.
In Fort Scott, Jody Hoener is the grant coordinator for the Pathways to a Healthy Kansas and serves as Bourbon County’s Economic Development Director. Under her leadership she has taken her county to the tops of the charts in terms of making impactful change to improve the health and fitness of her friends and neighbors.
“Congratulations to these fine individuals and organizations and their support in being exceptional in their efforts to model, encourage, and promote fitness in Kansas,” said McField.