Choosing Your HEALS Committee
In order to develop a center culture that embraces healthy eating and physical activity, start with selecting the correct people to lead the program. In a 2008 Job Corps data collection, we found that the most successful program leaders brought energy, a passion for nutrition and fitness, and solid relationships with students to their programs. Programs that met with moderate success chose a leader solely on subject-area knowledge, without regard for rapport with students. While knowledge about fitness and nutrition is important, relationships seem to be more important.
The PRH requires that your committee includes the Health and Wellness Director, Food Services Manager/Supervisor, Recreation Supervisor or Specialist, TEAP Specialist, Residential Manager, and student representative, but you don't have to stop there. Anyone on center with a passion for health would be a great addition! Passionate committee members can come from social development, finance, academics, or trades.
Here are some examples of potential committee members:
"I have dedicated my life to fitness and healthy eating. I love watching how students' minds and bodies transform when they discover the rewards from exercise. Work is really exciting now. I love how my role changed when I began this program. I look forward to coming to work every morning because my students are so excited about health."
— Mark W.,
"You might think I'm an unlikely candidate to coordinate a nutrition and exercise group on my center. I think my center's exercise and nutrition program was successful because of my relationship with the students. I feel passionate about making healthy choices. I love to exercise and I had a great time encouraging students to exercise. I might not know everything about exercise and nutrition, but there are a lot of people on center, like the center physician, food service manager and recreation manager, who I can go to with questions."
— Myra T.,
"I get it. Not too long ago, there was 70 pounds more of me to love. Losing weight is hard. Luckily, I learned how to eat healthy and exercise from an empathetic, understanding, and knowledgeable trainer. She was such a good listener and she never let me give up. My background as a TEAP Specialist also gives me an insight to food and exercise, addiction and behavior."
— Michelle R.,
"When I took over the food service program, it was all French fries and pizza. Students were climbing up the walls. I knew I had to put a stop to it. It took over a year, but now we have a great salad bar and we only use the fryers once a week. We've also done away with soda. With the Health and Wellness Director, I've developed a point system for students to monitor their calories. I actually spend less money on food now, mostly because we've gotten control of portion sizes."
— Antonio W.,
Food Service Supervisor
When your committee is selected, send contact information to Julie.Luht@humanitas.com to receive updates.
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