, Muskogee, OK

March 18, 2013

Wellness takes center stage

OKC Mayor speaker; local ‘Certified Healthy’ organizations to be honored

By Lisa Wade Raasch
Get Healthy Muskogee

— Too-long ranked as one of the most obese cities in America, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett challenged his city to go on a diet and lose 1 million pounds as part of its 2008 New Year’s Resolution.

Residents stepped up, got active, ate smarter and met what initially seemed like an audacious goal.

Join us on Thursday, March 28, to hear Mayor Cornett share how Oklahoma City succeeded in encouraging people to take personal action to get healthier.

As the keynote speaker for the 2013 City of Muskogee Wellness Initiative annual luncheon, “Mayor Cornett will tell the inspiring story of how OKC residents, schools, businesses, government, and others chose to make healthy living a priority,” said Dr. James Baker, chairman of the Muskogee Wellness Initiative. “The focus on active living and nutritious eating has paid off for OKC, and it can for Muskogee, too.”

The Rotary Club and Greater Muskogee Area Chamber of Commerce are co-sponsors of the March 28 event, which begins at 11:30 a.m. at the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, 401 S. Third St. To attend the event, please contact the Muskogee Chamber at (918) 682-2401. Seating is limited and lunch is provided.

In his 2010 State of the City address, OKC Mayor Cornett highlighted the important investments the city has made to create a healthier community, while recognizing that long-term success ultimately comes down to individual action.

Creating an environment that promotes and supports healthier lifestyle choices can make it easier and more likely for people to choose to protect their health.

At the luncheon the City of Muskogee Wellness Initiative will also celebrate the 30 organizations in Muskogee County that earned Oklahoma’s 2012 “Certified Healthy” designation from the OK Turning Point Council. These groups are recognized for their efforts to make healthy choices easier to make for employees, clients, patrons and others.

For 2012, 979 businesses, schools, campuses, restaurants and communities statewide applied for certified healthy consideration and 755 earned the designation.

For the first time, the City of Muskogee was named a “Certified Healthy Community” for its efforts to support and promote active, healthy lifestyles.

In addition, Muskogee Public Schools earned 10 and Fort Gibson Public Schools earned three “Certified Healthy Schools” awards. Connors State College and Northeastern State University were named “Certified Healthy Campuses.”

“We are pleased to see how much the (Certified Healthy) program has grown,” said Melony Carey, MPS public relations director. “We are proud to be an initial part of the movement to make Oklahoma healthier and to ensure that our students not only know about healthy lifestyles, but live by them. Together we are shaping a better future for our children, our community and our state.”

Three local restaurants were among 13 statewide to earn the “Certified Healthy Restaurant” designation for making healthy items available on the menu and maintaining a tobacco-free environment. They include The Bite Market and Café, Dessert Girl’s Bakery and Café and Jimmy’s Egg.

Of the 12 local “Certified Healthy Businesses,” Cherokee Nation Three Rivers Health Center, Georgia-Pacific and Muskogee County Health Department earned the state’s highest award of “excellence” for supporting employee health through meaningful nutrition, physical activity and tobacco-free policies, programs and resources.

“Three Rivers Health Center is excited to receive the Certified Healthy Business Award of Excellence and we will continue to strengthen our efforts to promote healthy living among our staff and clients,” said Jason Shelor, public health educator at the Muskogee-based Cherokee Nation Three Rivers Health Center.

Georgia-Pacific’s investment in employee health is giving them more than just bragging rights for the “excellence” rating; it’s also smart business.

“As a company, we remain committed to providing education and tools that promote health and wellness of our employees and their families so they can create healthy behaviors and practices part of their daily lives,” said Megan Brown, wellness program coordinator for Georgia-Pacific Muskogee.

Join us on March 28 to celebrate wellness success in our community and challenge others to join the effort to make Muskogee a healthier place to live, work, learn and play.

Lisa Wade Raasch coordinates the City of Muskogee Wellness Initiative and directs the EOK Health Care Coalition. For more information about the March 28 event visit or



Muskogee County’s 2012 Certified Healthy Award Recipients:


City of Muskogee — Merit


Early Childhood Center — Excellence

Fort Gibson Early Learning Center — Excellence

Fort Gibson Intermediate Elementary — Excellence

Fort Gibson Middle School — Excellence

Harris Jobe Elementary — Excellence

Muskogee High School — Excellence

Sadler Arts Academy — Excellence

Tony Goetz Elementary — Excellence

Whittier Elementary — Excellence

Alice Robertson Middle School — Basic

Benjamin Franklin Science Academy — Basic

Rougher Alternative Academy — Basic

Washington-Irving Elementary — Basic


Connors State College — Merit


Cherokee Nation Three Rivers Health Center — Excellence

Georgia-Pacific Corporation — Excellence

Muskogee County Health Department — Excellence

Acme Engineering — Merit

City of Muskogee — Merit

Empower Change — Merit

Firstar Bank — Merit

EOK Health Care Coalition — Basic

Excel Therapy Specialists — Basic

HealthCare Solutions Group — Basic

Muskogee County Emergency Medical Service — Basic

Muskogee Swim & Fitness — Basic


Jimmy’s Egg of Muskogee — Merit

The Bite Market and Café — Basic

Dessert Girl’s Bakery Café — Basic