The Blog

ITT Community Challenge | February 5, 2016

Community Challenge Spotlight: Pasadena!

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Watch out, fellow competitors! Pasadena, TX is ramping up its health efforts and taking some major steps toward winning the 2016 Community Challenge!

Through its Healthy Living Matters program, Pasadena is making healthy easier for their residents of all ages. Established in 2011, the Healthy Living Matters (HLM) initiative aims to curb obesity across Harris County by increasing access to nutritious food, providing opportunities to learn about healthy living, and promoting opportunities for physical activity.

Partnering with the HCPHES Healthy Dining Matters Program, HLM helps small, non-franchise restaurant owners create healthy options on their menus. In a similar effort, HLM has launched the Pasadena Healthy Corner Store Network, which helps local grocery and convenience stores provide nutritious food alternatives to traditional, unhealthy store snacks.

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HLM promotes health education and physical activity through various services, products, and events, such as online wellness programs, fitness classes, gym membership discounts, and activities like weekly walking clubs and the Live Healthy Harris County Challenge.

The Healthy Living Matters program is motivating the people of Pasadena to get healthy and active! Richard Scott, who works for the City of Pasadena, says, “I see more and more people getting involved due to programs that are now being offered.”

Among the people getting involved in these initiatives are school administrators, staff members, and students. To kick off the Community Challenge and get kids moving, Pasadena ISD administrators gave elementary and middle school PE teachers a checklist of activities for students to complete as part of their daily training.

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Angela Rubio, who is the Pasadena ISD Coordinated School Health Specialist, went a step further to improve the health of the community by inviting intermediate and high school principals to sign the Principal Pledge, demonstrating the district’s commitment to health.

Rubio also sent each of the district’s Campus Health Advisory Committee Chairs a weekly challenge focus, which ties into the district’s Employee Wellness Challenge. For the weekly challenge focus, employees were encouraged to take healthy selfies of them participating in a stress-less activity, and every employee who submitted a selfie during the week was entered into a drawing for wellness prizes. Rubio says she will continue to send weekly challenges to district employees throughout the Community Challenge.

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But Rubio isn’t stopping there! She and her team recently met with their School Health Advisory Council to outline a plan for engaging local businesses and organizations, and leveraging their resources and influence to enhance the district’s health efforts. Rubio’s team even has the mayor involved in the district’s health initiative!

Actively pursuing her goal, Rubio is committed to improving the health of the Pasadena community. “My job is to help make healthy the norm in Pasadena,” she says. “Finding new ways to spread the message of health and wellness to our students, families, and communities is important.”

As Pasadena keeps its eye on the prize, it moves closer to winning the Community Challenge! Rubio believes that winning the Challenge will have a huge impact on the Pasadena community.

“Winning the challenge would give us recognition for the efforts we make and would allow us to share the accomplishment with the community and at the same time encourage our community to focus on making healthier choices,” Rubio says. “It’s time to give ourselves the health we deserve!”

Fight on, Pasadena!

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