The Blog

Build Healthier | July 11, 2016

Texas Community Builds New MHFC So All Residents Can Prosper!

Here at IT’S TIME TEXAS, our goal is to make healthier easier. One of the ways we’re working to do so is through our Mayor’s Health & Fitness Council (MHFC) Toolkit. To truly create and sustain a culture of health in Texas, we need leadership at the community level to drive health-focused initiatives. That’s why we’re encouraging communities across Texas to use our MHFC Toolkit as a means to help establish Councils or enhance existing ones; driving local efforts to make healthy easier for everyone in the community.

So far, 35 communities across Texas have utilized the Toolkit to either create or enhance these health awareness programs within local government. The resources in the Toolkit can be applied to communities of all sizes and are modeled after existing best practices, one of which is to have the Mayor (or equivalent) buy-in to this effort. Mayoral support provides the political validation necessary for the councils to be most successful.  Once successfully established, key collaborators from all sectors work together to lead healthy changes for their respective communities.

In the small town of Prosper in north Texas, we can see one great example of the MHFC Toolkit in action! Julie Owen-Shivers, recreation services coordinator for the Town of Prosper, said of their new Council, “the Mayor’s Health and Fitness Council set out to create communication and awareness, ‘a buzz’, about healthy living in all sectors of the Prosper community. We brainstormed ways to support healthy lifestyles, both individually and collectively, and encouraged competition among staff and residents.”

Several members of the Mayor's Health & Fitness Council strike a pose! From left to right: Julie Shivers, Recreation Coordinator; Michael Korbuly, Council Member; Ray Smith, Mayor; Kenneth Dugger, Council Member; Baby Raley, HR Director; Ronnie Tucker, Fire Chief; and Robyn Battle, Town Secretary.

Several members of the Prosper Mayor’s Health & Fitness Council strike a pose! From left to right: Julie Shivers, Recreation Coordinator; Michael Korbuly, Council Member; Ray Smith, Mayor; Kenneth Dugger, Council Member; Baby Raley, HR Director; Ronnie Tucker, Fire Chief; and Robyn Battle, Town Secretary.

Owen-Shivers further noted that, “The Toolkit prompted us to work together to assess needs and to define opportunities as a group.  We brought our vision to town and school events, and sports and recreational activities. The Toolkit provided the foundation, setting the stage for goal planning and objective setting.” The town of Prosper established their MHFC earlier this year to earn points in the Community Challenge! Due to their hard work, Prosper was named the overall winner in the small size category in the 2016 Challenge.

Every Texas community, big or small, is welcome and encouraged to use the MHFC Toolkit just as Prosper has. Download your free copy here to get started! All who download a copy of the Toolkit will also be notified via e-mail about our upcoming series of MHFC webinars led by Texans who have tips and success stories to share!

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