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Healthy People Initiative is a collaboration of health-minded organizations that have joined to make Cass and Clay counties the healthiest place in America to live, work, and play.

For the first time in two centuries, the current generation of children in America may have shorter life expectancies than their parents.

20 by 2020

Our goal is to reduce overweight in children age 19 and younger in Cass and Clay counties by 20% by 2020.

Currently, 27% of 2 to 5 year olds, 32% of 6 to 11 year olds, and 33% of 12 to 19 year olds are overweight in Cass and Clay counties.

Our solution is to change our food and fitness culture so that healthy choices become the easy choice.

ChildcareAlive! Being healthy as adults is largely determined by the communities we live in as children. Our education and support program formerly called GoFar Childcare encourages healthy foods, physical activity time and limited TV time at child care centers. These healthy choices, early on, can last a lifetime.

There are over 600 licensed childcare providers serving 10,000 children in Cass and Clay Counties, and Go Far Childcare reached 200 providers in its first two years.

SchoolsAlive! All schools with federally-funded lunch programs have wellness policies, but their scope, language, and use vary. We offer schools the means to assess the strength of their policies, provide model polices and guide them in ways to turn policy into practice toward improving food and fitness.

Six Fargo-Moorhead school systems have revised and adopted stronger wellness policies that address things such as recess time, healthy lunch options and types of foods stocked in school vending machines. New ways have been found to celebrate birthdays without sugary treats, and "brain breaks" between subjects help students reach the goal 60-minutes of physical activity in the school day.

StreetsAlive! is our annual energizing event to spark movement in the community. Three miles of roads through downtown Fargo and Moorhead and various parks are shut down to motorized traffic to encourage walking, running, biking, skating, dancing and other human movement. People may start anywhere on the route. In 2011, StreetsAlive! drew 5,500 people!

Join the Movement! You can show your support for the Healthy People Initiative and commit to helping change systems and conditions to make it easier for healthy eating and active living. You will be part of an informed and engaged community of wellness-oriented people. You'll receive our monthly newsletter and hear about special events where you can improve community awareness about healthy eating and physical activity. Click on Join the Movement to become an effective advocate!

Healthy People Initiative began: January 2009

Healthy People brochure - cover  (document)
File Size: 111.71 kb

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Healthy People brochure - inside  (document)
File Size: 121.17 kb

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Transforming Communities to Make Active Living and Healthy Eating the Easy Choice  (document)
File Size: 3089.19 kb

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Steering Committee:
Rory Beil, Healthy People Initiative Director
Linda Lembke, ChildCare Resource and Referral
Kim Lipetzky, RD, Fargo Cass Public Health
Carrie McLeod, RD, Sanford Health System
Stefanie Meyer, YMCA of Cass and Clay Counties
Gina Nolte, Clay County Public Health
Deb Watne, Dakota Medical Foundation

23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health?