LIFE Foundation Empowers Cross Plains
LIFE (Lifestyles Initiative for Fitness Empowerment) Foundation, with the aid of a grant from the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, Wisconsin Partnership Program, and in collaboration with UW Health, Cross Plains is piloting a new comprehensive program to create a healthier lifestyle. Titled “Empower” the program fosters a social support philosophy to achieve healthy weight management to ultimately lower disease risk. The program is led by Dr. Dan Jarzemsky, Family Practice Medicine, UW Health, and includes a health team of professionals in the field of nursing, dentistry, psychology, pharmacy, dietetics, and fitness. Our staffs’ goal is to inspire, motivate and educate our Empower team to take control of their health by incorporating physical activity and nutritional knowledge in a supportive environment. Participants are working hard at reaching their goals and supporting each other in achieving success.
The EMPOWER program is comprised of 10 support group sessions where goals, successes and challenges are discussed in a positive way. Nutritional information is provided along with behavioral skill learning. Participants attend group meetings biweekly, set personal goals, keep a food journal and commit to a minimum of 3 hours of physical activity a week. Activities include Cross Plains recreational classes, health club workouts, sports, pedometer walking, and/or exercise at home. Group cognitive meeting sessions include mindful eating, portion control, motivation, relapses and coping skills. Nutritional meeting sessions include reading food labels, menu planning, work lunches and cooking with healthy recipes. The program, now in its second year, runs January through the beginning of May. “This program has sparked more interest than ever expected and I am amazed at the motivation and determination these individuals bring to the table,” stated Program Director Dr. Jane Busch. The LIFE Foundation’s objective is to develop a lifestyle change in a social support network and develop a comprehensive program that can be disseminated to other health organizations across the state.
Two other versions of Empower are also being developed. Empower Challenge targets middle school adolescents and emphasizes self-awareness issues, in addition to nutrition and physical activity. The other version is Empower the Workforce which bring a social support group program into the work place. It is currently open to businesses and their employees that are members of the Cross Plains Chamber of Commerce.
Submitted by Jane Busch, President, LIFE Foundation