The LIFE Foundation was founded in March, 2013 as the result of a medical student’s preceptorship project. She interviewed key m The LIFE (Lifestyle Initiative for Fitness Empowerment) Foundation is a community based 501(c)3 non-profit coalition whose mission is to foster healthy lifestyles in Cross Plains. Our first goal was to improve health by decreasing obesity via improving nutrition and increasing physical activity within a local safe environment to ultimately lower obesity-related disease.
Investing in the health of a community is like casting a stone across the water. The ripples of dissemination travel far and reach many. The LIFE Foundation can be that stone.
With funding provided by grants through the UW School of Medicine & Public Health Wisconsin Partnership Program, the LIFE Foundation has raised awareness and garnered support in the community and gathered input via surveys, held a town meeting to promote community action, developed evidence-based scientifically supported intervention strategies, creating a comprehensive Strategic Plan. The first five years of our organization was devoted to implementing these strategies successfully and with sustainability.
Now in our second five year plan we are adding another goal, to improve social fitness through community health. A community that is grounded and bonded with a purpose brings its residents together to work for a healthier environment. We aim to bring the community together for both work and play. Whether that involves building a community center or restoring emotional health in times of tragedy such as our recent flood, we want our members to find support from each other.
The coalition is composed of community leaders in healthcare (doctors, dentist, nurses, pharmacist, dietitian, EMS), government (Parks & Recreation), law enforcement (police chief), school, fitness, nutrition and business. Many organizations have shared their expertise and offer collaboration. They include the Healthy Wisconsin Leadership Institute, University of Wisconsin Department of Family Practice, Obesity Prevention Initiative, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Dane County Childhood Obesity Collaboration, Wisconsin Active Communities Alliance, Public Health- Madison Dane County, Celebrate Children Foundation, Community GroundWorks, Middleton Cross Plains School District, Ice Age Trail Alliance and Northwest Dane Senior Services.
We also have the support of the community. In a community survey (June 2014), 94% of the respondents supported our mission and 88% supported a center. With a coalition of health professionals, business leaders and village officials, we are passionate in sustaining a healthy community.