Last updated: March 26. 2014 4:42PM - 338 Views
By Alberta Stojkovic



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Dr. Melissa McRae, who leads the Community Health Improvement Program (CHIP), compared notes last week with Instructor Gerald Smith for the “Healthy Lifestyle Makeover” at Morrow County Community Center. They found they had many goals in common and realized their wellness programs can complement each other for the benefit of the community.


Dr. McRae noted that a proactive approach to health and wellness is vital in Morrow County. She said that $1 million dollars or half of the county’s $2 million budget goes for medical costs and health insurance for county employees. She is very pleased that the county’s health employment insurance company has offered scholarships to county employees to take part in the CHIP program.


She said the CHIP program is a “lifestyle enrichment program that is designed to reduce and reverse disease risk factors through the adoption of better health habits.” The goals are to reduce excess weight, lower high blood pressure, encourage daily exercise, improve diet, and stop smoking.


Dr. McRae said results in past groups have shown a drop in blood pressure, reduction in the need for medications and often weight loss as well as an improved outlook on life. Activities in CHIP include: McRae’s presentations with DVD’s, walking, and recipes. Blood work is done before the program, again at four weeks and a third time three months after the program. The program runs for eight weeks on Tuesdays and Thursdays.


“Learn to Fish” is the name of the Morrow County Community Center program that includes 16 group training and exercise education sessions, 4 nutrition workshops and a group shopping and meal planning trip. Smith has the goal of empowering each individual in the program to learn to redefine what fitness means for them. It is not only about weight loss, exercise or strength training, but learning to be comfortable in a healthy lifestyle.


Training sessions and nutrition education workshops will be held at the Community Center or at the Community Center’s Activity Center in Mount Gilead from April 7 – May 31st. The group will be limited to eight people.


As they heard the description of each other’s programs, both McRae and Smith said that the programs have many goals in common. Smith said he could definitely see situations where he could recommend that his group members could benefit from Dr. McRae’s program where they could have blood tests and be monitored by a physician. At the same time McRae appreciated the expertise that Smith offers in personal training and fitness instruction with the use of the Morrow County Community Center’s facilities.


For more information about “Learn to Fish”, the 8 week Healthy Makeover sponsored by the Community Center, call Instructor, Gerald Smith by April 1st at 614-725-6245. For more information about CHIP you can call Dr. McRae’s office at 419-946-1085.


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