LEXINGTON, Ky. (4/1/13) – The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department’s Board of Health has selected Anita Courtney and Teens Against Tobacco Use as the 2013 Public Health Heroes. The award is given annually to individuals who have demonstrated their dedication to improving the health of Lexington residents. The awards are given each April as part of National Public Health Week (April 1-7).
Courtney is a registered dietitian and leader of the Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition, a group that works to create healthy food and physical activity environments for Lexington’s 9-13-year-olds, or “tweens.” The Coalition has been partnered with many groups to bring the Better Bites program to the city’s public pools, Whitaker Bank Ballpark, schools, camps and restaurants. This year, Courtney was instrumental in obtaining a continuation grant to expand Better Bites to other neighborhood programs and will work with small grocery stores referred to as “corner stores” to stock fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy snacks. Courtney has also been a key advocate for improved snack choices in school vending machines and led the VERB Summer Scorecard program to increase physical activity in children during the summer months.
Teens Against Tobacco Use, or TATU, is an organization in Fayette County Public Schools in which high school students serve as peer educators and provide tobacco prevention education to students in elementary and middle schools. TATU members serve as role models to peers by remaining visibly tobacco-free and share that message with other students, teachers and community members. They have also been working within their own schools to build support for a 24/7 tobacco-free policy throughout FCPS. TATU is currently at three Lexington high schools, Bryan Station, Henry Clay and Tates Creek, led, respectively by sponsors Paula Caise, Emily Rentschler and Jo Geddes.
Courtney and TATU will be recognized at the April 8 Board of Health meeting held at 5:45 p.m. at the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, 650 Newtown Pike, and at the April 11 Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council meeting.
Past winners include Vickie Blevins and Jay McChord (2013); Jill Chenault-Wilson and Dr. Malkanthie McCormick (2011); Dr. Jay Perman (2010); the Lexington Lions Club (2009); Dr. David Stevens and the late Dr. Doane Fischer (2008); Dr. Ellen Hahn, Mary Alice Pratt and Therese Moseley (2007); Dr. Andrew Moore and Rosa Martin (2006); Jan Brucato and Dragana Zaimovic (2005); and Dr. John Michael Moore, Ellen Parks and Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (2004). Dr. Robert Lam received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.
For additional information, find the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/LFCHD.
Information provided by Kevin Hall
Photo provided by SurfKY Graphics
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