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We are celebrating 20 years in 2024!

The Coalition has been around for 20 years, let some of our members tell you why…

Link to the current facilitators story
Link to the Community Health Workers at Wichita Family Medicine story
Link to the Kansas Legal Services – Worksite Wellness Testimony
Link to 20 year member perspective

Current Facilitator

Dan Buettner.jpg While working in Campus Recreation at Wichita State University, Shelley was asked to promote the Healthy Wichita perception survey in 2008. This introduced her to the Health & Wellness Coalition (HWC) and she attended the 2009 Working Well Conference. Shelley enjoyed the conference so much that she asked to join the conference planning committee. An early highlight of conference planning was in 2011 when Dan Buettner, author of Blue Zones, presented. In 2014, Shelley joined the Sedgwick County Health Department as the Worksite Wellness Health Educator and became more involved in the HWC. When that job was coming to an end, she became the Health ICT Component 1 Coordinator for the CDC 1422 grant. At that time, she began facilitating the Coalition assisting Becky Tuttle. Since 2019, Shelley has been involved in the process the HWC led to prioritize food in our community through the Food System Master plan which led to the development of the Wichita/Sedgwick County Food and Farm Council. Shelley continues to facilitate the HWC and hopes to grow our capacity to better serve the residents living in the greater Wichita area.

Community Health Workers at Wichita Family Medicine

Danielle and Wendy are CHWs at Wichita Family Medicine and started attending Health and Wellness Coalition (HWC) meetings about a year ago. The information we have learned from the HWC has been very valuable to us and our patients. Through the HWC we have found resources for both food and physical activity throughout the county that we have been able to share with our patients. We have recently started a DPP (Diabetes Prevention Program) at our office, having resources to share with the participants about where they can get healthy foods, physical activity and other education on diet and exercise has made a huge impact. HWC has been very supportive of our CHW program by sharing information about our open house. Being a community partner with HWC has been mutually beneficial.

More on Wendy & Danielle
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The HWC has also made an impact on Wendy’s life. She has done several of the Bike/Walk activities, attend the Walktober walks last year, and plan to do so this year as well. She also participated in the mall walking program that raised money for ICT Food Rescue. These programs have helped me increase my physical activity and control my diabetes.

Danielle received information about the HWC a few years back through a work place wellness program that was being offered. She joined, however was not very active until I came to WFMS and took on the role of a CHW. I have enjoyed all the meetings and getting to find out about the very cool and exciting events that the City of Wichita and Sedgwick County have to offer.

Kansas Legal Services – Worksite Wellness Testimony

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Involvement with HWC has led to the implementation of wellness policies designed to increase good nutrition and combat sedentary behavior here at our worksite, which have greatly improved the work we do. Wellbeing assessments reflect improvements in employees’ perceptions of supervisor support and our culture of well-being at our worksite, (assessments conducted by WorkWell KS / KU Med).

Additional real outcomes: From March 2022 through June 2022 our worksite provided one group meditation per week. From July 2022 through April 2023 we increased this to two group meditations per week. Since the April 2023 Working Well Conference, two group physical activity sessions per week were added to the two group meditations per week. When looking at statistics for fully trained employees, average calls went from 2.5/hour in 2022 to 2.6/hour in 2023. Average total calls/month increased, from 310/month (per employee) in 2022 to 320/month in 2023. When these stats were shared with staff, one employee said this didn’t surprise her, because she can feel her brain working better after each session. Others agreed.

One example of employee feedback about meditation specifically: “I began as a skeptic of meditation and other mindfulness practices, but I found that practicing even just a weekly meditation as part of our work really helped me with managing my stress, adjusting my attitude, and recovery of my mental state during bad days/weeks. The benefits don’t only apply to my work life – I find myself practicing meditation in my own personal time to help find some peace in my everyday life. I have to say that my life has been irrevocably changed in a positive way by the participation of my workplace in these mindfulness practices and I cannot state in words how grateful I am to have this practice and these tools to rely on and use for the rest of my life.”

20 year member perspective

Jane has a belief and curiosity for local, fresh food and for physical activity, so the Wichita Health and Wellness Coalition felt just right from the very start. A dietitian-nutritionist for the regional Dairy Council, Jane was involved in the first Coalition meetings. Her job was primarily with schools and school food service in a wide region. Her personal curiosity was about urban community gardens, a new, scarce concept at the time. She also helped create Bike Walk Wichita to encourage alternative transportation and outdoor physical activity.