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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Local Coalition Provides a Wealth of Health Advice
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By Hank Lukaski

You've most likely heard about the recent public health recommendations to increase levels of physical activity and to improve dietary choices to meet the recommended dietary allowances. Perhaps you've been wondering where to go to get information to improve your exercise and eating habits.

Good news for folks living in the greater Grand Forks area! Groups within our very own community are joining forces to provide one-stop shopping to meet your needs to promote health and well-being.

This local coalition is here to serve you! The name of the coalition remains to be determined (It could be Healthy Greater Grand Forks; Greater Grand Forks Health Coalition, and etc.). Nonetheless, this coalition is a diverse group of individuals with a wide range of experiences, professional backgrounds and interests relating to the promotion of physical and mental health. These professionals come from many institutions in the community including, USDA-ARS Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks Public Health Department, North Dakota State University Extension Service, Grand Forks Park District, YMCA, United Way, and health clubs. Taking the lead is Molly Soeby and Dr. James Brosseau, both with Altru Health System.

The coalition is in its beginning stages. A meeting in May drew more than 80 people representing major groups in town. A follow-up meeting in June drew another 25 people. The coalition meets again July 28, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., at the Education Center of Development Homes, 3880 S. Columbia Road in Grand Forks. The meeting is open to the public.

The mission of the coalition is to integrate and facilitate communication about wellness activities in our community. It will provide a centralized, accessible location at a web site that will describe health-promoting activities such as walks, public lectures and other fun activities. It also will provide lists of professionals who are available to speak to groups on diet and activity and their role in promotion of physical and mental health. Future plans are to implement an interactive web site where your individual questions can be answered.

The long term goal is to develop a variety of community-based interventions that involve the schools, workplace, social organizations, churches, and other action groups to enhance the health of the members of the greater Grand Forks community.

As the old adage goes, "Health is wealth." Let's help make the residents of Greater Grand Forks some of the wealthiest people on earth!


Last Modified: 10/23/2006