5th Annual Get Healthy Utah Stakeholder Retreat

May 7, 2019

On April 17, 2019 Get Healthy Utah held its 5th Annual Stakeholder Retreat.  Over 120 stakeholders from a variety of sectors, including healthcare, business, public health, transportation, and education came together to discuss ways to improve the health of Utahns.  The focus of the day was on how we can better address social determinants of health together.  We learned about the Health Improvement Index (HII), a new tool from the Utah Department of Health.  The HII is a composite measure of social determinants of health by small area and includes nine indicators that describe important aspects of demographics, socioeconomic deprivation, economic inequality, resource availability, and opportunity structure (learn more HERE).  We worked together in small groups to discuss strategies and priorities in areas with a high HII score, indicating more need for improvement.  We enjoyed a delicious and healthy snack provided by the University of Utah RD Program. We were inspired by two-time Olympic medalist Derek Parra and his personal story of dedication and persistence.  We were pleased to give out three Get Healthy Utah Partnership Awards (learn more below). Throughout the day we gathered feedback from participants on how to move forward together.

Get Healthy Utah continues to work to build relationships among multiple sectors in order to address the complex problems of improving physical activity and healthy eating in Utah.  Let’s continue to work together in this important effort!


Congratulations to the 2019 Get Healthy Utah Partnership Award Winners!

Steering Committee for the Prevention of Diabetes in Utah

Ellen Maxfield (University of Utah), Kim Brunisholz (Intermountain Healthcare), Karlie Kola (Bear River Health Department), Natalie Rowe (Utah Department of Health), Sarah Woolsey (Comagine Health, not pictured)

The Steering Committee is a coordinated and collaborative statewide effort providing support to preventing diabetes in Utah and focused on increasing the promotion, accessibility, and sustainability of the National Diabetes Prevention Program.  Committee members represent a broad-based group of experts, specialists, and interested parties from many sectors.  Since August 2015, over 2,350 Utahns have enrolled in National DPP.  Over 150 lifestyle coaches have been trained and 20 organizations are offering the program statewide.  In the last year, these 20 organizations have held over 75 National DPP classes.  While the number of classes and participants are impressive and will continue to grow, a significant success of the Steering Committee thus far has been the commitment of committee members to dedicate time and effort to come together and discuss successes and challenges, collaborate on marketing and recruitment, share data and resources, and work together with a common goal of preventing diabetes in Utah.  


Utah League of Cities and Towns

Cameron Diehl, Executive Director Utah League of Cities and Towns

The Utah League of Cities and Towns was first organized in 1907. The League serves the 248 incorporated municipalities in the State of Utah and represents municipal government interests with a strong, unified voice at the state and federal levels.  In 2015, with funding from Intermountain Healthcare, the League awarded Active and Healthy Community Grants to 4 communities in Utah – Vernal, West Valley, Logan, and Spanish Fork. Through this effort, these communities were better able to identify their needs which included improved trails and walkability, mental health, community engagement, healthy lifestyle promotion, and targeting underserved populations.  This pilot project illustrates the role that cities and city leaders can play in health.  At their 2018 Annual Convention, the League highlighted these efforts in a breakout session where other city leaders learned about the successes, barriers, benefits of coalition building, and goals moving forward.  The League has committed to helping engage cities and towns in upcoming focus group discussions around health and has shown that they understand that where we live influences our health and quality of life.


Utah State Board of Education

State Superintendent Sydnee Dickson and Jodi Parker, Health and PE Specialist, Utah State Board of Education

In early April the Utah State Board of Education passed the updated Core Standards for Health Education.  It took nearly 2-years and involved over 1,000 completed surveys, 6 public meetings, a marathon 7 ½ committee meeting, and a four hour discussion at the final board meeting.  The updated standards include 6 strands (mental health and emotional health, substance abuse prevention, safety and disease prevention, nutrition, human development and health foundation, and protective factors of healthy self) and for the first time include standards in grades K-2nd grade.  The standards were written by committees that included educators, representatives of the Utah Department of Health, the American Heart Association, Primary Children’s Hospital, university professors, Utah Division of Substance Abuse Prevention and Mental Health, school health specialists and school board staff.  Under the leadership of State Superintendent Sydnee Dickson, the Utah State Board of Education is working to fulfill its belief that  “schools can better achieve their basic educational mission if students are healthy and fit physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally.”