Muskogee Wellness Initiative
The Muskogee Wellness Initiative began in 2008 as a collaboration between the City of Muskogee, Care ATC, Muskogee Parks and Recreation, Muskogee County Health Department, Muskogee Regional Medical Center, and Muskogee County Turning Point to proactively encourage Muskogee area residents to eat better, move more, and be tobacco free. The coalition has grown significantly since then. In 2010, the City of Muskogee designated the group as an official city initiative.
Guided by the priorities of the Oklahoma Health Improvement Plan and leveraging the resources of the Oklahoma State Department of Health and local partners, MWI works to raise awareness about wellness concerns in our community and empower residents to take greater responsibility for the quality of their health.
Ultimately, MWI seeks to shift the social norms in our community so that healthy lifestyles become the rule, rather than the rare exception.
Through the support of the City of Muskogee Foundation, the Muskogee Wellness Initiative hosts community-wide public wellness events designed to raise awareness and inspire action for healthier living within the community.
In 2010, Robert Sweetgall, a fitness advocate who has walked across the United States seven times, motivated Muskogee residents to increase their physical activity to improve their health.
In March 2011, Danny Cahill, the season 8 winner of NBC’s The Biggest Loser, entertained and inspired nearly 1,100 area people to commit to making their own health a top priority.
MWI also implements educational media campaigns, key sector outreach, promotes health-supporting policies, works to expand Muskogee Farmers’ Market participation and community gardening, and implements programs to help residents improve their nutrition and physical fitness habits.
The true strength of the Muskogee Wellness Initiative resides in its strong collaborative approach to community change.
MWI partners include: City of Muskogee, Muskogee County Health Dept., Muskogee Farmers’ Market, Care ATC, Cherokee Nation, Muskogee Public Schools, Parkview School for the Blind, Turning Point, Muskogee Against Tobacco, Muskogee Regional Medical Center, Muskogee Public Library, Muskogee Parks and Recreation, Deep Fork Area Prevention Resource Center, Muskogee Community Hospital, OSU-Extension, Indian Capital Technology Center, faith organizations, Garden Club, Smart Start, area child care centers, Homeland Grocery, and others.