Two new members join Governor’s Council on Fitness

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Governor’s Council on Fitness have announced two new members will be joining the Council.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Governor’s Council on Fitness say Jody Hoener, of Bourbon County, and Katherine (Kat) Wurzer, a junior at Wichita State University, have been appointed as two new board members on the Council. They said the two will start their three-year terms in 2021.

“Our Council is comprised of a dedicated team of individuals committed to encouraging increased physical activity, healthy diets and tobacco use prevention by sharing information with Kansans and partnering with businesses, schools and individuals to promote healthy lifestyles,” Miranda Steele, Council Chair, said. “We are excited to channel Jody and Katherine’s talent, expertise and energy into furthering our mission.”

According to KDHE, Jody Hoener is the Economic Development Director for Bourbon Co. and serves as the coordinator for the Healthy Bourbon County Action Team’s BDBS Pathways to Healthy Kansas Grant. It said Hoener led efforts in addressing county health rankings through policy, systems and environmental approaches, focusing on improving quality of life and encouraging economic growth.

The KDHE said through Hoener’s work, she has gained experience in community development, strategic planning and community outreach. It said her work has a broad impact through citizen engagement which she finds fulfilling. It said Hoener enjoys bringing people together, learning from others’ experiences and expertise and driving positive change.

According to KDHE, Katherine Wurzer is a student at Wichita State University studying Business Management and is the founder of a pending nonprofit, GetFIT, Inc., which benefits the health and wellness of at-risk youth and breaking down barriers of access and affordability. It said through GetFIT Wurzer has worked closely with YMCAs as a board member, advocacy committee member, piloting a program for at-risk youth, raising funds and coordinating events.

KDHE said Wurzer is an ambassador for the American Heart Association of Kansas and participated in virtual initiatives for the Wichita Parks and Recreation. It said Wurzer is a certified personal trainer and youth fitness specialist that strives to be at the forefront of developing healthy futures for Kansas youth.

KDHE said the 2021 Kansas Governor’s Council on Fitness members are as follows:

  • Chair, Miranda Steele, MPA, MHSA, of Centene Corporation
  • Vice-Chair, Christi Smith, MBA, of Family Preservation for Kansas City
  • Amy Penrod of Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services
  • Brandon Skidmore of Sunflower Foundation
  • Candice McField of Candice McField Fitness
  • Erik Sartorius, of League of Kansas Municipalities
  • Jeff A. Usher, of Kansas Health Foundation
  • Jennifer Bruning, of Kansas State Alliance of YMCAs
  • Joyce Ellis, Ph.D., of Fort Hays State University
  • Katie Schoenhoff, of United Methodist Health Ministry Fund
  • KDHE Secretary Lee Norman, MD
  • Mark Thompson, Ph.D., of Kansas Department of Education
  • Mary Tritsch, of AARP Kansas
  • Matt Messina, of Kansas Department of Transportation
  • Wyatt Thompson, PLA, ASLA, CPSI, of Manhattan Parks and Recreation.

According to the KDHE, the purpose of the Council is to advise the Governor and others on ways to improve the health of Kansans through the promotion of physical activity, good dietary choices, prevention of tobacco use and to promote the improvement of the health of Kansans through doing the following:

  • Encourage the exchange of information about physical activity, healthy diets and tobacco use prevention and cessation.
  • Create private and public sector support for physical activity, good nutrition and tobacco use prevention.
  • Manage a statewide awards program to recognize communities and organizations demonstrating significant support for physical activity, good nutrition and tobacco use prevention.

For more information on the Kansas Governor’s Council on Fitness, visit its website or Facebook page.

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