May 7, 2012
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV Athletics has been named a "Public Health Hero" by the Southern Nevada Health District for its efforts with the UNLV Coaches Challenge program. The department is one of four recipients of this recognition which is given to individuals or organizations whose efforts positively affect the health and well-being of the community.
The UNLV Coaches Challenge is a four-week program aimed at motivating 2nd-5th graders to lead healthy, active lifestyles. Students and teachers earn points each day for eating fruits and vegetables and being physically active while learning the importance of making healthy choices. Head coaches Bobby Hauck, Kathy Olivier and Dave Rice encourage participants weekly with messages via video stressing the importance of a healthy diet and exercise, and the winning classrooms receive personal visits from UNLV coaches.
In 2011, more than 17,000 elementary school kids from 696 classrooms in 146 schools signed up to participate in the UNLV Coaches Challenge, resulting in the program's best year ever. Former Runnin' Rebel head coach Lon Kruger founded the program known then as The Coach's Challenge in 2007 by teaming with the office of chronic disease prevention and health promotion. Youth health and wellness represents a key area of focus for the department's community outreach efforts.
Other 2012 "Public Health Heroes" include: Collaborative Software Initiative/CSI, Jeff Hahn (Investigations Manager/Boyd Gaming) and Judge William O. Voy (Clark County 8th Judicial District). All honorees were recognized at the Southern Nevada Health District Board Meeting on April 23.
"Public Health Heroes" are nominated by health district staff members for their efforts in supporting one or more of the 10 Essential Public Health Services:
1. Monitor the health status to identify and solve community health problems.
2. Diagnose and investigate health problems and health hazards in the community
3. Inform, educate and empower people about health issues.
4. Mobilize community partnerships and action to identify and solve health problems.
5. Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts.
6. Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety.
7. Link people to needed health services, assure the provision of healthcare when unavailable.
8. Assure competent public and personal health care workforce.
9. Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility and quality of personal & population-based health services.
10. Research for new insights and innovative solution to health problems.