GFA 2015: Award Winners

Active Community Award - Sault Ste. Marie

Sault Ste. Marie’s Building a Healthier Community Coalition has committed to creating a walkable, bikeable community with the theme “Complete the Sault.” The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, City of Sault Ste. Marie (SSM), SSM DDA, Chippewa County Health Department, War Memorial Hospital, LSSU, Sault Area Public Schools, JKL Bahweting School, Chippewa County MSU Extension, EUP Regional Planning and Development Commission, and others have formed a strong partnership to make positive change. The list of successes includes a Complete Streets Resolution, a non-motorized transportation plan that is incorporated into the City’s Master Plan, establishment of a non-motorized transportation advisory committee, a successful Safe Routes to School application, numerous community-wide campaigns, and completion of infrastructure improvements to facilitate active living.

Healthy Workplace Award — Small Business category - Crim Fitness Foundation

The Crim Fitness Foundation cultivates accessible, vibrant communities in Flint and Genesee County that encourage people to lead healthy lifestyles by integrating physical activity, healthy eating, and mindfulness into their daily lives and mentors other communities to do the same. The Crim internal wellness program is an organized effort to model behavior the Crim promotes and supports in the community which they serve. As a result of the workplace wellness program and the accompanying wellness challenges, the Crim Fitness Foundation has seen an increase in employee satisfaction rates on surveys, increased participation numbers in classes and learning opportunities and increased investment by the Crim Fitness Foundation in wellness programs and activities. In the first challenge, 14 employees lost 39 pounds and in the second wellness challenge 18 people lost 22.8 pounds.

Healthy Workplace Award — Medium Business category - Marsh & McLennan Agency, LLC

Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC counsels mid-size organizations on how to structure their group benefit programs and provides strategic planning, utilization review, benefit design, employee communications, wellness, compliance assistance and related services. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC is a subsidiary of Marsh. Their Wellness Matters program puts into practice the strategies and tactics that they recommend to their clients. Highlights of March and McLennan’s wellness program include the "Summer Fitness Challenge" and "Winter Blahs Challenge” -- designed to encourage individuals to exercise regularly. They also recognize their busy season and plan Stress Reliever activities. Each year during the busy 4th quarter, Marsh and McLennan provide stress relievers which have included such free smoothies, massages, and more. Before the busy season, they invite in experts to provide employees with tips for managing stress.

Healthy Workplace Award — Large Business category - Crystal Mountain

Established in 1956, Crystal Mountain is a family-owned, four-season resort that is nationally recognized for its skiing, golf, and award-winning spa. Located in northwest lower-Michigan, Crystal Mountain features a variety of lodging and dining options and countless year round activities and kids programs. Just as Crystal Mountain promotes to their guests the important role that good nutrition and exercise plays in continuing to enjoy their favorite activities, so too do they communicate the same message to their employees. They, and their families, are provided unlimited access to resort amenities like cross-country and downhill skiing, fitness center, swimming pools, golf and mountain bike trails to name a few. Programs with group support and others for self-motivated individuals are offered at little or no cost. An incentive program is in place to reward those choosing to live an active lifestyle. We work closely with our partners at Priority Health to offer free services to help employees determine a baseline and continually monitor their health.

Healthy Workplace Award — Very Large Business category - Henry Ford Health System

Founded in 1915 by auto pioneer Henry Ford and now one of the nation's leading health care providers, Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) is a not-for-profit corporation comprised of hospitals, medical centers and one of the nation's largest group practices, the Henry Ford Medical Group, which includes more than 1,200 physicians practicing in over 40 specialties. The System's flagship, Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, is a Level 1 Trauma Center recognized for clinical excellence in cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, sports medicine, multi-organ transplants and cancer treatment. With more than 23,000 employees, Henry Ford Health System is the fifth-largest employer in metro Detroit, and amongst the most diverse. Generating more than $1.7 billion of annual economic stimulus, it proudly acts as one of Michigan's anchor institutions. Wellness is a significant part of Henry Ford Health System’s (HFHS) heritage, and their commitment to wellness has grown and deepened over the years. HFHS has more than 90 wellness programs that address a wide range of topics, including certified tobacco treatment specialists, registered dietitians, exercise physiologists, physicians, nurses, physical therapists, case managers, health coaches, and more – each with unique talents and in-depth knowledge to serve both their employees as well as patients and community members.

Extraordinary Event Award - Dick Allen Lansing to Mackinaw Bicycle Tour (DALMAC)

The Dick Allen Lansing to MACkinaw (DALMAC) Bicycle Tour boasts four routes starting in East Lansing and finishing in Mackinaw City, St. Ignace and Sault Ste. Marie. This annual end-of-summer bike tour challenges over 1,600 riders to bike 50 to 100 miles per day. The tour promotes bicycling as a healthy means of transportation and recreation and also underwrites the DALMAC Fund, which has distributed over $1.2 million to projects throughout the state. Marking its 45th year in 2015, the DALMAC Fund will continue to contribute to the vitality of bicycling in Michigan.

Conquering Obesity Award - Brian Flemming

Brian Flemming overcame high blood pressure, an underactive thyroid, chronic alcoholism and depression to lose 383 pounds. Now, Brian exercises every day and at one point he eliminated sugar from his diet completely for an entire year in his pursuit of better health. Brian founded an online support group called Team 383, which now boasts 11,000 members on 6 continents. Team 383 held its first meeting in Ann Arbor last year with over 40 attendees from as far as California, and their second meeting was this past December in London, England. Brian is a singular example of how one person’s commitment to conquering obesity can become an inspiration around the globe, and provide support to thousands in their own pursuit of wellness.

Veteran of the Year Award - Chuck Sketch

Chuck Sketch just keeps going. Whether its biking an extra 30 miles on Day 3 of a Challenge bike ride so he can make 100 miles in a day, finishing the L.A. Marathon 3 times, graduating from the Defense Language Institute with a Linguist Certification for advanced Russian, or becoming the first blind, double amputee to compete nationally in the State Games of America – nothing seems to stop Chuck Sketch. And as if Chuck’s physical accomplishments aren’t enough to inspire those who know Chuck and compete with him, Chuck always finds time to help his friends with an encouraging phone call, an email with a helpful link, or even a book that’s just right for the situation. And Chuck’s not stopping now. Up next – a second college degree and the 2016 Paralympics.

Champion for Health Award - Sonja Mattson-Barnes

Sonja Mattson-Barnes is a nationally certified Yoga instructor who has received special training in Trauma Sensitive Yoga. As a volunteer instructor at the Battle Creek veterans facility, Sonja’s special interest in helping veterans suffering from PTSD resulted in the Battle Creek facility becoming home to the first Trauma Sensitive Yoga program in the Veterans Administration. Sonja continues to volunteer her time helping veterans in Battle Creek, teaching free classes at St. Vincent’s Catholic Charities Children’s Home in Lansing, offering free weekend classes to veterans at her studio in Okemos, and working with developmentally disabled adults in the Greater Lansing area. Sonja’s selflessness and vision have helped heal the wounded and comfort the disabled. She is truly an inspirational Champion for Health.

Charles T. Kuntzleman Accepting the Challenge Award - Danny Scrivano

Before his birth, Danny Scrivano was diagnosed with Congenital Adenomatoid Malformation, or fetal lung cysts, giving him a 5% survival rate. After his birth and two years without complications, the walnut-sized cysts on his lungs began to grow. After undergoing surgery, Danny suffered a stroke leaving him paralyzed on his right side. Though he may only have feeling in one hand and one leg, that doesn’t stop him from playing sports. Since the age of five, Danny has tried T-ball, soccer, football, bowling, basketball, tennis, table tennis and more. His behind-the-back basketball dribble and one-handed tennis serve shows off his strong sense of confidence. Danny uses this drive to travel the country and show hundreds of kids, with disabilities just like his, how important it is to get out there and try.

Inspiring Story of the Year Award - Ron Sootsman

Ron Sootsman has walked at least 2000 miles of trail routes in Calhoun County. With GPS in hand, Ron systematically marked those routes, one by one, and transferred them online to Google Earth. Ron’s work has been critical to analyzing potential routes for the triple-purpose trail across Calhoun County—the North Country National Scenic Trail, Calhoun County Trail, as well as the cross-state Great Lake-to-Lake Trail. When he’s not analyzing new routes, Ron can be found walking those trails with his spouse and leading Work Days on the North Country Trail. Through his passion for trails work, Ron is having an impact at the community, state and national level, giving Calhoun County, The Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance, and the National Park Service a head start in defining the major trail routes in South Central Michigan. Ron Sootsman’s inspiring work gets people moving, and puts Calhoun County trails on the map.

People's Choice Award - Andrew Chapin

Andrew Chapin is a health, psychology and physical education teacher at Mason High School, but even more than that, a mentor, friend and inspiration to people throughout his community. Perhaps Andrew’s biggest impact on his students and the community around him is his work with the disabled. Andrew created a new curriculum around living with disabilities, and created a program that not only taught students how difficult it is to conduct everyday activities with a disability, but he also introduced his students to children their age who were dealing with disability issues everyday. Andrew’s commitment to helping students expand their experience and perspective about health and physical activity makes him a Champion for Health.

Outstanding Public Official - Lt. Governor Brian Calley

As the recipient of the Governor’s Council 2015 Outstanding Public Official award, Lt. Governor Brian Calley is a stellar model of someone who leads by example. While his public service record is impressive, it is his consistent support of healthy living and his advocacy for families dealing with autism that led to his being named the 2015 Outstanding Public Official. Lt. Governor Calley has been a very public participant in running events in Michigan using his Twitter and Facebook posts to tell his own story and encourage others. He has spoken annually at the Labor Day Bridge Run pasta dinner sharing his experiences with his fellow runners. He has also been a supporter of and participant in the Governor’s Council Auto Show Shuffle which became a part of the Auto Show in an effort to promote healthy living for Michigan’s Citizens. These are some of the many ways in which he encourages everyone to take responsibility for their own health. Calley has also been a leader on a serious health issue facing our state and nation--autism. As the parent of an autistic child, he spoke publicly about his personal challenges while working to secure support for legislation requiring insurance companies to pay for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis and treatment for children up to 18 years of age. As a result of his work to bring about insurance reform for autism treatments, he was named the 2011 Executive Champion by Autism Speaks, the national autism organization. Every public official has the opportunity to support policies and actions that impact health. Lt. Governor Calley has personally demonstrated his commitment to the health of Michigan’s citizens.

Vern Seefeldt Lifetime Achievement Award - John Dingell

John Dingell represented Michigan in the U.S. House of Representatives from December 13, 1955 to January 2, 2015, serving for more than 59 years, the longest uninterrupted Congressional tenure in U.S. history. His first fights were for civil rights, clean water, Medicare, and American workers’ rights and he continued to fight throughout his career for protecting American jobs, improving the safety of our food and drug supply, strengthening consumer product safety, implementing pipeline safety measures, and scores more. An avid conservationist and outdoorsman, Dingell wrote the Endangered Species Act, the 1990 Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and legislation to build North America's first international wildlife refuge. As a lifetime advocate for protecting public health, he authored the Affordable Care Act, the Patient's Bill of Rights, the Children's Health Insurance Program, the Mammography Quality Standards Act, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, the Prescription Drug User Fee Act, and others. Dingell was a champion of working across the Congressional aisle.