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Health Hero Award Press Release

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Health Hero Award Press Release

Eat Right MT/MT Action for Healthy Kids

Health Hero Awards to be given to Three Recipients from Great Falls: Lacey Gallagher, Abigail Lichliter, and Special Olympics of MT-Bob Norbie, President.

October, 2016 – Extraordinary things are happening in Montana to improve health through physical activity and nutrition programs, projects, and policies. The purpose of the Eat Right Montana and Action for Healthy Kids Health Hero award program is to acknowledge and celebrate the outstanding efforts by those striving to promote healthy nutrition and physical activity to improve the well-being of all Montanans. Eat Right Montana and MT Action for Healthy Kids will be awarding 9 outstanding Montanans with the Health Hero Award on October 24th in Bozeman. Lacey Gallagher and Abigail Lichliter of Great Falls will each be recognized as a Health Hero this year for their efforts in promoting wellness in our community. Special Olympics of MT which is headquartered in Great Falls has also been announced as a recipient.

Health Hero Lacey Gallagher, Spirit of Women and Community Outreach Coordinator for Benefis Health Systems:

Anyone who has worked in health promotion and advocacy in Great Falls likely knows the name, Lacey Gallagher. In the nomination letter for Mrs. Gallagher it states, “Lacey Gallagher has been instrumental in promoting policies, programs and projects that encourage healthy nutrition and physical activity choices and behavior throughout our community as well as outlying areas of North Central Montana. She is an advocate for toddlers to seniors. She loves all people and cares about the health of everyone she meets as well as those she has not yet met!” Mrs. Gallagher has worked to organize a variety of health promotion events including the February “Day of Dance” , a community car show to promote men’s health, and Come Out and Play with Abby Wambach. Lacey has also been a key community member advocating for student wellness programs within the Great Falls Public Schools and has also been instrumental in Work Place Wellness programs for Benefis and other organizations in the community. It is rare to find a time when Mrs. Gallagher is not volunteering or organizing an event. Her nominators concluded their nomination letter by saying, “She never stops sharing the message of health and wellness!”

Health Hero Abigail Lichliter, Cascade County Extension Service SNAP-Ed Coordinator:

Abigail Lichliter is an rising star in the rhelm of health and wellness promotion in Great Falls. Mrs. Lichliter’s nominators stated: “Heroes are people we look up to and are generally mentors who are in the later years of their professional career. Abigail Lichliter is the exception. She is the Cascade County SNAP-ED Coordinator and just beginning her career. However, her contagious smile, endless energy, approachable personality and risk-taking nature can light up a room.” An abbreviated list of Ms. Lichliter’s activities and professional projects include providing educations classes for low income families and children, assisting in the creation of the Fresh Food Rescue Program in Great Falls, working to establish a community-wide Food Bank Leaders Coalition, and playing a key role in planning the annual Sunburst Unlimited Fresh Food Forum. Abigail is also an active member in Get Fit Great Falls, Great Falls Action for Healthy Kids, and the Building Active Communities Initiative. Mrs. Lichliter nominator summarized by stating, “She is extraordinary.”

Health Hero Special Olympics of Montana: Bob Norbie, President

The statewide efforts of Special Olympics of Montana (SOMT) and President Bob Norbie will be recognized this year. SOMT is a statewide non-profit with their professional headquarters in Great Falls. The organization provides year-round sports training, athletic competition, and health-related programming for individuals with intellectual disabilities. There are over 2,000 athletes registered in 121 programs from 65 Montana Communities. SOMT athletes receive the opportunities to participate in a variety of sports and learn about healthy lifestyle choices. There is a wide array of sporting opportunities for athletes to participate with and gives them the chance to experience adventures they may not have elsewhere. There is also a healthy athlete program that educates participants in 9 health focused areas including nutrition, hydration, bone health, sun safety, physical activity, BMI, tobacco cessation, and blood pressure. President Bob Norbie is described as the “Chief Executive Fan” as well as his title as President of SOMT. The nominator for the award wrote that Mr. Norbie, “has a staff of 27 that he leads with great energy and devotion. All 27 of these staff are amazing people who go above and beyond their call of duty as they travel, plan, and manage teams across the state.” The nominator also adds that Mr. Norbie is able to call most athletes and volunteers by name and always has an encouraging word for all those involved with SOMT.

More about ERM/AFHK and the Health Hero Awards: Mrs. Gallagher and Ms. Lichliter are true embodiments of the Health Hero Award which looks for people who have been active in the following areas:

  • Increasing access to healthy food choices and/or nutrition program participation
  • Alleviating or decreasing hunger in the community
  • Increasing access to physical activity for kids, families, or communities
  • Advocating for workplace changes to support healthy choices.

Other Health Hero Award winners across the state this year include First Lady Lisa Bullock for her work with No Kid Hungry across the state and promoting childhood wellness; Amanda Cahill of the American Heart Association and the Co-Chair of the Graduation Matters Nutrition Work Group in Missoula; Terry Miller of Missoula for her work in assisting hospitals to achieve Baby Friendly Designation; Reg Hageman for his promotion of healthy food choices in Helena Public Schools and an active officer with SHAPE MT; Donna Kruse for her promotion of health through the Food Service Department of Huntley Schools; and Chris Cook of Billings, founder of the Fit Kids club program.

For more information please contact:

Erica Harp

Health Hero Awards Chairperson




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