- Lawton earns Excellence as Certified Healthy Community for 2019
Lawton earns Excellence as Certified Healthy Community for 2019
LAWTON – The City of Lawton is now a three-time Oklahoma Excellence Certified Healthy Community – the highest of three levels of certifications – for its continuous commitment to promote wellness, encourage the adoption of healthy behaviors and establish safe and supportive environments.
Certified Healthy recipients are recognized as leaders in their communities or state for going “above and beyond” to make health and wellness a priority, according to CertifiedHealthyOk.com. The community program was established by the “Oklahoma Certified Healthy Communities Act,” signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin in 2010. Initiators of this program include the Oklahoma Turning Point Council, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma State Chamber and the Oklahoma Academy for State Goals.
“The Lawton Fort Sill community is once again a leader in health and fitness and we are very proud of that,” said City of Lawton Community Services Director Richard Rogalski, whose department oversaw the application process on behalf of the City. “This is especially important because the state of Oklahoma has fallen to 47th in America’s Health Rankings this year. The City of Lawton strives to be an advocate for change in unhealthy culture trends – both locally and statewide – with the help of community partners such as the Comanche County Health Department, Fort Sill Family and MWR, Fit Kids of Southwest Oklahoma and the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce.”
Policies and projects implemented in recent years by the Lawton City Council and Lawton Board of Education have assisted in affecting such change, Rogalski said, but it is really the efforts and mindset of community members that have pushed Lawton forward.
The application consisted of four sections – Tobacco and Alcohol, Nutrition and Physical Activity, Community Resources, and Education and Awareness – and was submitted this past fall. News of the excellence rating arrived to City employees on Dec. 21.
“(Lawton’s) contribution in creating a healthy environment is important to the future of Oklahoma,” said Stephanie U’Ren, director for the Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
Representatives from the City of Lawton plan to attend a Certified Healthy Oklahoma event in March 2019 to be honored for this achievement. Additional information on this program or achievement can be obtained by contacting the City of Lawton Community Services Department at 580.581.3375.