The seventh annual Fort HealthCare Slimdown Challenge officially came to a close on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. Over 850 participants in the Jefferson County and surrounding area spent eight weeks developing healthy habits. In addition to trying new healthy foods and fitness trends, increasing motivation to stay healthy, and renewing self-esteem, this year’s participants reported losing a combined total of 2,268 pounds.

The Fort Healthcare Slimdown Challenge is offered free of charge each spring and open to all community members and area employers as part of an overall effort to promote good health and wellness, aligning with Fort HealthCare’s Mission to improve the health and well-being of our community. Prizes are awarded for various achievements throughout the challenge as well, to help incentivize participants.

From mid-April to early June, 102 participants reached the projected goal of losing at least eight pounds, with “healthy” weight loss considered to be one or two pounds per week; 67 participants lost over ten pounds. The most weight lost by a single individual was 34.4 pounds and the largest percentage of weight lost by an individual was 12.7 percent. Out of the 340 individuals who completed a final weigh-out, 43 participants moved to a healthier Body Mass Index (BMI) category. BMI is a commonly used measure of body fat that can significantly correlate to various metabolic and chronic health conditions.

Tiffany Pernat, Fort HealthCare’s Worksite Wellness Specialist, states, “While the Slimdown Challenge does monitor weight loss, it is less about total weight lost and more about the quality of life gained through making healthy improvements.”

When asked about why our top prize winners wanted to participate in the challenge, second place winner, David Taylor, commented “I wanted to drop a few pounds and lower my LDL cholesterol level.”

Grand prize winner, Rebecca Brown, noted, “I wanted to lose weight and be healthier. I also like the competition and prizes.”

Third place winner, Laurie McGowan, noted that her motivation for the challenge was knowing that she wanted to be around for her husband, kids, and grandchildren.

Everyone that actively participated in the challenge was eligible for prizes. Prizes were provided by Fort HealthCare through the generosity of Tomorrow’s Hope, which aims to support activities that have a direct impact on individuals who are touched by various life-limiting diseases.

Fort HealthCare would like to congratulate everyone who participated, especially this year’s prize winners:

  • Highest percentage lost – Rebecca Brown
  • Highest number of pounds lost – Mary Darnell
  • Next highest percentages lost – David Taylor & Laurie McGowan
  • Eight pounds or more lost (10 winners) – Spring Hohenwald, Kathy Wollin, Debby Kitsembel, Luke Steffen, Ann Garthwait, Amber Dunne, Gini Simon, Chris Czerniak, Kassidy Lemminger, Jen IhlenfeldtMaintained a healthy BMI (18.5-24.9) and either lost or maintained (10 winners) – Stacy Blang, Rita Starks, Kaitlyn Meyer, Wilbur Waggoner, Eric Brown, Lois Mach, Julie Asmus, Luke Steffen, Erin Romagna, Dan Oschmann

The Slimdown Challenge is one of many Fort HealthCare opportunities that foster partnerships between local workplaces and local area Healthy Community Coalitions, which includes:

  • Cambridge Wellness Collaborative
  • Creek Healthy Initiative Coalition (CHIC)
  • Fort Healthy
  • Jefferson United Motivating People to Wellness (JUMP)
  • Lake Mills Wellness Coalition
  • Working for Whitewater’s Wellness (W3)

For more information about Fort HealthCare Community Health and Wellness initiatives, please visit FortHealthCare.com/Community-Coalitions.

These coalitions rallied their communities to participate in healthy behavior change. Fort Healthcare offers the Slimdown Challenge and other programs throughout the year as part of an overall mission to improve the health and well-being of the community. Through programs such as the Slimdown Challenge, residents are encouraged to become active participants in their own health and well-being, all contributing to Fort HealthCare’s vision to be the healthiest community in Wisconsin.

As the leading healthcare provider in the region, it is Fort HealthCare’s goal to reach as many members of the community as possible with health and wellness messages, providing tools and resources to help individuals improve their health and quality of life, while collaborating with several partners to positively improve the population’s health overall on a long term basis. For more information, visit FortHealthCare.com.