We Can!™ Healthy Berrien Uses Local Media to Expand Its Program throughout Michigan

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Posted November 12, 2009

We Can! Healthy Berrien is not only promoting movement in Berrien County, MI, they are creating a movement. Lakeland Regional Health Center, a We Can! County since January 2008, is using local media to spread the We Can! word throughout the state.

Screenshot of the Healthy Berrien website

According to site leader and dietician Pamela Kurtz, Michigan is among the top ten most overweight states, and Berrien County ranks second in this issue among Michigan counties.

"Only as a community can we begin to make a difference and turn around the obesity epidemic," said Kurtz. "However, we are not going to be able to change obesity in Michigan with just one program; so we are getting our name out, putting it on everything, and hoping that eventually it will catch on!"

And it has caught on. We Can! Healthy Berrien has won media coverage from the Herald Palladium, the South Bend Tribune, and other local newsletters and publications. Additionally, Kurtz was recently invited to speak about the We Can! program on "In the Spotlight," a local radio show.

"We make our presence known by participating in different events and programs, as well as partnering with various organizations, so the We Can! name is always out there," said Kurtz.

We Can! Healthy Berrien recently participated in the Berrien County Youth Fair and YMCA's America on the Move. Kurtz also mentioned that the program tried to think "outside the box," doing things such as inviting a well-known, local chef to teach kids about fun and healthy food options which attracted local newspaper coverage.

In their efforts to raise awareness and credibility for the program, the site recently launched its own website. "When you are at events and talking to people about We Can!, it is sometimes difficult to explain the whole program," said Kurtz. "We thought a website would be a huge help in getting people interested in the program."

The new website is a one-stop-shop for people who want to learn about We Can! in Berrien, and enroll in one of the three We Can! Healthy Berrien parent/child programs. For more information on the program and the classes, visit http://wecanhealthyberrien.net.

Last Updated: February 13, 2013