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Airdrie and surrounding communities to participate in health challenge

By: Allison Chorney

  |  Posted: Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 11:28 am

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Airdrie will compete against Beiseker, Carstairs, Cremona, Crossfield, Didsbury and Irricana for bragging rites in the inaugural Highland Primary Care Network (HPCN) Health Challenge.

“It’s really around educating and preventing chronic disease,” said Cory Leyte, communications co-ordinator for HPCN.

The multi-community, online challenge runs from Feb. 24 to April 14, and encourages community members to be active and earn points for their community.

Participants can sign up for the challenge online at www.hpcn.ca where they will be asked to select a community team. Individuals earn points for their team by participating in everyday activities such as skating, jazzercise, swimming, story hour at the library, Airdrie P.L.A.Y or needlecrafts.

The points are logged online through individual Health Challenge profiles and are then tallied and added to the teams’ points weekly.

The community with the most points at the end of the six-week challenge is declared the winner.

“The mayors (of the seven communities) are all on board,” Leyte said.

“I’ve already agreed to sign up,” said Mayor Peter Brown.

“I’m looking forward to it.”

The mayor added he will encourage other council members and residents to participate as well.

“Take the challenge it’s going to be fun,” he said.

The winning community will not only get bragging rites for the year but will also participate in a wrap-up celebration hosted by HPCN.

Leyte said the celebration – which is still being planned – will likely include food, music, family friendly games and a presentation from a yet-to-be-determined special guest speaker.

“(The celebration is) around the whole concept of a community celebration,” he said.

“The community will gather together to celebrate and have a pat on the back.”

The challenge was developed by the HPCN’s Health Management Team comprised of registered nurses, registered dietitians, pharmacists, behavioural health consultants, social workers and kinesiologists, and is aimed at promoting physical and emotional wellbeing.

“We’ve used a lot of activities and events that are happening within the communities,” Leyte said.

Participants can see what’s happening in their community by clicking on the Activities and Events tab on the Health Challenge website. There they will see a list of things happening in their own and other communities.

“We’re really hoping people will use that opportunity to see activities not only in their own community but will hopefully also visit other communities,” said HPCN’s Tree Hokanson at a Feb. 4, presentation to Crossfield council.

The HPCN was established in 2007 and services seven communities and about 70,000 citizens in the Calgary area.

The network is a partnership of local physicians and Alberta Health Services and its mandate is to improve access to primary care services including areas of focus of screening, prevention and health promotion.

Organizers hope the Health Challenge will become an annual event that promotes daily activities to stay healthy and prevent disease.

For more information or to register for the challenge, visit www.hcpn.ca


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