Multi-community health challenge involving Airdrie underway
By: Lucas Punkari
| Posted: Thursday, Feb 27, 2014 10:48 am
A battle to determine the most active and healthiest community in the Highland Primary Care Network (HPCN) is now underway.
The first HPCN Health Challenge between Airdrie, Beiseker, Carstairs, Cremona, Didsbury, and Irricana officially kicked off Feb. 21 during a launch event at Genesis Place, and will run until April 14.
“We are all pumped up to see the excitement here, especially as we are getting started and we are starting to encourage friends, families, and people that we know in the communities to take part,” Dr. Julian Kyne of the HPCN said. “We want as many people as possible to participate in this and we want to see how far it takes us.”
The multi-community, online challenge 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.
“It’s really up to the people taking part to see how creative they can be when it comes to their activities,” Kyne said.
“There is so much that people can do with a group of friends and family that they can find from the Internet.”
“We are also proposing that those who want to go to a gym can ask about reduced prices or even getting free entry to take part in this Health Challenge,” he added.
“If anyone has any issues with that, they can contact us at the HPCN and we can work something out.”
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.
“We will be having a big celebration party in the winning community in late April, where we get to name them the most fit community in the HPCN,” Kyne said.
Those who have signed up for the Health Challenge, such as Irricana’s Carmela Hutchison, believe it’s a cause worth taking part in.
“I think it’s really important, and it’s going to create a lot of fun around our office in Airdrie,” Hutchison, who works for the Alberta Network for Mental Health, said.
“With what our organization is involved in, we were very pleased to see the focus on mental health in this challenge, as that is something that’s important to us.”
Another person who is impressed by the HPCN’s initiative is Alberta’s Associate Minister of Wellness Dave Rodney, who spoke at the kickoff event on Feb. 21.
“This is a wonderful example of leadership when it comes to wellness, and I am pleased to see how it’s involving other communities,” said Rodney, MLA for Calgary-Lougheed.
“We have a wonderful quality of life here in Alberta, but the fact of the matter is that we have so many chronic diseases that are affecting people a lot earlier in life,” he added.
“We have to ask ourselves what we can do for our wellness as individuals and as a society, and programs like this help out a lot in that.”
For more information on the HPCN Health Challenge and how to become involved, visit www.hpcn.ca