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  • July 18 2012

    The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reports that almost two out of every three adult Missourians are considered overweight or obese. Failing to maintain a healthy weight can have serious health consequences including chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes that compromise the quality and length of life.

    In 2009, the University of Missouri partnered with Cerner to form the Tiger Institute for Health Innovation partnership. Through this partnership we are making bigger strides toward a community that is more engaged in its personal health. We are providing the tools and motivational programs to lead Columbia toward becoming a healthier community.

    Together with the Tiger Institute, MU Health Care is committed to reversing unhealthy lifestyle trends. We have partnered with business and community leaders in Columbia to join forces in developing and sustaining wellness programs. The Columbia public schools, Boone County government, Wilson’s Fitness and Mizzou Athletics represent just a few of the organizations committed to working with us in order to encourage individuals toward healthy activities.

    In May of 2012, the Tiger Institute launched the Columbia Slimdown Challenge, a 12-week weight-loss challenge with more than 650 teams and 3,585 players committing to lose weight and get healthy. Teams consisting of 4 to 6 players worked together to lose the highest percentage of weight to win exciting prizes. Prizes ranged from $500 gift cards to tickets to the first Mizzou 2012 season home game.

    In alignment with the Columbia Slimdown Challenge, MU Health Care developed HealthyU, a community-focused educational program to help participants better understand and maintain good health. The program kicked off with a series of "Couch to 5K" seminars, after which more than 70 percent of participants reported registering for a race just three weeks after the initial training session. In addition, guest speaker Ali Vincent, the season 5 winner of NBC’s hit reality show, “The Biggest Loser,” motivated more than 400 Columbians to take control of their own health and fitness goals.

    Jeri Doty, RN, MSN, serves as chief planning officer of University of Missouri Health Care. As chief planning officer, Doty leads MU Health Care’s strategic planning efforts. She oversees business development, planning, physician recruitment and support, public relations, marketing and managed-care contracting. Doty became chief planning officer in 2003 after serving as MU Health Care’s director of business development for nine years. She also held the positions of director of business health services and assistant director of health promotion at Boone Hospital Center in Columbia, Mo.

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in response to The obesity battle central Missouri