Jayhawks Named to Governor's Council on Fitness

July 11, 2006

Topeka, Kan. –

As part of her HealthyKansas initiative, Governor Kathleen Sebelius has named several former Jayhawks and current KU faculty members to the newly formed Governor’s Council on Fitness. Former Kansas City Royal George Brett and KU Basketball Hall-of-Famer Lynette Woodard will serve as Honorary Co-Chairs of the Council. <?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

The mission of the Council is to encourage increased physical activity, healthy diets and tobacco use prevention by sharing information with Kansans and partnering with businesses, schools and individuals to promote healthy lifestyles.

“We’ve put together an excellent group of role models to lead the Council and to encourage Kansans to make healthy changes in their lives. We can lower our health costs and improve our quality of life by taking a few simple steps together,” said Sebelius.

The Council on Fitness’ members will work with medical, dental and other professional societies to promote health and well-being. They will also assist educators in developing quality school health and physical education programs.

To encourage Kansans to make healthy changes in their lives, five celebrity ambassadors will promote the work of the Council. They include:

– Danny Manning, Former NBA player and Director of Student-Athlete Development for the University of Kansas Men’s Basketball Team

– William John, Midfielder/forward for the Kansas City Wizards

– Kevin Saunders, Gold medalist in the Wheelchair Pentathlon at the 1986, 1990, and 1991 World Track and Field Championships

– Albert Guardado, Jr., Member of the 1996 U.S. Olympic Boxing Team & former professional boxer

– Danni Boatwright, Winner of “Survivor: Guatemala”

Additionally, the Governor’s Council on Fitness is implementing an awards program to recognize communities and organizations demonstrating significant support for physical activity, good nutrition and tobacco use prevention.

The first award is the HealthyKansas Community Award, which is given to communities that demonstrate a visible commitment to promoting physical activity. The Kansas Community Health Hero Award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated leadership in promoting physical activity.

The Council will consist of 24 members; each will serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The members include:

  • William Bruning, Mission Hills, President of Mid-America Coalition on Health Care
  • Dr. Deborah Clements, Overland Park, Associate Professor and Association Program Director of Family Medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center

  • Steven Coen, Wichita, Vice President for Administration at Kansas Health Foundation
  • Dr. Stewart Dismuke, Wichita, Dean of the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita

  • David Dzewaltowski, Ph.D., Manhattan, Kansas Health Foundation Professor and Director of Community Health Institute at Kansas State University
  • Dr. James Early, Wichita, Clinical Associate Professor in the Departments of Preventive Medicine & Public Health and Internal Medicine at the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita

  • Virginia Elliott, Hutchinson, Vice President for Programs at United Methodist Health Ministry Fund
  • Dr. Kathy Ermler, Emporia, Chair of the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at Emporia State University
  • Donna Fleischacker, Hays, health teacher at Felten Middle School, USD 489
  • Dr. Dolores Furtado, Overland Park, Fourth District Commissioner and Professor Emeritus at the University of Kansas Medical School’s Department of Microbiology, Molecular Genetics and Immunology

  • Mary Jo Hafliger, WaKeeney, agent with American Family Mutual Insurance Company
  • Billie Hall, Topeka, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans
  • Rhonda Holt, Wichita, Physical Education Teaching Specialist and Elementary Physical Education Teacher at Wichita Public Schools
  • Dr. Douglas Iliff, Topeka, independent practitioner of family medicine
  • Dr. Kim Kimminau, Leawood, Senior Vice President for Research and Analysis for Kansas Health Institute
  • Sherry Lundry, Topeka, Executive Director of Sunflower State Games, Inc.
  • Dr. John Oppliger, Frontenac, Chair of Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at Pittsburg State University
  • Wayne Osness, Ph.D., Lawrence, Emeritus Professor of Health, Sport, and Exercise Science at University of Kansas

  • Dr. Monica Pierson, Overland Park, Medical Director of Weight Management Medical Center, PA
  • Karla Stenzel, Shawnee, Physical Education Teaching Specialist at Wichita Public Schools
  • Dr. Stewart Trost, Manhattan, Association Professor at the Kansas State Community Health Institute at Kansas State University
  • Dr. Marty Turner, Derby, physician at Rose Hill Family MedCenters
  • Claudia Welch, Topeka, health and physical education teacher at Seaman High School, USD 345
  • Douglas Wood, Olathe, County Commissioner and attorney

Secretary of Health and Environment Rod Bremby will be an ex-officio member.