Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Spreads Get Healthy Kentucky Message in Northern Kentucky

Press Release Date:  Friday, March 30, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Local residents, organizations receive community health awards

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher today visited northern Kentucky to promote Get Healthy Kentucky (GHK) and other local programs that target health and wellness in Boone, Kenton, Campbell and surrounding counties.

Governor Fletcher and GHK staff have been traveling the state to aggressively promote health and wellness through targeted initiatives that emphasize prevention and awareness. While in northern Kentucky, the Governor, Health and Family Services Secretary Mark D. Birdwhistell and GHK staff joined local health officials and others at Northern Kentucky University to celebrate the new Let’s Get Healthy Northern Kentucky initiative – Get Up, Get Out, Get Fit – and local community coalitions that are working to improve the health of the area.

“Get Healthy Kentucky seeks out community partners who share our vision and passion for reversing some of the current health trends we’re seeing across the commonwealth,” said Governor Fletcher. “By working together, we can accomplish the goals of Get Healthy Kentucky, such as raising awareness and lowering the rates of certain chronic diseases like diabetes and stroke. This initiative is about the spirit of wellness and preserving a better quality of life for ourselves, families, friends and loved ones.”

While in Northern Kentucky, the Governor and others had the opportunity to learn more about several new programs designed for the residents of the area:

Let’s Get Healthy Northern Kentucky is an eight-week weight loss challenge, presented by Remke Markets and community partners, beginning on April 19. Residents will be able to sign up for the challenge online through the Web site, or at any Remke market, and keep track of pounds lost.
Get Up, Get Out, Get Fit is a physical activity program coordinated by the Northern Kentucky Health Department. Since 2004, more than 2,000 residents in Boone, Campbell and Grant counties have participated in this initiative, which encourages 30 minutes of physical activity, five days a week.
Northern Kentucky’s community coalitions – including Fitness for Life Around Grant County; Get Active Boone County; Step Forward, Erlanger; and Get Healthy Campbell County – promote physical activity and nutrition.

Following the Governor’s presentation, local residents and organizations received community health awards for their important contributions. Award winners included:

  • The Step Forward Erlanger Coalition in Kenton County, which focused on making the city of Erlanger into a walkable community. In three years, the coalition has been successful in getting more than $300,000 in grants to build sidewalks and crosswalks.
  • Fitness for Life Around Grant County, which holds an annual 5K walk/run for the community and is coordinating a “Biggest Winner” program. The coalition involves residents, the Fiscal Court, Parks and Recreation, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Grant County Schools, the local health department and work sites throughout the county. The FFLAG coalition developed the Get Up, Get Out, Get Fit program.
  • The Boone County Physical Activity Coalition and the Campbell County Physical Activity Coalition, which implemented the Get Up, Get Out and Get Fit Program.
  • The Let’s Get Healthy Northern Kentucky Coalition, which NKU and Remke Foods spearheaded to reward the community for losing weight. St. Elizabeth’s, the Northern Kentucky District Health Department, the Chamber of Commerce and other partners joined these organizations.

Get Healthy Kentucky is a statewide wellness initiative that incorporates physical activity, nutrition and tobacco cessation and prevention components. GHK has created an opportunity for individuals and groups to have a one-stop, central location for information and resources that will improve the quality of life for Kentuckians and help prevent chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease.

GHK is designed for residents of all ages and includes access to reliable, unbiased information on the GHK Web site, The site provides information about the Governor’s Challenge program, an incentive-based fitness program designed to help participants set personal fitness goals and track progress online.

“I am gratified and encouraged by the commitment I have seen from Kentuckians everywhere – including the partners who make up these coalitions here in northern Kentucky – to make Kentucky healthier and change the entire wellness culture of our state,” Governor Fletcher said.

“Kentuckians as a whole are far from being healthy people,” said Birdwhistell, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services secretary. “Being a physician, in addition to being a shaper of public policy, Governor Fletcher is keenly aware of the importance of good health – not just to individual Kentuckians but to our economy and our entire way of life. The Fletcher administration understands what it takes to reverse negative health trends and has created this comprehensive, motivational program that gives people the tools and information they need to ‘Get Healthy’.”

For more information about Get Healthy Kentucky or to participate in the Governor’s Challenge, visit The Web site contains information to help Kentuckians lead healthier, more active lifestyles and information on incentives to motivate Kentuckians to continue to challenge themselves.

For the past several months, the governor has traveled the state promoting Get Healthy Kentucky, stopping in Owensboro, Paintsville, Ashland, Elizabethtown, Louisville and Owsley and Perry counties. The events have drawn well over 1,000 people.