July 18, 2007 Edition

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Lawrence Health receives top honors

"Lawrence Health Services has been awarded top honors in the Arkansas Fitness Challenge (AFC) for two years running ... pun intended," said Leah Osbahr, president of LHS. Two hospitals, one state and one federal agency and two senior adult groups took home gold-medal awards June 28 during ceremonies held at the River Market pavilion in downtown Little Rock.

"This is the second year LHS has participated, and the second top honor," said Osbahr. "We were motivated before, but now we have a legacy to fulfill."

This is the fourth year for AFC, an employee exercise contest held annually March 1 through May 31. Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield and the Arkansas Department of Health introduced the activity to encourage employees to work toward the public health recommendation of physical activity of 30 minutes each day most days of the week.

During the contest, participants engage in eligible cardiovascular-oriented exercise to work their way through 30 virtual checkpoints in Arkansas. The winning groups were determined by the greatest participation and highest score earned in four categories of measurement.

"In the large group category, with 250-299 participants, there was a tie between LHS and Arkansas Methodist Medical Center in Paragould," said Yvonne Doyle, fitness co-coordinator. "We were the only two hospitals at the top."

During the Arkansas Fitness Challenge, participants were encouraged to exercise with consistent or increasing frequency during the three-month period. Participants advanced on a virtual route by satisfying one daily exercise requirement from a list of eligible exercises (cardiovascular-focused) including walking, jogging, running, swimming, water aerobics, bicycling, court sports, aerobic dance or aerobic machines.

To stay on track and successfully complete the program in three months, participants were required to advance one checkpoint at least three times per week for 10 weeks. The more participants exercised, the farther they progressed across the state in an on-line exercise.

"I would encourage other businesses to join the competition next year," said Osbahr. "The encouragement and involvement it provides is good for any group, large or small. Winning is just the reward."

Those who participated in the LHS team were: Janet Bailey, Donna Baldridge, Sheri Barr, Cathy Boyd, Tonya Brannon, Junior Briner, Sherri Brown, Lindsey Campbell, LaDonna Carey, Candi Carter, Cathy Catt, Vicki Copeland, Tonya Couch, JD Crews, Leslie Daniels, Jean Davis and Yvonne Doyle.

Also, Barbara Eagan, Marcia Field, Tonya Foster, Doris Garrett, Shirley Gates, Debbie Gatrel, Sandra Gray, Connie Hall, Ashley Hanan, Joyce Hanan, Stella Harris, Sherry Hart, Gloria Henson, Anna Higginbotham, Luke Hoggard, Darlene Johann, Pat Johnson, Andrea Jones, Barbara Lamb, Tom Lamb and Carroll Martinus.

Others included: Michelle McCandless, Barbie McElrath, Kalinda Moore, Karen Moore, Larissa Morgan, Shirley Murphy, Matt Nichols, Darlene Oldham, Leah Osbahr, Roger Parker, Dyanne Payne, Dovie Pendergrass, Cindy Phillips, Lesha Prater, Connie Ragsdale, Melinda Ray, Eylan Robins, Sue Rogers and Paulette Rush.

Also, Lynda Shipman, Linda Smith, Pam Smith, Sebrina Smith, Sandy Sullins, Crystal Thomas, Laurie Uran, Vanessa Wagner, Jody Waleszonia, Julie Webb, Loretta Wheeler, Debbie Wheelis, Barbara Whitlow, Norma Wilburn, Mary Wilkerson, Kim Williams, Anthony Pinkston and Sarah Wright.

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