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  • Welcome to the VT Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports!

    Who We Are
    The Governor's Council is a physical activity promotion and advocacy group comprised of approximately 20 volunteers, appointed by the Governor and representing a broad spectrum of Vermonters.

    Our Mission
    To promote health and wellness through physical activity for all people living in Vermont at all fitness and ability levels.

The Michael Feulner Award Goes to University of Vermont Health Network – Central Vermont Medical Center

On Tuesday, August 25, 2015, the Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports presented the Second Annual Michael Feulner Award to University of Vermont Health Network – Central Vermont Medical Center in recognition of having the most employees participate in the Vermont Corporate Cup Challenge and State Agency Race on May 14, 2015. UVM Health Network – Central Vermont Medical Center had over 320 employees registered for this year’s race.

Mike Feulner is a native Vermonter and a retired employee of the State of Vermont. He has been a member of the Vermont Corporate Cup Challenge and State Agency Race committee since its start in 1980. In 1996, he was appointed as the event’s co-race director. Mr. Feulner is a former member of the Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and has served as chair of the board of directors for the National Association for Health and Fitness (the Network of State and Governor’s Councils). He has been instrumental in making the Corporate Cup what it is today and following his retirement, this award was named in his honor.

The Council’s Corporate Cup race takes place each May, in conjunction with National Employee Health and Fitness Day, to encourage coworkers to walk and run together to improve their health and fitness. “CVMC really embraces the spirit of what this event is all about,” Mr. Feulner commented during the award presentation. Janet Franz, Council chair, added “This [race] is all about worksite wellness, and clearly CVMC understands the importance of this.” Accepting the award on behalf of the hospital was President and CEO, Judy Tartaglia along with several of the employee wellness committee members including Robert Patterson, Monica Urquhart, Kelley Willis, and Michael Kennedy.

Among other benefits, the employee wellness program offers at least one physical activity challenge per year, pays the entrance fee for the Vermont Corporate Cup race, maintains a one-mile walking path on the main campus and organizes a Fun Run 5 mile run/walk event as a fundraiser for the health care share program, which provides food-insecure patients and employees with local farm-fresh food each week of the growing season.

The University of Vermont Health Network – Central Vermont Medical Center is part of a four-hospital system established to deliver high quality academic medicine to every community we serve. Our partners are: The University of Vermont Health Network – Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital, The University of Vermont Medical Center and Elizabethtown Community Hospital. For more information, visit UVMHealth.org/CVMC.

Shumlin Announces Park Prescription Program

Following doctor’s orders is about to get more fun thanks to a new initiative announced today by Gov. Peter Shumlin. Under the new “Park Prescription” program, physicians around the state will prescribe to their patients time outdoors in Vermont State Parks as a way to promote healthy lifestyles and prevent chronic health issues.  

Sixteen doctors’ offices around Vermont will issue Park Prescriptions, which will entitle patients to free entry at any Vermont State Park. The program is a partnership between the Vermont State Parks, the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, the Department of Health, and physicians across Vermont.

“We all know that the one of the best ways to stay healthy is to stay active,” Gov. Shumlin said. “Luckily we live in Vermont and are surrounded by natural resources that make staying active easy and fun. So listen to your doctor and get outside this summer!”

The health benefits of physical activity are well documented. The American Heart Association suggests at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise to help prevent heart disease and stroke. For children, outdoor activity is especially important. According to the National Wildlife Federation, spending time outside raises levels of Vitamin D, helping protect children from future bone problems, heart disease, diabetes, and other health issues. According to the Vermont Department of Health, in 2013 Vermont high school students with 60 minutes of physical activity on all of the past seven days were less likely to be obese compared to the state’s average.

“The collective support of Vermont physicians who know the nearly limitless health benefits of increased physical activity, especially for young people, will only add to our reputation as one of the healthiest places to live in the nation, year after year,” said Health Commissioner Harry Chen, MD.

Physicians participating in the Park Prescription program include David Coddaire in Morrisville, John Leppman in Bellows Falls, Robert Tortolani in Brattleboro, Thomas Curchin in Barre, Harriet Shea in Barre, Paul Laffal in Montpelier, Barb Frankowski in Burlington, Alicia Jacobs in Colchester, and Keith Michl in Manchester Center.

“The Park Prescription program is a perfect way to highlight the connection between outdoor recreation and personal health,” said Craig Whipple, Director of Vermont State Parks. “Spending time outdoors, connecting with nature and being active all help keep us strong in both body and spirit. And state parks offer the ideal settings for valuable outdoor time!”

Vermont consistently ranks among one of the nation’s healthiest states. America’s Health Rankings finds that overall Vermont is the second healthiest state in America. And the 2015 Seniors Report by the same organization recently found that Vermont is now the healthiest state in America for seniors.

Conference Reflects Statewide Strides Taken in Worksite Wellness

Vermont’s 2015 Worksite Wellness Conference a success!

The Vermont Worksite Wellness Conference, held on March 25, 2015 at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in Burlington, VT, serves as a yearly training opportunity for worksites from across the state to come and learn from experts and each other about worksite wellness resources and initiatives.

The 2015 conference demonstrated considerable growth compared to previous years. Some highlights include:

  • Over 425 registrants from 4 states (Vermont, New Hampshire, New York and Massachusetts).
  • Ninety-two Worksite Wellness Awards given to Vermont Worksites from the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.
  • Fifteen “Supporting Nursing Moms at Work” grantees were honored and eight “Green Thumbs at Work” grantees were announced.
  • Nine breakout sessions focusing on a range of topics from nutrition and fitness to engagement and employee assistance program services.
  • Twenty-six health and wellness exhibitors offering services and technical assistance for the advancement of worksite wellness program

One conference attendees noted “The breakout session topics were great and gave a variety of topic options. Our car ride back was full of discussion about the different things each of us learned at the different sessions.” That is the overall goal, companies learning and sharing with each other.

The conference evaluations will be reviewed and planning for 2016 will start soon. The planning committee is committed to improving the conference and is looking forward to the feedback provided by participants, speakers and exhibitors. The Annual Worksite Wellness Conference is an integral part of worksite wellness in Vermont and employers look forward to it as a training opportunity every year.


Natalie Schubel is the statewide worksite wellness coordinator for the Vermont Department of Health

Take the Corporate Cup Challenge – May 14, 2015

Now that spring has sprung, are you and your colleagues ready to take the Corporate Cup Challenge? 

Start_of_RaceRecently ranked one of the top-five best 5Ks in Vermont, this team-based running or walking event is open to businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations throughout Vermont.

Now in its 32nd year, this race takes place in scenic Montpelier, VT. Each year, the race seems to grow in size and enthusiasm, drawing runners and walkers from all over the state.

We need you and your business to help us carry on this wonderful tradition! What’s more, proceeds benefit the programs of the Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

Vermont Corporate Cup Challenge and State Agency Road Race

May 14, 2015, 6:00 p.m., Statehouse Lawn

For more information or to register, visit www.vcccsar.org

Tracy Gallo - April 22, 2015 - 4:58 pm

best event! Come and join us and have some FUN!!

Make Your Workplace a Wellness Place: Attend Vermont’s Annual Worksite Wellness Conference

Time flies and soon it will be my favorite time of year….it’s true, spring is on the way  – but I am talking about the best event of the year in Vermont!

On March 25, 2015, the Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports will hold its annual Worksite Wellness Conference at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in Burlington from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

This year’s  conference features keynote speaker, Dr. Graham Lowe author of “Creating Healthy Organizations,” concurrent sessions on great topics such as Coaching for Success: Transitioning from Workplaces to Well Places; Building a Balanced Workplace: Eat to Beat Stress; How Leaders can Create Well Workplaces,  fitness breaks, exhibits, raffles and much more!

Check out www.grahamlowe.ca to learn more about Dr. Lowe and his work including publications such as The Quality of Work: A People-Centered Agenda (Oxford University Press) and Creating Healthy Organizations (Rotman/UTP Publishing). Dr. Lowe has extensive consulting experience and has given hundreds of talks and workshops on creating higher quality and more productive workplaces. He received the 2004 Canadian Workplace Wellness Pioneer Award.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont  continues to proudly sponsor the keynote speaker for an eighth consecutive year and additionally facilitates a workshop  on Worksite Health Coaching in collaboration with the University of Vermont Medical Center, Central Vermont Medical Center and the State of Vermont.

I encourage all worksites large and small to join us (and 400 of your soon to be closest friends) to have a fabulous day and spend time learning and discussing  how to create or recreate an engaging employee health and wellness program at your organization!

Tracy Gallo_3472 (1)Tracy D. Gallo is a health & wellness program consultant at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont and serves on the Governor’s Council for Physical Fitness and Sports.


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