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State, local officials to discuss strategies at obesity summit

Special to The Hays Daily News

TOPEKA -- Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback will join Robert Moser, M.D., Secretary and State Health Officer, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and other state leaders on Sept. 30 in Topeka from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Ramada Topeka Downtown Hotel and Convention Center for the Governor's Council on Fitness' second annual Kansas Obesity Summit. The purpose of the summit is to engage decision-makers in identifying and promoting best and most promising strategies to address rising rates and the health and economic impact of obesity in Kansas.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Doug Gruenbacher from Quinter. In addition to his medical practice, Dr. Gruenbacher founded Castle Rock Wellness Center to provide a gym and exercise classes for his small community. He is an avid runner and a 2012 Summer Olympic torch bearer who looks for opportunities to motivate his community to improve their health.

The summit will focus on the following fitness areas:

* Making physical activity an integral and routine part of life.

* Expanding the role of health care providers, insurers and employers in obesity prevention.

* Making schools a focal point for obesity prevention, including early childhood and childcare centers.

* Transforming messages about physical activity.

The 2013 Kansas Health Champion Awards will also be presented at the Summit. The Health Champion Award was developed by the Governor's Council on Fitness to recognize and promote exemplary contributions to fitness in Kansas. Eligible nominees included individuals and organizations such as volunteers, schools, communities, employers, media organizations and policy makers who go above and beyond what is expected through normal job or organizational responsibilities related to modeling, encouraging and promoting fitness.

There is no cost to attend the conference, but registration is required by Sept. 25. Please visit www.getactivekansas.org/Obesity-summit.asp to learn more about the conference and to register.