Healthy Lifestyles Committee (HLC)

Committee Chairperson—Kathy Hollister, Executive Director, Capital Area Health Alliance
The Healthy Lifestyles Committee (HLC) is committed to building a healthy culture throughout the Tri-County by developing and expanding initiatives to promote healthy behaviors and well-being. The HLC also provides the advisory framework for the Choosing Health!® campaign, tapping into the collective expertise of dedicated committee members. Membership on the Healthy Lifestyle Committee is open to the public.

Current active members of the committee include: AL!VE, Allen Neighborhood Center, Barry Eaton District Health Department, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Capital Area District Libraries, Community Mental Health Authority, Davies Project for Mid-Michigan Children, Delta Township Senior Council, Eaton County Parks & Recreation, Greater Lansing Food Bank, Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital, Horizon Bank, Hospice of Lansing, Ingham County Health Department, Ingham County Parks, Lansing Community College, Lansing Parks & Recreation, Lettuce Live Well, Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, McLaren Greater Lansing, Michigan Health Council, Mid-Michigan District Health Department, MSU College of Human Medicine, MSU College of Nursing, MSU Extension, Playmakers Fitness Foundation, Sparrow Health System, YMCA of Metropolitan Lansing

HLC Accomplishments and Activities


Choosing Health!®
Choosing Health!® is an initiative designed to provide opportunities for the Capital Area to learn about and use existing programs to achieve healthy lifestyles. Choosing Health!®  focuses on increasing physical activity, encouraging healthy eating, preventing substance misuse, and promoting mental health. What does Choosing Health!® look like? Increasing walking, eating fruits and vegetables, drinking more water, sleeping enough, quitting tobacco use and managing stress. The HLC constantly strives to expand the reach and activities connected to Choosing Health!®.


Let’s Walk!
Let’s Walk! is a CAHA initiative to promote walking and creating a more walkable community so that Tri-County residents can have more places to be physically active in safe and fun environment. Activities and resources include:
  • The Capital Area Parks and Trails brochure highlights 36 destination parks and trails throughout the tri-county that can be used for physical activity. Over 75,000 brochures have been distributed to more than 250 community organizations.
  • Let’s Walk for Medical Practices utilizes the Parks and Trails Brochure as a tool for physicians to talk with their patients about the benefits of walking. Over 65 medical practices and 150 physicians became engaged in this program, with a patient reach of over 187,987.
  • Let’s Walk and Talk with a Doctor (LWTD) embraces relationships with the medical practices while highlighting different parks and trails in the Tri-County. LWTD is an opportunity for the community to learn about the benefits of walking from a physician then enjoy a one-mile walk with the physician. In 2015, there were 11 physicians involved with 10 different walks, with a cumulative attendance of 314. Survey results showed an increase in how often parks and trails are utilized for physical activity.
  • Destination Walking Signs point to a nearby park, trail, or community location that is within a 15-minute walk, with the intent of raising awareness of the many great destinations that are within a short walking distance and helping people incorporate walking into their daily routine. Seventy-eight signs were placed throughout nine communities in the tri-county.
  • Tying into the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Step It Up!  and be more physically active through walking, the HLC made a decision in the fall to increase the number of walking groups in the Tri-County and began the task of creating a Walking Group Toolkit. The Toolkit is a step-by-step instruction guide on how to form a successful, evidence-based walking group. A major component of the Toolkit is tapping into the social support provided through a walking group, which can substantially help sustain walking efforts. 

Strategic Goals & Activities Planned for 2017

Goal:  Increase awareness of and connection to healthy lifestyle resources in the Tri-County with the intention of preventing/reducing chronic disease. 

  • Identify resources, best practices/policies and interventions necessary to support healthy lifestyle behavior adoption and maintenance among employees/constituents of HLC organizations.
  • Develop a strategy to engage organizations in the Choosing Health!® Campaign that can reach low-income individuals of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, including faith-based organizations.
  • Develop a communication/marketing strategy that addresses the needs of a diverse audience to inform the community about Choosing Health!® resources.
  • Utilize resources that have already been developed through the Choosing Health!® Campaign.

Past Choosing Health!® Activities


Choosing Health!® Restaurant Initiative
  • City Rescue Mission. A connection was facilitated between the City Rescue Mission and the Greater Lansing Food Bank/Garden Project. The City Rescue Mission has now been provided a plot to grow fresh produce to supplement the 250-300 meals served daily.
  • Fleetwood Diner. A dietician from Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital evaluated the Fleetwood Diner menu. Healthy menu choices were formed utilizing current menu items, and a tabletop display was created to feature the healthy menu options. 
  • The Gavel. The Gavel made healthy menu changes by adding fruit and removing soda from all kid’s meals; replacing bread sticks and croutons with whole wheat pita versions; reducing cheese on entree salads; and adding a black bean and herb quinoa side dish; and adding a delicious house-made, low-fat, low-calorie Caesar dressing. Menu items include a Key West Chicken & Black Bean-Quinoa Salad, Michigan Cherry Grilled Chicken Salad, Grilled Fish, and Whole Wheat Pita Pizza.


Worksite Wellness 
The following organizations, with the help and guidance of CAHA, took the Designing Healthy Environments at Work (DHEW) assessment. An action plan was created and implemented to increase the worksite wellness of each organization.
  • The Lansing Police Department is implementing a “Walking Wednesday” program and used incentive seed money to provide fitness equipment for a vacant room that has been re-purposed into an employee fitness area.
  • VisionCare Associates is educating its staff on healthy lunch and snack options and used incentive seed money to provide a full-size refrigerator so employees can bring healthy food to work.
  • McLaren of Greater Lansing is encouraging physical activity at work by providing an environment that supports physical activity, including starting a walking club called the McLaren Mile. Incentive seed money was used to place signs along the walking path to highlight the route. 


Choosing Health!® Rallies
Choosing Health® Rallies help connect Tri-County residents to healthy living resources in their communities, from camps and gardening classes to martial arts and health insurance.
  • Over 1,000 individuals throughout the tri-county attended the 2015 community-wide health rallies to learn about free and low cost healthcare and healthy living resources. Fifty-three percent (53%) of rally survey respondents indicated they became involved with at least one of the healthy lifestyles resources that were featured at the rally.
  • For the second year, the Winter Rally was combined with the Winter Warm Up Kickoff, in partnership with Community Partners in Health. The Rally promoted health-related community resources and programs available in the winter. Forty-four (44) local organizations showcased what they had to offer. Activities included children’s games, health assessments, healthy cooking demonstrations, a walk through the mall and Taste of Health (healthy food samples from area restaurants). Attendance was over 465.
  • The Spring Rally was held in partnership with the Fenner Nature Center and had the biggest attendance to date, with over 530 adults and children learning about existing community resources and programs related to healthy living. The Rally featured 38 area organizations and restaurants, physical activity, healthy eating demos, health assessments, and a walk along Fenner’s trails led by a local physician.

"Creating a Culture of Healthy Lifestyles" Community Leaders Breakfast
CAHA has held five Community Leaders Breakfasts to bring together community leaders from around the Capital Region to share information and strategize on how to collaborate and continue growing the Choosing Health!® healthy living campaign. Each year, about 100 health care, education, advocacy, civic and business professionals from Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties learned about the successful launch of cutting-edge healthy living programs throughout the Tri-County and discussed how we can make even greater healthy lifestyles strides in years to come. In addition, representatives of area organizations presented briefly on their organization’s healthy lifestyle programs.

Upcoming Meetings

The HLC meets on a monthly basis at the Michigan Osteopathic Association (2445 Woodlake Circle, Okemos, MI 48864). For further information about the Healthy Lifestyles Committee and/or the Choosing Health!® campaign, and how you can be a part of the movement, please contact the Alliance at

Meeting Minutes

2016 Accomplishments

The HLC continued to align with the goals laid out in the Surgeon General’s Call to Step It Up! by creating an evidence-based Walking Group Toolkit and a Let’s Walk! Resource Card, both of which were widely distributed throughout the Tri-County. The Toolkit is a step-by-step instruction guide on how to form a successful, evidence-based walking group. The Resource Card displays free local walking resources, as well as the benefits of walking and walking tips.

The HLC continued its work on the Let’s Walk and Talk with a Doctor (LWTD) series. Each LWTD includes an opportunity for the community to learn about the benefits of walking from a physician, a Good Form Walking Clinic presented by Playmakers, and a one-mile walk with the physician. Eight LWTD events were held in 2016.

The HLC was invited to participate in the Ingham County Health Department’s Community Health Improvement Plan, which is a planning process to address issues identified as priorities in the 2015 Community Health Profile and Health Needs Assessment. In this process, chronic disease was identified as one of the top priorities, which led the HLC to create a Strategic Action Plan that encompasses chronic disease prevention. The goal of the action plan is to increase awareness of and connection to healthy lifestyle resources in the Tri-County with the intention of reducing/preventing chronic disease.