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Community invited to help Crow Wing County establish healthier habits

Christine Chastain

The most recent Crow Wing County Community Health Survey found that residents are not eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables or meeting the physical activity recommendations.

Tobacco use has increased with fewer people trying to quit, 1 in 3 (37.8 percent) residents have high blood pressure, and 66 percent of respondents are overweight or obese. Crow Wing County adults believe they are healthy, but a majority have poor eating and exercise habits that contribute to existing health conditions.

So how can we truly drive behavior change?

Crow Wing Energized will be addressing that question at the sixth annual Crow Wing Energized Summit.

The free event is open to anyone interested in helping to engage the community—individuals, families, neighbors —in making the healthy choice.

This year, the annual summit will be a facilitated working session focused on creating change through identifying barriers and creating effective solutions to making healthy choices using the theoretical change model.

Together attendees will look specifically at issues in Crow Wing County surrounding:

• Tobacco use,

• Healthy eating,

• Physical activity,

• Mental fitness (sleep, resiliency).

Facilitating the session will be cultural anthropologist Christine Chastain.

Chastain's work focuses on considering the human perspective, building solutions based on who people are and what will work for them. She uses an "empathetic, rounded view of the challenges in behavior change." Her favorite type of work is working within and with communities. Chastain is dedicated to seeking better means of understanding to ultimately get a community on the right path to effective change.

To help Crow Wing County change existing behaviors and move towards healthier behaviors, Chastain will guide summit attendees through the steps of the design thinking process, popularized by the California-based firm IDEO, who developed Apple's first mouse. Throughout the day, attendees will walk through real-time exercises using a variety of methods to answer the question, "How can we truly drive behavior change around tobacco use/healthy eating/physical activity/mental fitness?"

As a community leader, the goal is to walk away from the annual summit with a better understanding around how the process of design thinking, coupled with a well-researched psychological model, can help with:

• organizing thinking about who the group is designing for,

• adopting a more empathetic, rounded view of the challenges in behavior change that lie ahead, and

• ultimately getting on the right path to implementing effective solutions.

If you go

The sixth annual Crow Wing Energized Health and Wellness Summit is 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 1 at Lakewood Evangelical Free Church, Baxter.

Crow Wing Energized invites the community to participate in the process to generate positive behavior changes to impact health and wellness in Crow Wing County.

The event is free, but registration is required. Lunch will be provided.

To register, go to

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speaker and facilitator will be Christine N. Chastain, design, research and innovation specialist.