Vickie Miene joins Healthy LifeStars

Vickie Miene, MS, MA, LMHCis the Interim Director of the Iowa Institute of Public Health Research and Policy and an Assistant Adjunct Professor in the Department of Health Management and Policy, at the University of Iowa, College of Public Health. She is also the Director of the Iowa Healthy LifeStars program.

The Institute brings together public health practitioners, researchers, community leaders and policy makers to expand the impact of public health through practice, research and policy, with an emphasis on improving the health of populations. Ms. Miene has over 25 years of experience building, implementing and evaluating effective community based health care delivery models.  Vickie lead a multimillion dollar, multi-year federally funded System of Care in 10 counties of NE Iowa, which gained national recognition as the first SOC that effectively combined social support and medical systems through an integrated team-based model of care.  Ms. Miene has lead statewide training and technical assistance initiatives focused on integrated health, large scale quality improvement initiatives, and peer support services for the chronically mentally ill. Vickie currently co-leads a RWJF supported INVEST Health initiative to improve health among low-income populations through creating partnerships between health and housing sectors. She has conducted various program evaluations, most recently an assessment of Iowa public health data needs.

Vickie earned her BA in Psychology, and her MA in Applied Clinical Psychology both from Loras College in Dubuque Iowa.  She earned her MA in Health Care Delivery Science from Dartmouth College.

By | 2018-07-18T08:40:37-07:00 July 18th, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

Laura Fernandez joins Healthy LifeStars

Laura Fernandez joins Healthy LifeStars as the newest member of the HLS team. Laura began in December, 2017, she has a degree in Public Health from Ohio State University. Her research experience ranges from an Ohio State research study investigating Type II Diabetes in Latinx patients to a Seattle Children’s Hospital childhood spina bifida study. Laura enjoys working with people and is interested in community and bilingual health care, as well as health education and health equity. She has traveled to Colombia, Nicaragua, and Panama during several summers to do public health volunteer work. In Autumn 2018, she will be continuing her education with a Masters of Public Health Epidemiology at Ohio State University.

By | 2018-02-15T13:48:43-07:00 February 15th, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

New Colorado Director

Meet our newest Colorado Division Director, Tami Anderson. For more information …

Tami joined the Healthy LifeStars Executive Team in November. She has an extensive background in school health and wellness, having worked the past 15 ½ years for Western Dairy Association and the Fuel Up to Play 60 program for Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. Tami has a bachelor’s degree in Dietetics and is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. In her most recent role she served as Fuel Up to Play 60 program lead for CO, WY and MT, she helped launch the program in 2008 and wrote the popular Fuel Up to Play 60 with Miles school assembly program, in partnership with the Denver Broncos mascot “Miles”. The assembly reached more than 160,000 students and over 200 schools in CO and encouraged kids to “Fuel Up” with nutritious foods and get active for 60 minutes a day in a fun and engaging way. Tami is passionate about children’s health and wellness along with active lifestyles.

By | 2017-12-27T06:40:45-07:00 December 27th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

One in 3 children in the United States are overweight or obese. Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Its effects cause more absenteeism, low self-esteem, and lower academic performance. The good news? Childhood obesity can be prevented. Read More…

September is Maricopa Childhood Obesity Awareness Month as the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors proclaimed in conjunction with the National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.   Help Healthy LifeStars spread the news about childhood obesity and its prevention. Healthy LifeStars offers The LifeStar Challenge ProgramTM FREE to youth serving organizations, Title I schools and their underserved kids. This scalable, sustainable, and interactive program combats childhood obesity by teaching three Healthy Life Habits: I Can Do It, I Eat Right, I Am Active.

What a better time to get the word out to your community about the need to address Childhood Obesity and show people how they can take steps toward the solution. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Set an example by talking with family members and friends about eating healthy, getting enough physical activity, and limiting screen time.
  • Encourage families to make small changes, like keeping fresh fruit within reach or going on a family walk after dinner. Find ways to incorporate more vegetables, beans, fruits, and whole grains into each meal and to get out and get fit together.
  • Motivate the school districts and their schools to provide healthy food options and daily physical activities for kids.
  • Ask your local authorities to host a community event in a local park to get neighborhood kids playing outside.

Working together, we can make healthier food and beverages, and physical activity the easy choice for children to help prevent childhood obesity. For more information on Childhood Obesity, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:


By | 2017-09-15T10:26:50-07:00 September 15th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Jerre and Mary Joy Stead

Jerre and Mary Joy Stead are passionate about combating childhood obesity and have been long time friends of Healthy LifeStars. They have been continually present as wise advisors, strong cheerleaders, coaches and caring friends. Not only have they given immeasurably of their time, talent, treasure and touch but they have also made introductions to individuals, to businesses and to community partners who have made significant contributions to advancing the mission of the organization.

Stepping through their contributions over the years:
• Jerre and Mary Joy were early believers in the organization and were incredibly generous in providing the funding which enabled the organization to hire its first professional leadership.
• They were instrumental in the organizations’ first geographic expansion beyond Arizona to Colorado and in establishing the Colorado Advisory Board.
• The Steads were key strategic partners in defining a 6-year partnership plan with The Salvation Army, in “selling” the plan to Army leadership and in providing the funding for execution. They remain deeply involved ensuring that the program grows as planned and is deployed nationally per the strategic plan.
• Jerre serves as Chair of the Board of a for-profit start up which was founded as the result a pilot family wellness program initially developed by Healthy LifeStars.
Throughout, they have been strong supporters of the metric oriented entrepreneurial approach of the organization. In addition to their ongoing invaluable counsel and guidance as Advisory Board Members, they remain active in advancing and supporting our individual team members and pushing us at every turn to achieve our vision of growing a generation of LifeStars.

Looking back, we would not be where we are nor would there be 30,000 LifeStars without the unparalleled support of Jerre and Mary Joy. Looking forward, it is their vision “to see”, their faith “to believe” and their encouragement and courage “to do” which will continue to inspire us.

No quote better conveys the caring and giving an essence of Jerre and Mary Joy than:

“Money is like love: it kills slowly and painfully the one who withholds it and enlivens
those who turn it on their fellow man” Kahlil Gibran

Jerre and Mary Joy have turned their treasure on their fellow men in an immense way but they have also done the same with their time, talent and touch.

By | 2017-09-15T08:52:52-07:00 September 15th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Elevate Phoenix Promotes The LifeStar Challenge™

Healthy LifeStars is excited to partner with Elevate Phoenix.  Elevate Phoenix targets the underserved, at-risk population to provide meals and supervised programs to children from the Bernard Black and Larry C Kennedy schools.   Every year, Elevate Phoenix includes The LifeStar ChallengeTM as part of their summer program to promote health and wellness in the students’ lives.  This summer 300 kids will benefit from The LifeStar Challenge ProgramTM (TLC). The TLC is offered free to the schools and kids, and is filled with fun character-forming, academic and physical activities, and special guests.  Thank you Elevate Phoenix!

By | 2017-08-10T06:07:59-07:00 August 10th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments


Healthy LifeStars (HLS) held its Healthy Hike Spring 2017 April 22nd. The two-hour hike started at 8:30am with a small band of hikers determined to brave the 105°weather. Earlier that morning, staff set up an information table under the shade of the park Ramada. As hikers came rolling in on foot, bicycle, and car, they stopped to visit our display where they received free water, fruit, and high protein bars and conversation before starting off on the trail.   Everyone had a great time hiking and talking to other hikers about our mission to motivate and educate kids to live active, healthy lives now and in the future.   HLS received donations from several passersbys. Many wonderful thanks to our Healthy Hike Spring 2017 sponsors including R Bar Energy,, and Safeway at 5th Ave and Osborn in Phoenix.

For more information about Desert Foothills Parkway Trailhead and Telegraph Pass Trail, visit

By | 2017-08-10T05:59:33-07:00 August 10th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

New Board Member February 2017

Susan Underhill, Chair of Corporate Sponsorship/Development Committee

Susan Underhill is a global sales and marketing executive with three decades of experience building and running software and service businesses. Susan is the former Vice President of Enterprise Sales for Apollo Education Group, a leading provider of quality, accessible education for individuals around the world and innovator of online education. Prior to AEG, Susan held several senior executive positions at Hewlett-Packard, most recently serving as Vice President of Global Enterprise Marketing where she was responsible for building HP’s global learning products business and leading the IT industry’s largest certification and training business. Prior to HP, Susan held executive sales and marketing positions with leading technology pioneers including RSA Security, Skytel, Lotus Development and Software Publishing Corporation. She began her high tech career in retail management, opening and running ComputerLand centers in New England. Susan has chaired the global Computer Industry trade association’s Education Foundation, and served as a board director and chairperson for NH based Families in Transition, a non-profit providing housing and social services to help break the cycle of homelessness. She is also an angel investor in early-stage technology companies and a private real estate investor

By | 2017-03-14T18:30:24-07:00 February 27th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Healthy LifeStars Staff January 2017

We are absolutely thrilled to announce the latest addition to our family.

Rodrigo Silva, DVM, MPH joined us earlier this month as our Executive for Programs, responsible for the management and operations of The LifeStar Challenge, our proven program that teaches kids how to lead active, healthy lives. Rodrigo brings an unbelievably diverse background with over 30 years of experience working in public health and public administration developing and managing government and non-profit organizations and programs at the local, national and international levels. We couldn’t be happier that he got bored after just a few months of retirement!

Please join us in welcoming Rodrigo, who we are convinced will continue to enhance our youth program and bring it to many more underserved, at-risk kids across the nation.


By | 2017-03-14T18:30:24-07:00 February 5th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Mobile Apps To Keep You Mobile and Track Your Steps

Our third annual Step Up 4 Kids Walkathon is rapidly approaching. To gear up for the week-long virtual Walkathon, Healthy
LifeStars reviewed the latest mobile apps for those who might not have a Fitbit or Garmin. While there are many free smartphone applications that track steps, below is a list of our favorite selections for mobile users on the move:


Available for both iPhone and Android, MapMyWalk is more than just a navigation tool. This application documents walking, running, and hiking routes, and also details your fitness routine including pace, duration, and calories burned. The information can also be uploaded to your computer so that you can analyze your workouts and organize your fitness goals.

Noom Walk Pedometer

For the energy-conscious Smartphone user, Noom Walk counts your daily steps and alerts you when you’ve reached your goal all while using a minimal amount of battery power. While many other fitness apps deplete cellphone battery in a short span of time, Noom Walk uses only 2% battery power in a 24-hour timeframe. Additionally, the app allows users to interact and inspire friends to achieve their goals by syncing with social media sites such as Facebook. The application is also available for download on iPhone.


The Nike+ running application is designed to not only track your running and walking activity, but also serves as a fitness coach that helps you set goals and measure your success. In addition, the app promotes support and friendly competition with features like challenges and mobile forums. The application also allows users to post photos, statistics, and running routes and encourages social networking on the mobile app as well as through online channels such as Facebook and Twitter.


The Moves app is an activity diary for both iPhone and Android devices that automatically records a detailed summary for all activity conducted through running, walking, cycling, and various other forms of exercise. The app tracks duration, distance, steps taken, activity and idle calories burned and also maps where you exercise and the amount of time spent doing so. Best yet, the application is always running, which helps users track their fitness and make necessary changes in order to reach their activity goals.

Google Fit – Fitness Tracking

The Google Fit application is designed to help users develop and maintain healthy habits and reach their goals by tracking walks, runs, and bicycle rides. Google Fit takes healthy living one step further, as it also tracks nutrition and sleep patterns. For easy retrieval, all activity — including detailed maps, statistics, steps taken, and exercise duration — are archived to help users measure success and set future fitness goals. As of now, the app is only compatible with Android devices.

No matter what application you choose to track your activity, the most important step you can take is the one out the door! Get moving today and mark your calendar to donate, support, and participate in the third annual Step Up 4 Kids Walkathon from April 17 through April 23.

Photo credit: photo credit: 200/365 Retina display via photopin (license)

By | 2017-04-07T06:26:19-07:00 September 27th, 2016|Blog, Walkathon|0 Comments