Lifestar ID: 181 | Team ID: 6183 | Team Name: | Team Members: 1

7324 — Sun - April 23,2017
0 — Sun - April 22,2018
0 — Mon - April 23,2018
0 — Sun - April 21,2019

Total Steps: 7324

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

Four Ways to STEP UP Childhood Obesity Prevention

National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month kicks off in September and now’s the time to step up childhood obesity prevention. But why do we need an entire month dedicated to this issue? Sadly, America’s childhood obesity epidemic is growing at an astonishing rate, with more than 31% of today’s adolescents considered obese or overweight. Although Colorado is considered the healthiest state in the nation for adults, the same cannot be said for its younger residents. According to a 2011 study conducted by The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America, 10.9% of individuals between the ages of 10 and 17 in Colorado are considered obese. Even more astonishingly, the study found the childhood obesity rate in Arizona to be higher, with 19.8% of children in the same age group reportedly obese.

Learn four ways you can step up obesity prevention for National Obesity Awareness Month. The long-term effects of childhood obesity carry over into adulthood and can severely impact the quality of life for those affected. In fact, children and adolescents who are obese are at a greater risk of being overweight or obese as they enter adulthood. This increases the risk of developing health problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, many types of cancer, and osteoarthritis later in life. Most frighteningly, many of the health effects of childhood obesity can be felt immediately, with 70% of obese youth possessing one or more risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

At Healthy LifeStars, we are committed to combatting childhood obesity through our proven program, The LifeStar Challenge. Every year, thousands of children throughout Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada benefit from The LifeStar Challenge; we hope to reach even more kids this year. Our program is only one element of our effort to eliminate childhood obesity. Raising awareness and providing education about childhood obesity are also vital to our mission.

With September marking National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, now’s the time for everyone—including you—to STEP UP and play an important role in childhood obesity prevention and awareness. Check out these 4 ways to take action.

1. Educate and motivate others to STEP UP against childhood obesity

By becoming more aware of the staggering statistics surrounding childhood obesity, you can be part of the solution. Follow us online on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to receive the latest studies and statistics about childhood obesity. Then, take action by supporting our STEP UP 4 KiDS Walkathon. Sign up to log your steps for an entire week—October 16-23—and encourage others to join with you. As you raise funds to support our proven program, The LifeStar Challenge, you’ll also be helping make others aware of the alarming childhood obesity epidemic that demands our attention and our action.

2. Support childhood obesity prevention efforts

When it comes to combatting childhood obesity, prevention is key. Promoting healthy eating habits, increasing physical activity, and establishing a positive body image are all simple steps that parents, teachers, and coaches can take to prevent this epidemic from growing even more out of hand. Research shows that children who are obese face a multitude of physical issues as well as psychological problems, including poor self-esteem and stigmatization.

While parents assume the primary responsibility for instilling the importance of healthy choices and an active lifestyle in their kids, schools and afterschool programs also play an integral role in the battle against childhood obesity. By building a supportive environment that focuses on improving and promoting overall health, school and afterschool programs, like The LifeStar Challenge, provide kids with opportunities to not only learn about, but also practice healthy habits that incorporate fun and fitness.

What can you do in your community to support or introduce programs like The LifeStar Challenge that work to fight childhood obesity?

3. Lead by example

We’ve all been there—gobbling down at-our-finger-tips processed foods rather than whole, “clean” healthy choices. With busy work schedules, good intentions quickly go out the window. Whether you are a parent, a teacher, or a neighbor, you can set a good example for our youngest generation by making healthy choices every day. Rather than indulge in a fifth cup of coffee or afternoon soda, choose water. Healthy eating choices are not just limited to what you eat—you also need to keep in mind how and when you eat. This article offers 9 tips on breaking bad eating habits.

And let’s not forget about fitting regular exercise into your routine. Starting your day with a walk, run, or workout can be a great way to lead by example before your kid, or the kid next door who is taking notes, rolls out of bed. You’ll be cooling down and heading off to shower as they wake up and realize you have just gotten a jump start—literally—on a healthy, active day.

Do you always have wine on Wednesdays or go out to a movie on the weekend? What about ordering pizza on Fridays? While those traditions are fun, creating healthy habits can be much more rewarding for you and our youngest generation. Why not make participating in our STEP UP 4 KiDS Walkathon part of your healthy habits? Kids 17 and under participate for free and adult participation only costs $25, for what’s sure to be one of the most active weeks of your life.

Whether eating, working out, or creating fun traditions, you set an example for kids, so take your role seriously.

4. Give your time, talent, or treasure to fighting childhood obesity

Everyone has a gift to contribute to the battle against childhood obesity. Whether you are a talented chef with healthy recipes to share, a passionate fitness professional ready to motivate our youngest generation to move, or a volunteer looking to get involved with an organization that makes a difference, you can STEP UP against childhood obesity in meaningful ways.

Step-Up-4-Kids_logo_Digital_FINAL-nobackgroundHealthy LifeStars is always looking for support—through donations, your time, or your talent. So whether you want to participate in our STEP UP 4 KiDS Walkathon, donate an item for us to auction off at our annual celebration fundraiser event on November 9th, bring The LifeStar Challenge to a community near you, serve on a committee or advisory board, or make a monetary donation, your contribution will help fight childhood obesity. Contact us today to help ensure our kids grow up healthy and active!




photo credit: Girl on Stairs via photopin (license)

By | 2017-03-14T18:30:25-07:00 August 19th, 2016|Blog, Obesity Information|0 Comments