A Low Country Community Health Initiative
In January 2009, following the phenomenal success of Generation Excel's 2008 Million Step March Campaign with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, we headed south and teamed up with longtime Gen Excel board member, friend and mentor Dr. Howard Rankin for a ten-week community health and wellness initiative launched out of Hilton Head South Carolina.
Dr. Rankin, the author of 9 books, over 50 scientific papers, national appearances on ABC's 20/20, The View and CNN (he also appears in "Million Calorie March: The Movie) had been working with Health Ministries on the island of Hilton Head and brought Generation Excel in to help launch a ten week initiative to inspire, motivate and educate that area's residents to become more engaged in their health. The effort, offered free to the general public, consisted of seminars on diet, exercise, stress management, disease management and prevention. Additionally the initiative offered multi-media specials and group beach walks.
The campaign kicked off with the South Carolina premiere of "Million Calorie March: The Movie" and was attended by nearly 600 people! Generation Excel founder Gary Marino appeared at the kickoff and returned to Hilton Head in the weeks that followed to speak to audiences and lead beach walks along Hilton Head's scenic ocean.
Inspiring wellness represented a departure from Generation Excel's model of partnership and single sponsorship with HMOs and health care organizations. The campaign was funded primarily by Healthcare Ministries with limited funding by DietTV.com. In the end, the 10 week effort was phenomenally successful and well attended, attracting radio, TV and print coverage.
Comments from Inspiring Wellness Attendees:
"To be honest I came here for my wife tonight…but I am so inspired I think I'll go home and exercise right now!" -- Attendee John S.
"Dr. Rankin, Gary Marino, Jen Wright and Holly Mlodzinski are a wonderful team and have moved this community in the right direction." -- Attendee Shirley P.
"Awareness is the precursor for change….Inspiring Wellness takes the money and any other agenda out of it, and says 'lets come together as a community and help each other to better health'" -- Hilton Head Island Packet