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Food insecurity – the lack of enough food, at times, for a healthy lifestyle – now affects nearly 12 percent of all Midland County residents.
“We struggle nearly every day to make ends meet,” said Leo Strike of Mills Township, who has been unable to work since 2011 after his back was fractured in three places.
Kristen McDonald, Greater Midland President/CEO, was appointed by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to the statewide Early Childhood Investment Corporation.
Created in 2005, the 15-member board is the state's center for information and investment in early childhood to ensure Michigan's children are safe, healthy and eager to learn when they enter the school system.
“All of our children deserve the highest quality early education. I am very excited to help ensure that our smallest learners are prepared to succeed in kindergarten and beyond,” said McDonald.
McDonald has been in her current role with Greater Midland since August 2016. Prior to this position she was Vice President of Program and Policy for The Skillman Foundation, a Detroit nonprofit organization focused on improving the lives of children. She has made it her mission to improve outcomes for children and ensure students graduate from high school ready for college, career, and life.
At Greater Midland, McDonald works with a team of dedicated professionals to ensure every Midland resident is healthy, stable and thriving.
Prior to her work at the foundation, McDonald served as the chief of staff to State Superintendent of Schools Mike Flanagan. She has worked extensively in the policy field of early childhood education.
McDonald earned her bachelor’s degree in history from Michigan State University and her master’s degree in public administration from the University of Michigan Flint/Ann Arbor.
Greater Midland’s Early Care and Education Center serves over 200 families throughout the year. For greater details on our facilities visit here.
Greater Midland would like to thank the community for their generous support. Cheers to the individuals who contributed to our spring campaign, which raised nearly $8,000 to provide scholarships to our preschool and summer camps. Thank you for making our community greater!
If you are still interested in giving, there’s still time!
Coming Fall 2017, we will have a pick your project option. More details coming soon!
The MI Health Endowment Fund has awarded a $100,000.00 grant to Greater Midland’s Wellness Advocate Program. “We’re grateful to the Fund for this generous award that we believe will make a lasting impression in the lives of our community. We know the importance of fitting in physical activity every day, but it can be difficult to make it happen. Our wellness advocate program helps you identify the best options for physical activity, develop goals and provide one-on-one coaching,” said Kristen McDonald, CEO.
The program is for individuals who do not participate in at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week and who need assistance beginning and incorporating an exercise plan into their lifestyle. There is no charge to participate in the program or for visits with your advocate. The only costs you will incur are activities such as, a monthly gym membership, personal training, or nutrition coaching.
Interested participants can download the referral form – here – and have their health care provider complete the referral. The participant will then be contacted by a Greater Midland wellness coordinator to schedule a health assessment.
Greater Midland Wellness Advocate Program includes:
· Health assessment
· Physical activity plan tailored to patient’s choice of environment and exercise preferences
· Referral to other appropriate services to reach patient goals
· Communication back to the health care provider regarding patient’s participation and progress over a 12-month time-frame
The other unique aspect of this program is that it broadens the concept of exercise from something that happens at a fitness center to incorporate a multitude of interests and activities.
“Sometimes our wellness coaches have gone to a person’s house and walked with them around the neighborhood because they weren’t ready to come into our fitness center yet. That’s OK. The point is to encourage them to become more active,” said Mike Schafer, Greater Midland’s wellness director.
Schafer also stated, “By working closely with health care providers to prescribe exercise for patients, who will then be promptly contacted to our wellness team, we can build in support and accountability right from the start.”
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