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Montana’s Worksite Health Promotion Coalition

   The Montana Worksite Health Promotion Coalition is a resource for Montana employers regarding the art and science of health promotion and wellness at work. 

Worksite health promotion has been proven to have a substantial impact on health care costs, absenteeism, workers compensation costs, and productivity. The website is designed to provide resources, encouragement, and a standard of excellence for those interested in working with us to promote healthy worksites in Montana.

This program conducts continuing statewide assessments of the state of employers engaging in worksite wellness. The coalition works as a resource for employers who offer worksite wellness programs. The coalition is designed to identify the employers taking progressive action to increase their employee’s satisfaction and productivity. To recognize these employers, the coalition offers an awards model, Excellence in Worksite Health Promotion Awards.

The Excellence in Worksite Health Promotion Awards mission is to “encourage, recognize, educate and create a standard of excellence for worksite health promotion programs.” The award qualifications are set high to serve as health goals for any organization to strive for. The Excellence in Worksite Health Promotion Awards has quality standards that are important components of worksite wellness programs. The standards include; management commitment, leadership, mission, assessment tool, target audience, tracking systems, interventions, measurement of outcomes, communication of results, and marketing. The criteria for the awards are evidence-based practices. The award qualifications may be modified as worksite wellness research develops. The awards are not intended to represent any level of certification. The qualifications for the awards are not necessarily the best or only ways for employers to deliver worksite wellness programs.

The coalition offers three different recognition awards: bronze, silver, and gold. These three awards differentiate between different levels of worksite wellness achievement. Worksite wellness programs awarded the bronze award focus on minimal or introductory services, voluntary participation, no targeted interventions or documented return on investment, and information dissemination with some activities. Programs that receive the silver award; have 30% voluntary participation, education focused on skill building, medical self-care, one-on-one consultations, and some targeted high-risk interventions. The gold award is received when; many corporate policies support wellness, there is incentivized participation (70%), the programs focus on targeted interventions, telephonic health coaching for high risk, there is a documented return of investment, and there is Population Health Management.


CRL Health and Fitness

Fitness classes specifically designed with Plains Tribal People in mind.

While working to become a medical doctor, Lita Pepion began to realize that many of the health problems in Indian Country result from human behaviors and cannot be “fixed” by IHS doctors.  Lita realized that the knowledge and motivation of Native people on Indian reservations as it relates to fitness and basic health information was minimal.  With the understanding that personal choices have a great impact on our health, Lita formed CRL Health & Fitness, LLC in 1999.   Empowering Native People to believe that they can be healthier and that health involves personal choices and motivation is the core mission of CRL.  Everyone has the intelligence to learn all we can about our own health and how we can protect and improve it.

With the involvement and support from Billings YMCA and various Tribal Health and Diabetes Prevention Programs, CRL provides the highest quality education, personal motivation, and technical assistance to community members throughout the Northern Plains.  Learning as much about health as possible, eating healthier foods, moving your body on a regular basis, reducing stress and paying attention to your feelings and actions are all ways to protect your health.  These positive lifestyle changes are very rewarding, but not always easy to make.  CRL offers professional help in the form of both group and one-on-one coaching to help those get started and stay on course.

CRL is natively owned and operated, featuring instructors who grew up on the reservation and experienced many of the same issues our people face today (poverty, violence, physical and sexual abuse, substance abuse, substandard education, housing and healthcare) and successfully overcame those issues while maintaining cultural roots and Native Heritage.  Therefore the fitness classes are specifically designed with Plains Tribal People in mind, and are customizable to fit the needs of anyone.

CRL has trained numerous Native American Diabetes Prevention and Health Professionals on the importance of fitness to health; how to incorporate fitness into Native lifestyles and how to protect and improve health. In addition, CRL has educated numerous non-Natives on fitness with the intent of building a bridge between the two cultures by including information about Native culture and the importance of not assuming all Natives fit into the stereotypical Indian classification.  Many people have thanked the staff of CRL for their classes and for helping community members to start making healthier choices and live better!

For more information, please visit the website at:


Kids LiveWell

Kids LiveWell menu choices are available at more than 15,000 participating restaurant locations nationwide. Read our FAQs to learn more about the Kids LiveWell program.

1) What is the National Restaurant Association Kids LiveWell program?

The National Restaurant Association launched the Kids LiveWell program in collaboration with Healthy Dining to help parents and children select healthful menu options when dining out. Restaurants that participate in the voluntary program commit to offering healthful meal items for children, with a particular focus on increasing consumption of fruit and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and low-fat dairy, and limiting unhealthy fats, sugars and sodium.

The Kids LiveWell program benefits both restaurateurs and guests. Participating restaurants get third-party verification and promotional materials for qualified meals and individual menu items. Parents and caretakers get accurate information to help them make informed decisions about their child’s meal.

2) How many restaurants are participating in the Kids LiveWell program?

More than 15,000 restaurant locations were part of the July 2011 launch of Kids LiveWell. These restaurants offer their young guests a selection of Kids LiveWell choices. We look forward to announcing additional restaurants and menu options in the coming months.

Inaugural Kids LiveWell leaders include 19 brands: Au Bon Pain, Bonefish Grill, Burger King, Burgerville, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Chevys Fresh Mex, Chili’s Grill & Bar, Corner Bakery Cafe, Cracker Barrel, Denny’s, El Pollo Loco, Friendly’s, IHOP, Joe’s Crab Shack, Outback Steakhouse, Silver Diner, Sizzler, T-Bones Great American Eatery and zpizza.

3) How can a restaurant join the Kids LiveWell program?

Restaurants that join Kids LiveWell agree to offer and promote a selection of items that meet qualifying nutrition criteria based on leading health organizations’ scientific recommendations, including the 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines. Healthy Dining’s team of registered dietitians has worked with participating restaurants to identify and validate the menu choices that meet the Kids LiveWell criteria. Restaurants participating in the Kids LiveWell program:

  • Offer at least one full children’s meal (an entrée, side and beverage) that is 600 calories or less; contains two or more servings of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and/or low-fat dairy; and limits sodium, fats and sugar (see next question for details on nutrition criteria);
  • Offer at least one other individual item that has 200 calories or less, with limits on fats, sugars and sodium, and contains a serving of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein or low-fat dairy (see next question for details on nutrition criteria);
  • Display or make available upon request the nutrition profile of the healthful menu options; and
  • Promote/identify the healthful menu options.

For more information on joining the Kids’ LiveWell program, please contact Joy Dubost at the National Restaurant Association at (202) 973-5361 or, or Erica Bohm at Healthy Dining at (858) 541-2049 or

4) What nutrition criteria is a restaurant required to meet to participate in the Kids LiveWell program?

A restaurant’s featured Kids Livewell menu items must meet specific nutrition criteria recommended by leading health organizations’ scientific guidelines and verified by Healthy Dining’s team of registered dietitians. Criteria are listed here and also available on HealthyDiningFinder’s website.

Kids LiveWell Nutrition Criteria for Full Kids’ Meals (entrée, side option and beverage):

  • 600 calories or less
  • ≤ 35% of calories from total fat
  • ≤ 10% of calories from saturated fat
  • < 0.5 grams trans fat (artificial trans fat only)
  • ≤ 35% of calories from total sugars (added and naturally occurring)
  • ≤ 770 mg of sodium
  • 2 or more food groups (see below)

Kids LiveWell Nutrition Criteria for Side Items:

  • 200 calories or less
  • ≤ 35% of calories from total fat
  • ≤ 10% of calories from saturated fat
  • < 0.5 grams trans fat (artificial trans fat only)
  • ≤ 35% of calories from total sugars (added and naturally occurring)
  • ≤ 250 mg of sodium
  • 1 food group (see below)

Entrees must include two sources & sides must include one source of the following:

  • Fruit: > ½ cup = 1 star (includes 100% juice)
  • Vegetable: > ½ cup = 1 star
  • Whole grains:  contains whole grains = 1 star
  • Lean protein (skinless white meat poultry, fish/seafood, beef, pork, tofu, beans, egg whites/substitute):  > 2 ounces meat, 1 egg equivalent, 1 oz nuts/seeds/dry bean/peas = 1 star (lean as defined by USDA)
  • Lower-fat dairy (1% or skim milk and dairy):  > ½ cup = 1 star (while not considered low-fat, 2% milk is allowed if included in the meal and the meal still fits the full meal criteria)

5) What benefits do restaurants receive if they participate in Kids LiveWell?

For restaurants who want to provide healthful options for kids, Kids LiveWell can help showcase your commitment by providing a flexible and turn-key program for verifying and promoting your qualified menu items. Capitalize on the trend toward healthier dining and drive additional sales and traffic.

Participating restaurants receive:

For more information on joining the Kids’ LiveWell program, please contact Joy Dubost at the National Restaurant Association at (202) 973-5361 or, or Erica Bohm at Healthy Dining at (858) 541-2049 or

ERM logo

Eat Right Montana

Eat Right Montana promotes healthy nutrition, physical activity choices, and behavior to improve the well being of all Montanans.

The Eat Right Montana (ERM) Coalition is a diverse group of individuals and organizations who have come together with the common goal of providing consistent, science-based nutrition and physical activity messages to all Montanans.  Since our launch in 1992, we have understood the benefits of collaboration and partnerships.  We work to meet our mission of promoting healthy eating and active lifestyles for all Montanans by providing:

  • Mini grant opportunities that are open to all Montanans
  • Opportunities for action in your community and across Montana
  • Opportunities to donate your time to help build a healthier Montana, through membership or projects.
  • Healthy Hero Awards, a nomination process that encourages individuals and organizations from across the state to highlight their Health Heroes.

Partner Organizations:

  • American Heart Association
  • Montana Association of School Superintendents
  • Montana Beef Council
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana
  • Montana Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Montana Department of Health & Human Services
  • Montana Cancer Control Programs
  • Cardiovascular Health Program (CVH)
  • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, & Children (WIC)
  • Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
  • Montana Dietetic Association
  • Montana Office of Public Instruction – School Nutrition Programs
  • Montana Office of Rural Health and Montana Area Health Education Center
  • Montana State University—Extension Service
  • Food & Nutrition
  • Nutrition Education Programs
  • 4-Health Program
  • Nutrition and Physical Activity Program (NAPA)
  • Montana Office of Public Instruction
  • School Nutrition Programs
  • Montana Team Nutrition Program
  • North Dakota WIC
  • Rocky Mountain Development Council
  • Shape Up Montana—Big Sky Fit Kids
  • Western Dairy Association

For more information, visit

You can also learn more about what Eat Right Montana is doing by checking out their Facebook page: ERM Facebook

Choose You ACS logo

The Choose You Movement

Choose You is a movement created by the American Cancer Society that encourages women to put their own health first in the fight against cancer. The movement challenges women to make healthier choices, and supports them in their commitment to eat right, get active, quit smoking and get regular health checks. 

The Choose You Movement shines a light on a hidden issue: that while one in three American women will get cancer in her lifetime, about 50% of cancer deaths could be prevented if more emphasis were placed on early detection and healthier lifestyles including maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise and avoiding tobacco.

In the constant struggle between family, work and self, we know how difficult it is to focus on oneself. To help change this, American Cancer Society has developed the Choose You Commitment. Powered by stickK, this online program provides tools and support to enable women to commit to and achieve their personal health and wellness goals. Research shows that 73% of Commitments with financial stakes are successful. The Choose You Commitment provides this support.

By making a Choose You Commitment today, you are making personal health a priority — and helping in the fight against cancer.

Note: The ACS no longer sponsors this movement, it has been blended into their other programs. More information regarding healthier lifestyles and cancer prevention can be found here:


Healthy By Design

Healthy By Design is an initiative marked by collaboration across all sectors of the community. Members intentionally and strategically influence the environment in which people live, work and play, with a focus on physical activity and nutrition.

Healthy By Design Mission:

To collaborate with partners across sectors of the community to promote and improve health.

Healthy By Design Vision:

Create a community that is healthy by design. Make the healthy choice the easy choice.
According to the CDC, healthy communities are those that are designed and built to improve the quality of life for all people who live, work, learn, play, and worship. This includes the ability for every person to make choices among a variety of healthy, available, accessible, and affordable options. For example, neighborhoods that have streets and sidewalks built with pedestrians and bicyclists in mind provide an opportunity for residents to get physical activity into their daily commuting routine. However, often times the communities in which we live do not make the healthy option the easy choice. For instance, fast food is quick, convenient, and affordable but lacks necessary nutrients and is packed with fat, sugar, and calories. Diets high in fat and sugar contribute to the alarming rise in chronic diseases associated with obesity and overweight. Lifestyle factors — from changing diets to sedentary jobs and leisure-time activities — play a role but the way we plan and design our community is directly correlated with food availability and opportunities for daily physical activity.

Healthy By Design Background:

In 2005-06, 2010-11, and again in 2013-14, Alliance member organizations — Billings Clinic, RiverStone Health, and St. Vincent Healthcare — conducted a comprehensive Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) and, with participation from the community, identified various health priorities that warranted improvement. In response to the initial 2006 assessment, the Alliance created Healthy By Design to address community-wide issues relating to health. Formation of the Healthy By Design Coalition brought together a valuable network of human assets: professionals with expertise in infrastructure; engineering and planning; the largest medical hub in a 500-mile radius; and a strong network of non-profits and community action groups. Work continues today.

Recent Work:

The most recent community health needs assessment and the current community health improvement plan are available on the website, on the “about us” page. Driven by the community health needs assessment and improvement plan, current work is underway in the following areas: health equity, healthy weight, worksite wellness, event recognition and built environment.

Healthy By Design Healthy Weight Workgroup:

  • Focus on public usage of the 5-2-1-0 message, including providing materials to community, schools, and social and health service providers
  • Physician consultation on weight, including recording of BMI at primary care visits
  • Use of healthy weight plans, physical activity guides, nutrition guides (resources on website)
  • Promotion of motivational interviewing among clinical providers and other professionals

Healthy By Design Built Environment Workgroup:

  • Working on access issues, most recently worked with the City and community partners to pass a “Complete Streets” policy
  • Recently completed a “Complete Streets” Benchmark Report
  • Convening stakeholders to determine best collaboration model

Healthy By Design Healthy Equity Workgroup:

  • Gardeners’ Market addressing lack of access to fresh produce
  • Increasing leisure-time physical activity for women, while addressing barriers associated with gender, including appearance, caregiving, and safety
  • This includes a public class offering using a curriculum called Active Living Every Day

Healthy By Design Worksite Wellness Workgroup:

  • Provide free on-site worksite wellness assessments
  • Offer a number of resources and tools including nutrition guides, physical activity guides, catering guide and sample worksite wellness policies

Healthy By Design Recognition Program Workgroup:
The Recognition Program has four goals:

  1. To create a standard of excellence for events
  2. To encourage active living and healthy choices
  3. To educate event coordinators through expert guidance and recommendations
  4. To recognize events in Yellowstone County that promote healthy lifestyles

Event recognition includes:

  • Expert guidance and recommendations for planning your event
  • Event listing on the Healthy By Design website
  • Use of the Healthy By Design logo, banners, and educational materials at the event
  • Certificate of recognition
  • The satisfaction of making a positive impact on community health

For information please email: or visit

APHA Online Transportation and Health Toolkit

The American Public Health Association (APHA) has developed health, equity, and transportation resources such as fact sheets, a communications toolkit, and reports as part of a comprehensive online toolkit. All are available for download on this web page.

Additional materials in the online toolkit (such as information on HIAs, case studies, etc.) may be accessed on the health and transportation Resources page.

New SNAP-Ed toolkit helps states identify obesity prevention strategies

from the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research

New SNAP-Ed toolkit helps states identify obesity prevention strategies

May 7, 2013, NCCOR

On March 30, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) unveiled a new toolkit to help states identify evidenced-based obesity prevention policy and environmental change interventions to include in their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed). The toolkit includes strategies and interventions that can be readily adopted by states in a variety of different capacities including child care, school, community, and family settings.

All 50 states, the District of Colombia, and the Virgin Islands provide nutrition education for participants enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps) and other eligible low-income individuals. The goal is to help people make healthy food choices within a limited budget and choose physically active lifestyles consistent with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate.

Traditionally, the focus of SNAP education initiatives has been on the individual recipient, but the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 transformed the program into a nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Grant Program. Known as SNAP-Ed, the program explicitly adopts obesity prevention as a major emphasis and embraces comprehensive, evidence-based strategies delivered through community-based and public health approaches.

In October 2012, USDA asked for help from the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) in developing a toolkit of effective and actionable tools and interventions that embody community-based and public health approaches to nutrition education and obesity prevention. NCCOR immediately convened a group of members interested in working on the project and helped USDA assemble a set of tools that are: (1) proven effective, (2) consistent with SNAP-Ed policy and practice, (3) suitable for low-income populations, and (4) likely to achieve obesity prevention goals.

The final product is an online toolkit that offers a robust group of effective interventions that can be adopted by SNAP agencies and providers at the state level. The toolkit was drawn from various sources, including public health literature, collections of existing interventions, and other resources developed by organizations including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the North Carolina Center for Training and Research Translation (Center TRT).


Worksite Wellness Toolkit: A Basic Guide to Employee-Based Wellness Program Implementation

Worksite Wellness Toolkit

A Basic Guide to Employee-Based Wellness Program Implementation

by Audrey SchadtMontana_Health_Initiative

Audrey Schadt, an intern with RHI through the INBRE Public Health Internship Program, developed a toolkit for implementing worksite wellness programs that are low-cost and effective. The toolkit includes ideas for nutrition, physical activity, and other programs that are evidence-based along with sample supplemental materials and evaluation tools.

Click here for the Worksite Wellness Toolkit