Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long Kicks Off Lt. Governor’s Challenge


DOVER, Del. (Oct. 25, 2018) — In her latest efforts to help build a stronger and healthier Delaware, Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long kicked off the annual Lt. Governor’s Challenge on Thursday, Oct. 25 at 2 p.m. at DE TURF in Frederica, Delaware. The Lt. Governor’s Challenge is an ongoing opportunity for Delawareans to embrace healthier living, inspire their peers and be recognized for their achievements. The event is free and open to the public.

Through her efforts within the community both as Lt. Governor and as a nurse, Lt. Governor Hall-Long understands the connection between physical and emotional wellness as well as health and learning. The lieutenant governor’s office discovered that many people were already making efforts to live better in various communities statewide—and in doing so, were helping to influence change in others. With so many dedicated groups already leading the way, the lieutenant governor established this challenge to bring their good works to light and to further promote policy, system and environmental (PSE) change strategies in order to mobilize even more individuals and communities on the journey to a healthier Delaware.

Poor diet and physical inactivity are two of the most important health issues affecting weight and health outcomes in Delaware. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports Delaware’s 2017 adult obesity prevalence rate at 31.8% which is slightly higher than the 2016 prevalence rate of 30.7%. In addition, 37% of adults are overweight. When adding the percentage of Delaware adults who are overweight or obese, Delaware ranks 11th among states.

“Lt. Governor Hall-Long is working to elevate the well-being, productivity and prosperity of all Delawareans, and we hope that everyone will take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to embark on a healthier lifestyle,” said Governor John Carney. “We look forward to seeing the impact the Challenge has on all Delawareans, and I want to thank the Lieutenant Governor for her continued leadership on this issue.”

Among those attending the kickoff were Governor John Carney; Dr. Karyl T. Rattay, MD, MS, Director, Division of Public Health; Shawn Garvin, Secretary, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control; Dr. Susan Bunting, Secretary, Department of Education; Elizabeth Walker Romero, MS, Director, Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health; William Strickland, Chairman of DE TURF, as well as other state leaders in the fields of health and well-being. During the kickoff, Lt.Governor Hall-Long will revealed the program’s vision and platform as well as preview the Challenge’s nomination and resource website.

Today’s Lt. Governor’s Challenge has its roots in the vision of former Lt. Governor, now Governor, Carney. Inspired by Governor Carney’s mission to address physical activity and fitness levels of youth and adults, as well as her own dedication to improving the quality of life for all Delawareans, Lt. Governor Hall-Long aims to reinvigorate the Lt. Governor’s Challenge in order to elevate the well-being, productivity and prosperity of our state.

“More than just a recognition program for health and wellness initiatives, the Lt. Governor’s Challenge is an opportunity for individuals to be a driver of change in their own families, neighborhoods, workplaces, community groups or schools,” said Lt. Governor Hall-Long. “Whether someone nominates himself or herself, or a group they find deserving of recognition, by sharing stories and results, participants in the Challenge can encourage fellow Delawareans to discover how they, too, can take steps toward a healthy mind and body.”

“Because health outcomes are driven by the conditions of the places where we live, learn, work and play, this Challenge provides participants the opportunity to demonstrate how everyone can help to make healthy choices, for ourselves, our families and for others in various settings in Delaware. We are excited to work with the Lieutenant Governor to kick-start sweeping change throughout our state,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, Director for the Division of Public Health.

“This Challenge brings us one step closer to setting up and preparing our students for healthy and successful lives as adults by providing them with those essential building blocks and tools now,” said Dr. Susan Bunting, Secretary of the Department of Education.

Secretary Shawn M. Garvin, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, adds, “The Lt. Governor’s work directly aligns with our agency’s efforts to encourage our children and adults alike to spend more time outdoors and to lead healthier lives.”

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