INTRODUCING: Melanie Chapman

December 22nd, 2017 by Live Well Omaha Kids

Live Well Omaha Kids is excited to have two awesome interns supporting our collective work. This week we’d like to introduce Melanie Chapman:

I have been deeply engaged in a field of research and practice called physical literacy which is internationally defined as the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding to value and take responsibility for maintaining purposeful physical pursuits/activities throughout the life course. In this view, physical activity is appreciated for its intrinsic value as well as its contribution to health and wellbeing. In my first year as physical education student in the late 1990s I became interested in issues of health and social justice after volunteering on a First Nation reserve in Northern Ontario. There are many barriers that limit the opportunity to be healthy and active: it is important to me to work with communities to eliminate these structures and conditions. This experience also expanded my preconceptions about movement, particularly the importance of non-sport movement such as dance and the connections we can make with each other through movement. My motto is to “move, and move often”.

My interest in human movement and the social and environmental processes that support them thrived throughout my graduate studies at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. During my time in Alberta, I had many opportunities to explore my passion for research. With the Clear Outcomes research program in leadership science, I was able to build my knowledge of the impact of specific leadership practices on outcomes for the health system, the healthcare workforce, and for patients and their families. Similarly, at the Alberta Research Centre for Health Evidence (ARCHE), I was part of a multidisciplinary team that supported the development of evidence-informed practice and knowledge translation activities to help inform clinical and policy decisions. Simply, I find comfort in knowing that the research I help conduct can give people better lives.

I am currently in my second year in the Public Administration doctoral program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Now I finally have the opportunity to pursue my own research interests in public policy and policy communities related to physical activity and obesity, as well as broader policy issues in community health including coalitions and partnerships, community building, advocacy, policy development, and environmental change.

So, it is fitting that I feel very lucky that I get to try a completely different working environment outside of the academic setting and into the community with Live Well Omaha and Live Well Omaha Kids. This internship is a great opportunity to gain experience related to my studies and interests. Working with the LWOK collective has exercised and furthered my leadership, communication, and problem-solving

Growing up as a competitive athlete, I still feel the need for some healthy competition. I have been challenging myself in triathlon since 2007 and have travelled to many great places to race. In September 2018, I’ll be heading to Nelson Mandela Bay in South Africa for the 70.3 World Championships. Here’s a photo of me racing in Boulder, Colorado this past August:

INTRODUCING: Ashley Carroll

December 4th, 2017 by Live Well Omaha Kids

Live Well Omaha Kids is excited to have two awesome interns supporting our collective work. This week we’d like to introduce Ashley Carroll:

As a graduate intern for Live Well Omaha Kids, I am turning my passion for improving the lives of children and families into practice through collaborative efforts in policy, systems and environmental change. Years of working in health promotion, as well as firsthand experience as a busy working mother of three children, have taught me that raising healthy kids takes a village. The decisions that we make about our health are unconsciously influenced by external factors. Whether or not we have a grocery store with fresh produce near our home, how often students are allowed to play at recess and exercise in PE at school, as well as parents’ work schedules and the feasibility of healthy home-cooked meals- all play a role in whether or not we are successful in leading a healthy lifestyle.

To support Live Well Omaha Kids’ mission of reducing and preventing childhood obesity in the Greater Omaha Metro, I am coordinating a Safe Routes to School pilot project with the Christian Urban Education Service, known as the CUES schools, which include All Saints, Holy Name, and Sacred Heart. I am working with our Live Well Omaha Kids coalition partners to advocate for local policies that will promote healthy weight status in youth. And finally, I am supporting Live Well Omaha Kids’ efforts in building internal capacity for advocacy, fundraising and evaluation within their Partners for Healthy Schools program.

I earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. I recognized early on in my career that traditional consumer product marketing strategies had significant practical applications for health promotion, so I decided to pursue a Master’s in Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. In my tenure at the College of Public Health, I am honored to have been selected as a two- time recipient of the Weitz Foundation Public Health Workforce Expansion Scholarship Award, which recognizes individuals for their contributions in the field of public health, as well as their potential as a public health leader. I look forward to putting the skills I have honed in my graduate studies to work at Live Well Omaha Kids, ensuring all children grow up eating healthy and staying active, as those are the building blocks for a lifetime of good health.


November 20th, 2017 by Live Well Omaha Kids

Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, encouraging people to donate to their desired causes and organizations.

During this holiday season, while shopping for loved ones, you can give financially to Live Well Omaha without spending an extra dime:

  • TAGG – Download the Together A Greater Good app to your smartphone, and use it at over 100 local businesses who will donate 5% back to us! Get the app
  • Amazon Smile – Every time you shop on Amazon by visiting the AmazonSmile homepage first, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to the charitable organizations selected by customers. Set up your account
  • Giving Assistant – It’s so easy to support us while you take care of your every day, online shopping. Just use Giving Assistant! Giving Assistant shoppers earn an average of $700 cash back per year. Then, they choose to donate a percentage of that to causes they’re passionate about, Live Well Omaha. Giving Assistant facilitates the entire process, making it easier than ever to support us just by shopping online at over 3,000+ participating stores including Macy’s, Nordstrom, Groupon, and more. Shop here:

I utilize all three of these great resources and give to Live Well Omaha because I want every kid to be able to have access to healthy foods and ability be active – no matter who they are or where they live.

Helping all children grow up at a healthy weight is important to Live Well Omaha Kids. Live Well Omaha Kids, under Live Well Omaha’s leadership, has a mission is to work collaboratively to reduce and prevent childhood obesity in Greater Omaha by creating healthy environments for all children and families through advocacy, education, policy development, and environmental change. In my role as Director for Live Well Omaha Kids, I have the honor of working for this cause every day.

This generation is reported to be the first to live shorter lives than their parents, but we can come together to make changes in our community and rewrite this story. All children deserve to be healthy and live up to their full potential.

Please consider supporting Live Well Omaha for #GivingTuesday. You can also make a financial contribution to our organization via Paypal.

Sheena Helgenberger
Director, Live Well Omaha Kids
Grant Manager, Live Well Omaha

Participate in the 5-4-3-2-1 Go!® Challenge and Win a Prize Pack worth over $200!

November 13th, 2017 by Live Well Omaha Kids

Written by Shelby Watson, Project Coordinator, Go Nebraska Kids

November is National Family Caregivers Month and Go Nebraska Kids wants to help parents and caregivers be healthy role models for their families and the community!

The first role models that children have in their life are often their parents or caregivers and it is important to promote healthy habits to children from the beginning. Research suggests that one of the greatest indicators of a child’s dedication to healthy habits, such as exercise and healthy eating, is how devoted their parents or caregivers are to those behaviors.  Following the 5-4-3-2-1 Go!® countdown is a simple and easy way to promote positive healthy habits:

  • 5 fruits and vegetables a day
  • 4 servings of water a day
  • 3 servings of low-fat dairy a day
  • 2 hours or less of screen time a day
  • 1 or more hours of physical activity each day,

Children are more likely to adopt these healthy habits if they see their parents or caregivers participating!

Throughout the month of November, families who participate in an activity around each number of the 5-4-3-2-1 Go!® countdown will be entered into a drawing for the chance to win a prize pack valued over $200, which includes:

  • An annual membership to the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo
  • A $50 gift card to HyVee
  • A New Junior Cookbook
  • A Silly Street Board Game
  • Water Bottles
  • Placemats

To be entered to participate in the Caregiver Challenge and eligible for the prize pack, families will need to document their participation around each number of the countdown with a picture or video. Then each family is responsible for sending their files to One winner from Sarpy/Cass counties, one from Colfax county, and two from Douglas county will be selected at random. Each winner will be contacted through their email and all pictures and video clips will remain confidential.

Submission to the challenge ends on November 24th. Download the Challenge Flyer in English or Spanish.


Thank You for Pledging to Cook and Dine Together as a Family!

October 31st, 2017 by Live Well Omaha Kids

Mayor Stothert proclaimed October 22-28, 2017 as Omaha Family Dinner Week (OFDW) and the momentum around this campaign was exciting! As the fifth annual OFDW comes to a close, Live Well Omaha Kids thanks YOU for your commitment to cooking and dining together more as a family. As a result of promoting OFDW, we received 64 new pledges!

Business Support:

This week would not be possible without funding from CHI Health.15 prizes (totaling a value of $700) were awarded thanks to the generosity of:

Family Fare Supermarkets Logo                          

Family Prizes:

We awarded a total of 15 prizes during the week to families who took the pledge recently. Congrats to all of the winners!


Even though Omaha Family Dining Week is over for 2017, our pledge operates year-round. Direct your friends and family to pledge at!