Wednesday, April 3, 2013

2012 Public Health Champion - Tara Jahn

Jefferson County, Colorado--Public Health is what we as a society do collectively to prevent illness and premature death and promote health in our communities. Each year, during National Public Health Week, April 1-7, 2013, Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) honors some of the many people it works with throughout the year that help to make our county healthy. While they may not have made public health their profession, the work they do, the partnerships they provide and their enthusiasm for protecting the health of Jefferson County residents makes them the 2012 Public Health Champions of the Year.

  • Advocating for Healthy Eating and Active Living, Tara Jahn 

As a resident of Wheat Ridge, Tara Jahn is deeply invested in a range of community building activities through her ongoing involvement with Live Local (Wheat Ridge), a grassroots initiative of Wheat Ridge 2020 started by Ms. Jahn and other Wheat Ridge partners in 2012. Tara’s work advocating for active living and sustainable, local food systems has provided leadership, compassion, and energy while making Wheat Ridge a more vibrant community.

Wheat Ridge Mayor, Jerry DiTullio had this to say about this 2012 Public Health Champion of the Year, “Tara Jahn is a relatively new face in Wheat Ridge, but she has jumped in with both feet to promote a healthy life style and to promote her new hometown of Wheat Ridge. As the Mayor of Wheat Ridge and as a longtime resident, I congratulate Tara on this well-deserved recognition. Live Local is a unique approach to support healthy communities AND local businesses at the same time. This is the type of community building of the future."

Tara understands how making physical activity fun can get more people moving. Through Live Local Active, Tara helped organize a run club that meets regularly, a variety of active and social summertime events, and most recently, a Winter Fitness Challenge that involves yoga, pilates, and group runs. She also hosted a family yoga event in a public park and organized group bike rides. Several of the events include stops at and patronage of local businesses. Community members gain exposure to local restaurants, shops, and studios they might never have visited before and businesses have a chance to build up their clientele.

She also truly understands how to encourage healthy eating and sustainable, local food systems. Through her work with Live Local Harvest, she helped organize a produce exchange last summer among local growers and most recently a Food and Film potluck series. The first dinner and film event brought together over 60 people from within and around the Wheat Ridge community to learn more about its growing local food system. The second event hosted nearly 100 participants, many of them attending for the first time.

In addition, as a member of the Wheat Ridge 38th Avenue Leadership Committee, Tara has worked to support a more economically vibrant and healthy downtown through a variety of strategies. She has played a leadership role in supporting the roadway redesign of 38th Avenue that fosters a safer and more pedestrian-friendly environment while supporting patronage of local businesses.

Tara’s work supporting a more livable, healthy and economically vibrant sector of Wheat Ridge makes her a 2012 Public Health Champion of the year. Congratulations and thank you Tara Jahn.

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