STRIVING TO MAKE SOUTHERN WEST VIRGINIA A MODEL OF HEALTH, WELLNESS, AND ACTIVE LIVING
Our founders recognized that West Virginia was struggling with heart disease, diabetes, short life expectancy, drug abuse, and obesity. Public and private partners came together to support this non-profit organization, focused on improving those statistics and assisting local communities to improve health, increase activity, and become the model for active living.
The New River Gorge Regional Development Authority helped launch Active Southern West Virginia as a non-profit, region-wide initiative to motivate area residents, businesses, schools and local governments to make physical activity a personal and regional priority. A healthy and active community will attract new businesses, tourism, and jobs while developing a proud culture of wellness and physical activity in southern West Virginia.
What We Strive For
Wellness creates jobs
Community Captains is an innovative program developed by Active SWV. Community Captains and other Active SWV volunteers are themselves residents seeking healthier lifestyles. These volunteers are provided training with certifications and comprehensive program manuals to facilitate quality programming within communities, workplaces, local governments, and schools. This unique and evidenced based peer-to-peer model provides interventions to help individuals be in charge of their own health to prevent and manage chronic diseases in coal-impacted communities. Volunteers invite their friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers to join a routine of being physically active. This social support system is delivered in person and virtually.
Active Southern West Virginia is a non-profit providing an ecosystem of physical activity for the residents of southern West Virginia by offering programs led by trained volunteers from within the communities they serve.
Active SWV seeks for everyone to enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle. Populations are targeted who face the greatest economic and social barriers. Improving health outcomes through policy and behavioral change will strengthen community and economic development.
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Reports, programs, newsletters, and more.
Active SWV newsletters have all the latest information and updates you need to stay current. Read what’s new in our Community Captain, Workplace Wellness, Active Places, and Kids Run Club programs. We will also fill you in on events, partner news, and provide you with health and nutrition tips. Click here to sign up to receive next month’s newsletter.
ACTIVE SWV Team
The Active Southern West Virginia Board of Directors
Board Chair: David Bernier – WVU Institute of Technology Assistant Teaching Professor: Adventure Recreation Management
Board Past Chair: Cindy Whitlock – New River Health Association and Fayette County Board of Education
Board Vice Chair/Treasurer:Debby Sizemore – Retired Commercial Banker
Board Secretary: Kay Bess – community member, retired from Visit Southern West Virginia Tourism
Eloise Elliott – WVU Ware Distinguished Professor College of Applied Human Sciences School of Sport Sciences
Phil Waidner – Arrowhead Bike Farm
Jen Wood – Executive Director, University Relations WVU Institute of Technology
Larry Harrah – Harrah Law Firm
Michelle Rotellini – Beckley Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce
Austin Caperton – Appalachian Salmon Company
Amy Showalter – New River Gorge Regional Development Authority
Jenna Grayson – Director of Business Retention and Expansion, New River Gorge Regional Development Authority
Lee Ann Belmont – Labor Relations Business Partner, American Water
Lauren Beam – Anderson Accounting
William E. Massey, Jr. – Founder of Active Southern West Virginia and Ex-Officio Board Member
Melanie Seiler – Executive Director Active Southern West Virginia
In cooperation with staff, board members, partners, volunteers, and participants, Active Southern West Virginia has increased access to physical activity and living a healthy lifestyle in West Virginia. Read our Success Stories here.