LAWTON, OK (KSWO) – For the second year in a row, the City of Lawton has been named an Oklahoma Excellence Certified Healthy Community for its commitment to promoting wellness, encouraging the adoption of healthy behaviors and establishing safe and supportive environments.
According to Certified Healthy Oklahoma, the annual certification recognizes communities for "outstanding efforts and achievements in actively creating communities that are a healthy place to live, work, learn and play."
"It is the policies of the Lawton City Council, Lawton Board of Education and the entire Lawton Fort Sill community that has earned the City of Lawton this recognition," said City of Lawton Community Services Director Richard Rogalski. "With the collaboration of community partners such as Fit Kids of Southwest Oklahoma, Comanche County Memorial Hospital, Comanche County Health Department and Fort Sill Family and MWR, we have succeeded in our efforts to advance community health and safety."
The recognition as an Oklahoma Excellence Certified Healthy Community is the highest level of certification you can get.
Lawton's city planner says the whole purpose of this certification is to promote awareness for a healthy life, not only for ourselves but for our kids:
"I think the most important thing about a certified healthy community is not what it does even for myself, the individual, even for myself, the adult. The most important thing that a healthy community does is for our children… You don't know what good health feels like if you don't have it, you know? All we know is the health that we have," said Richard Rogalski.
Rogalski says this award is a culmination of the work of many organizations, including Fort Sill, Lawton Public Schools, and Comanche County Memorial Hospital. He says any business can apply to become 'Certified Healthy'. For more information, head to certifiedhealthyok.gov.
The application was submitted this past fall. It evaluated four different categories: tobacco and alcohol, nutrition and physical activity, community resources, and education and awareness.
"[Lawton's] commitment to pursuing certification is a great step forward in helping shape our future," said Stephanie U'Ren, director for the Center for the Advancement of Wellness.
The City of Lawton will be honored for this achievement at a Certified Healthy Oklahoma event in March 2018.