January Newsletter

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TSET Newsletter

January 31, 2019

TSET Board of Directors awards Healthy Incentive Program grants to schools and communities

Incentive Grant Awards

The TSET Board of Directors approved 40 grants for communities and schools through the TSET Healthy Incentive Program at their quarterly meeting.  

Grants were awarded to 17 communities, 21 school districts and 2 school sites that have adopted health promoting policies and strategies.

Communities that have implemented key strategies aimed at creating an environment that encourages Oklahomans to eat better, move more and be tobacco free are eligible to apply for TSET incentive grants. Successful communities have adopted tobacco-free, vapefree city property ordinances, support active transportation, promote healthy nutrition and make healthy foods more accessible and affordable. 

Strategies for schools include district wellness policies that focus on quality nutrition and increased physical activity to improve the health of students. Schools must also provide a tobacco-free, vapefree environment at all times.

TSET funds are often used to leverage additional partners for projects that promote health.

Three school districts recognized for promoting health and wellness

Three school districts were honored in January for efforts to promote health and wellness for students and staff through the TSET Healthy Incentive Program for Schools.

Shawnee Public School District received a $30,000 grant and chose to use the funds to purchase hydration stations at multiple sites to encourage increased water consumption, whole body & mind fitness training and equipment for staff and students, as well as cafeteria seating and nutrition training.

Guthrie Public School District received a $30,000 incentive grant and chose to use the funds to place protective fencing around the playground at their newest school site, Charter Oak Elementary, to give students a safe place to play and be active.

Sulphur Public School District received a $25,000 incentive grant and chose to use the grant funds to refurbish the district walking track to promote physical activity for students, staff and community use

“These grants recognize the efforts of school districts and school sites that are actively promoting healthy lifestyles,” said TSET Interim Director Julie Bisbee. “Studies show that active, healthy kids perform better in school and we want to recognize schools that are making the healthy choice the easy choice for students, staff and the community.”

Sulphur Big Check Award

Pictured from left to right: Jenny Trett, Sulphur Board of Education/Chickasaw Nation; Fob Jones, Sulphur Board of Education; Benji Sartors, President of the Sulphur Board of Education; Pala Crawford, Sulphur Public Schools Superintendent; House Speaker Charles McCall; Casey Killblane, TSET Board of Directors;  Pam Chitwood, Sulphur Wellness Committee Member/Arbuckle Memorial Hospital; Sharon Howard, TSET Healthy Incentive Program Manager; Julie Bisbee, TSET Interim Executive Director

Set simple goals and make healthy swaps in 2019

SYF New Year

This New Year, Shape Your Future is helping Oklahomans lead better lives by providing easy ways to eat healthier. With these simple tips and tricks for staying healthy, it can be easy to make New Year’s resolutions last all year long.

Start out by making a few small changes to your everyday diet such as swapping out mashed potatoes for mashed cauliflower. It makes for a yummy alternative and has less fat and calories. Just steam, mash and enjoy!

Another easy rule is to eat a light lunch, full of fruits and veggies if you know you're going to be eating a heavier meal later in the day.

With these small changes it can be even easier to get healthy and stay healthy in the New Year! Find more tips on making healthy changes here.

TSET Board of Directors elects officers for 2019

Bruce Benjamin

The TSET Board of Directors has elected new officers for 2019. Bruce Benjamin, PhD, of Claremore, was elected to serve as chair. Michelle Stephens, JD, of Weatherford, was elected as vice chair.

Benjamin, who was appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, began serving on the TSET Board in 2015. He follows Don Millican as chairman of the TSET Board of Directors. Millican, appointed by the State Treasurer, had served as chairman from 2017 to 2019. Benjamin is the vice provost for graduate programs, associate dean for biomedical sciences and associate professor of physiology at Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences. Benjamin is also head of the OSU Center for Wearable Electronic Sensing Systems and Technologies, an interdisciplinary team working to develop wearable smart garments for use in health and wellness.

Michelle Stephens

Michelle Stephens, appointed to the TSET Board by the Governor, is an attorney who previously served on the Oklahoma Commission for Human Services, State Board of Education and State Career Tech Board. Stephens is a member of the Board of Trustees for Oklahoma Christian University and served 10 years on the Weatherford Board of Education. She also is a member of the Oklahoma 4-H Volunteer Council and the State 4-H Horse Council.

Appointed members to the TSET Board of Directors serve staggered seven-year terms. Board members represent each congressional district, are politically diverse and oversee the expenditure of the earnings from the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, as specified by the Constitution.

Learn more about the TSET Board of Directors’ members by clicking here

TSET begins search for new executive director

The TSET Board of Directors has begun the search for a new executive director. View the job description here. The TSET Board of Directors approved a contract with Tulsa-based Switchgear Search and Recruiting to conduct and oversee the application process and ensure compliance with state law. 

To read the full release, click below.