Fayette County

Lexington health department announces Public Health Heroes for 2013

Anita Courtney, director of health promotion, Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, takes her 5 A Day Challenge to area kids at the Lexington Children's Museum, using Veggie Friends, Lexington, KY, Thursday, February 1, 2001.
Anita Courtney, director of health promotion, Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, takes her 5 A Day Challenge to area kids at the Lexington Children's Museum, using Veggie Friends, Lexington, KY, Thursday, February 1, 2001. Lexington Herald-Leader

Dietician and health advocate Anita Courtney and the Teens Against Tobacco Use organization are the winners of the 2013 Public Health Heroes awards from the Lexington-Fayette County Board of Health.

The Health Heroes awards honor individuals and groups that promote healthier lifestyles and nutrition in Lexington. Awards are given annually in April during National Public Health Week.

The 2013 awards were announced Monday.

Courtney, a registered dietician, is a leader of the Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition, a group that is working to provide more healthy food and physical activity for Lexington's "tweens," that is kids ages 9 to 13.

This year, Courtney helped secure a grant to expand the coalition's Better Bites program to provide healthier food for kids. Among other things, the program encourages small neighborhood grocery stores in Lexington to stock more fresh fruits, vegetables and healthy snacks.

Over the years, Courtney also has advocated for putting healthier snacks in vending machines at Lexington's schools, as well as promoting the VERB Summer Scorecard program that encourages kids to stay physically active over summer vacation.

Teens Against Tobacco Use, made up of students in Fayette County Public Schools, leads initiatives to provide tobacco-prevention education and tips for kids in elementary and middle schools. Members of the organization also have been working to build support for a 24/7 tobacco-free policy throughout the county school district.

Courtney and Teens Against Tobacco Use will be honored as Public Health Heroes at the Lexington-Fayette County health board's meeting on Monday.

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