Applications are now open for the Certified Healthy Oklahoma Program. The goal of the program is to provide opportunities to make healthier choices where people live, work, learn, play and pray.
Eligible organizations are restaurants, businesses, communities, congregations, campuses, schools, and early childhood programs.
TSET Healthy Living Program Wellness Coordinator Maria Guel-Rodriguez helps area organizations achieve the goals necessary to become certified and to keep that certification renewed each year.
“We spend time with different organizations, assessing their policies and practices to support healthy options,” Guel-Rodriguez said. “We help identify things they can try to do that will not be difficult or costly, to make healthy options available for their employees, customers, their families and the community.”
According to Guel-Rodriguez, the assessments are not government inspections and participants in the program are not regulated.
“I have to have their permission to look around. We build a relationship. And a lot of times is having an interview asking you a few questions, I do have a checklist that I have to go through,” Guel-Rodriguez explained. “And then I come in, and I make suggestions.”
The Woodward School System has taken the first step toward becoming a Certified Healthy School.
“We're pretty proud of that relationship. They passed the Wellness Policy, and that affects not only the employees of the school, the students, the parents, the visitors. And that's a big impact,” Guel-Rodriguez said. “Their policy was strong enough to receive the signs. So we gave the signs to the school with our logo and their logo.”
Guel-Rodriguez said her goal is to talk to all of the restaurants and businesses in the area, as well as the campuses and congregations.
The City of Woodward, Woodward Main Street, Woodward Arts Theatre, Woodward Farmer’s Counsel and The Hope Center are all in the process of renewing their certification, according to Guel-Rodriguez.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is currently accepting applications for the Certified Healthy Oklahoma program through Nov. 1. For more information in beginning the process, call Maria Guel-Rodriguez at 580-256-6416.