Media Relations

Press Releases

February 8, 2006

Burnie, the Miami-Heat Mascot to Join Miami-Dade County Health Department and Community Partners to Promote Physical Activity

Step Up, Florida - on our way to healthy living! 60 A Day – the Florida Way

Miami: For the third year, the Miami-Dade County Health Department and their community partners will be taking part in Step Up, Florida – On Our Way to Healthy Living on February 10, 2006. This year, to focus on the United States Department of Agriculture dietary guidelines that suggest that 60 minutes of physical activity each day will help manage body weight and prevent gradual weight gain, there is a new slogan: 60 A Day – the Florida Way.

All 67 County Health Departments will participate in this statewide initiative by the Florida Department of Health. Counties throughout Florida will join with state agencies, non-profits and community organizations during the month-long event. Participants along four routes will pass a “fitness flag” from county line to county line. The routes will meet in Duval County for the grand finale on February 28.

Highlights of the event will include students from Miami-Dade County Public Schools elementary schools participating in several types of physical activity including Tai Chi, line dancing, aerobics and golf along with senior citizens from a South Miami Senior Plaza. Activities will begin at 9:45 AM at the South Miami Community Center located at 5800 SW 66th Street, South Miami.

“In South Florida we have weather that allows us to participate in outdoor physical activities throughout the year. Our Step Up Florida activities will showcase this and we encourage people to get out and utilize our wonderful parks and beaches,” says Lillian Rivera, administrator of the Miami-Dade County Health Department. “We know that regular physical activity reduces the risk of chronic disease. Our goal is a healthier community and we, along with the Consortium for a Healthier Miami-Dade and our community partners are working together to make Miami-Dade one of the healthiest communities.”

9:30 AM – 10:45 AM

Physical Activities - School children, senior citizens

South Miami Community Center
5800 SW 66th Street

Physical activities include

· Tai Chi

· Line Dancing

· Hip Hop Aerobics

· Golf

· “Parachute”

Rally with Burnie, the Miami-Heat Mascot

11:00 AM – 12:00 Noon
South Miami Community Center
5800 SW 66th Street

Speakers include:

· Lillian Rivera, RN, MSN, Administrator – Miami-Dade County Health Department

· Dr. Bonita Sorenson, Assistant Secretary for Health – Florida Department of Health

· Mayor Mary Scott Russell – Mayor of the City of South Miami

· Ana Maria Rodriguez - Government & Community Relation Specialist for Baptist Health South Florida

· Denis Rodriguez – Chief of Staff for Mayor Carlos Alvarez

· Marie Birts-Cooper, City of South Miami Commissioner

Baptist Health South Florida will be sponsoring the event for the Miami-Dade County Health Department and their community partners.

Community partners include Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Office of Mayor Carlos Alvarez, Miami-Dade Area Health Education Centers, American Diabetes Association, Drug Free Youth in Town (DFYIT), South Miami Parks and Recreation, Miami-Dade County Community Action Agency -Head Start, Jackson Health System, Florida Heart Research Institute, Miami Dietetic Association, Health Council of South Florida, American Heart Association, Be Fit Kids magazine, Health Choice Network, Health Foundation of South Florida, Miami-Dade County Public School System, Open Door Health Center University of Florida – Cooperative Extension, St. John Bosco Clinic.

For additional information, please contact the Miami-Dade County Health Department Office of Chronic Disease Prevention at (305) 278-0442.


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