A new community collaborative called Live Well Streator was recently launched to develop solutions that create new possibilities for healthier lives. Part of the transformational work OSF HealthCare is doing in Streator, the group consists of both community members and OSF administrators.
Together, members of Live Well Streator share a vision of inspiring a strong, coordinated and engaged community that empowers residents to live healthier lifestyles.
“Our purpose is to create a sustainable movement that strengthens the health and well-being of the entire community,” said Janette Strabala, regional director of operations at Heritage Operations Group and chairperson of Live Well Streator.
Strabala and Jack Dzuris, who serves as vice chair, have embraced the role of leading the group while it strives to make Streator a place where people enjoy longer, healthier and happier lives. They are joined by several community members with diverse backgrounds and interests.
The following people serve on the Live Well Streator steering committee and represent a number of industries and community perspectives:
- Janette Strabala (chair), Heritage Operations Group
- Jack Dzuris (vice-chair), Streator Area Chamber of Commerce
- Rene Barr, Vactor Manufacturing
- Josh Biros, Streator Family YMCA
- Matthew Dean, US Foods
- Leslie Dougherty, LaSalle County Health Department
- Don Emmons, Kroger
- Vicki Gerberich, University of Illinois Extension
- Mayor Jimmie Lansford, City of Streator
- Amy Jo Mascal, Streator Township High School
- Dr. Lisa Parker, Streator Elementary School District 44
- Julie Ramza, Streator Drugs
Assisting with the Live Well Streator initiative is Ellen Vogel, community health engagement program manager at OSF HealthCare Center for Health – Streator. A longtime Streator resident, Vogel is facilitating the program and dedicating the resources needed to ensure its success.
Vogel was instrumental in helping group members identify the strategy to create a sustainable movement. As a result, Live Well Streator will focus on building awareness about community resources and creating new partnerships that support healthy living.
“A dozen community members and a health care system simply cannot change community behaviors on their own,” said Vogel. “We need to form partnerships and grow a coordinated network that believes in the future of Streator and believes in supporting our efforts along the way.”
While healthy living could mean any number of things, the steering team worked to determine which areas of focus could enact the greatest amount of positive change for the community. After reviewing population data, they narrowed their priorities to healthy weight and substance abuse.
Keeping partnerships in mind, the Live Well Streator steering committee cast its net to bring additional manpower and insights to their team. A meeting of more than 40 community members took place in late July at OSF Center for Health, and all were assigned to help with one of three action teams designed to tackle the identified priorities.
Each action team was assigned a team leader tasked with facilitating meetings, maintaining membership and working with their team to develop strategy that drives policy and programming. Matthew Dean of US Foods has been named the leader of the Healthy Eating Action Team. Josh Biros of the Streator Family YMCA is the leader of the Activity Action Team. And Streator Fire Department Chief Gary Bird has been named the leader of the Opioid Use Disorder Action Team.
While the groups are new and finding their footing, they’ve already got a few end goals in sight – albeit 5-10 years down the road: an increased percentage of residents who eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day, 45 percent of Streator residents at a healthy weight by the year 2025 and a reduction in opioid usage and overdose.
“For Live Well Streator to be successful, the whole community will need to get behind the concept,” said Vogel.