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Get Up and Go
Friday October 30, 2015

Health Policy Summit on Nov. 6

The 7th Annual Health Policy Summit will be held on Friday, November 6. This yearly event is essential for bringing together the people and institutions working to improve the health of our communities.2015 Health Policy Summit Logo

The theme of this year’s Summit is Embracing a Culture of Health and Wellness. Civic leaders, employers, faith leaders and professionals from health, medicine, nursing, and education will learn strategies for creating a culture of health and wellness and integrate ideas from previous years’ Summits. The breakout sessions will focus on:

  • Partnerships and collective impact
  • Advocacy strategies
  • Priorities for addressing diabetes in St. Clair county
  • The Healthy Schools Healthy Communities program
  • Workplace wellness
  • Sustainable health initiatives

Our Keynote Speaker

We’re pleased to welcome Julie Willems Van Dijk, RN PhD as our Keynote Speaker and Session Facilitator. Julie is an Associate Scientist and the Co-Director of the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps Program, a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Her research focuses on community health improvement planning processes. Julie has worked in local public health for 21 years as a public health nurse, director of nursing, a health officer, and has served on numerous community boards.

Julie plans to describe how participants can embrace a culture of health and wellness using the County Health Ranking and Roadmaps Program as a guide. She will share the experiences of other counties across the United States using these resources to create healthier communities. Julie will also facilitate the afternoon breakout session “Building Sustainability: From Message, to Meaning, to Momentum.”

When and where is the Health Policy Summit?

The Summit will be held on Friday, November 6 from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Fountains Conference Center at Four Points by Sheraton, 319 Fountains Parkway in Fairview Heights. We will provide a continental breakfast and lunch.

How much does it cost to attend?

The registration fee is $40 for professionals, $25 for students.

How do I register?

  • Online registration (preferred) is available at
  • Mail the registration form (found at and payment to: Get Up & Go!, PO Box 304, Belleville, IL, 62220.

Registration has been extended to Sunday, November 1.

Questions? Call Mark Peters at the St. Clair County Health Department at (618) 825-4423. 

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Congrats to Our 2015 Garden Grant Awardees

Get Up & Go! Community Garden Grant SignFor the second year, Get Up & Go! awarded $5,000 in grants to start or improve community gardens in St. Clair County this spring. This project helps meet one of our main objectives – to promote healthy eating as a strategy to improve the health of St. Clair County residents. 

“We’re excited because many of the gardens will donate the food they grow to local food pantries. Fresh fruits and vegetables are seldom available in food pantries. One of last year’s grant recipients, the O’Fallon Garden Club, donated over 3,000 pounds of fresh produce to local food pantries,” said Cheryl Singsank, former President of Get Up & Go!

Garden grant recipients include:

  • Caritas Family Solutions (Belleville)
  • District 175 / Ogles Neighborhood Association (Belleville)
  • Edgemont Bible Church (Fairview Heights)
  • Griffin Center (East St. Louis)
  • Henry Raab School (Belleville)
  • St. John’s United Church of Christ (Fairview Heights)
  • Teens Against Killing Everywhere (East St. Louis)
  • Trinity Services (Mascoutah)
  • Village of Marissa (Marissa)
  • YMCA and Lessie Bates Neighborhood Association (East St. Louis)
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Biathlon a Success!

2015 Get Up & Go! Biathlon LogoThanks to all the participants and volunteers who braved the steamy August heat and made our 5th Annual Biathlon on August 2 a success! We’re happy to report that this was one of the most successful Biathlons in the 4-year history of the event.

We think that our race organizers, Susan Ivy and Anthony Rossetti, did a fantastic job planning for the event and keeping everything running smoothly. And of course, a big thanks to our many sponsors, especially Memorial Hospital.

The proceeds from the Biathlon benefit Get Up & Go! In the past, we’ve used these proceeds to award mini-grants that fund community gardens in St. Clair County.

Mark your calendars – the 2016 Get Up & Go! Biathlon will be on Sunday, August 7. Bookmark our website ( and like our Facebook page (Get Up & Go Biathlon) to receive updates about next year’s event.

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Run Walk Bike Update

Walk Bike Run Logo for Get Up & Go! ForumOver 40 people attended the "Effective Advocacy for Biking, Walking and Running" event sponsored by Get Up & Go! in late August.

Speakers from Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville, MetroEast Park and Recreation District, League of Illinois Bicyclists, and Trailnet talked about:

  • Ongoing and future trail and Complete Street projects in St. Clair County
  • How to advocate for public policies supporting biking, running, and walking

The Cs of Political Action and Advocacy (from Dr. Karen Kelly, SIUE) 

  • Collectivity – be a collective voice; join a professional organization, a community group, a neighborhood group
  • Coalition – know who supports your ideas and goals; form an alliance with other groups
  • Community – reach out to your community; use social media, print and electronic media, talk to neighbors, family, friends
  • Collegiality – shared power and authority vested among colleagues; work as a team, with members contributing their own unique knowledge and skills
  • Commitment – be faithful to your cause and your profession; support your team members even in dark days
  • Challenge – seek to overcome opposition from individuals and groups; work to eliminate roadblocks to your goals through education, legislation, and the power of persuasion

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Lower-Fat Turkey Gravy

Ingredientslower-fat turkey gravy

  • 4 cups unsalted turkey stock, divided
  • 2 Tbs. fresh sage, remove from stem, finely chop
  • 2 Tbs. fresh thyme, remove from stem, finely chop
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

After you roast the turkey, place the roasting pan on the stove top over medium heat. Add 2 cups of turkey stock to the pan and stir about 5 minutes or until the drippings and browned bits from bottom dissolve. Pour into a saucepan.

You can remove fat from the drippings by adding several ice cubes and placing it in the freezer for 10 minutes. Remove hardened fat with spoon and pour the remaining stock into the saucepan. You should have about 4 cups of liquid.

Place the saucepan on the stove top over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Add sage and thyme to the simmering stock. Continue to simmer until the stock is reduced to about 3 cups of liquid.

Pour skim milk into a small bowl. Add cornstarch and stir to mix evenly. Slowly pour milk mixture into the simmering stock, stirring slowly. Bring sauce to a boil and continue to stir until stock thickens and has a nice shine, about 3 to 5 minutes.

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Get Up and Go

P.O Box 304 Belleville
Belleville, Illinois
618-604-2564 Email: