OKLAHOMA CITY -- TSET’s efforts to improve the health of Oklahoma children and seniors was recognized at the national SHAPE America Convention in Nashville on Friday.
TSET received the W. Clyde Partin Service Award, which recognizes an organization that supports healthy lifestyles of residents in southern states. The award highlights the efforts of organizations that promote policy, practice and advocacy for programs that promote physical activity, health and physical education for school children.
“TSET has had great success improving the health of Oklahoma’s citizens through grants and education efforts with schools, communities, businesses and partner organizations,” said Donna Cobb, executive director of the Oklahoma Association for Health, Physical Education Recreation and Dance. Cobb nominated TSET for the national award.
“In recent years, there have been significant reductions in funds for essential services particularly in education and health,” Cobb said. “TSET has helped support services and programs that save lives, reduce medical costs and put Oklahoma on a path for a healthier future. It is a model for the nation, and Oklahoma should be proud.”
TSET funds grants and programs that focus on sustainable change in schools, communities, businesses and community organizations that support healthy choices and reinforce healthy behaviors – especially for children.
TSET has awarded over 100 incentive grants to schools and school districts that have changed policies to support tobacco free environments, increase physical activity and improved nutritional offerings at schools. Many of the incentive grants have funded action-based learning equipment or automatic external defibrillator (AED) machines.
This past year, TSET also provided one-time funding to the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services so mobile mental health crisis teams for children and youth would not be cut.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by SHAPE America for our partnerships to improve the health of Oklahoma children,” said TSET Executive Director John Woods. “Oklahoma voters created the endowment trust in 2000 so we could continue to invest in the health of future generations of Oklahomans, and we know that when children form healthy habits early they last for a lifetime.”
Through the TSET Healthy Living Program grantees, serving 94 percent of the state’s population, have worked in school districts to implement wellness policies. TSET’s community-based grants were instrumental in creating support for a statewide 24/7 tobacco-free school campus law that was enacted in 2015 and protects all public school children from tobacco use on school grounds. This statewide law was put in place after more than 80 percent of school districts had adopted a tobacco-free policy while working with TSET community-based grants. Since TSET’s work began, youth smoking in Oklahoma has been cut in half.
TSET’s Shape Your Future program educates on the importance of children learning healthy habits early, and offers free resources to families and teachers on incorporating physical activity into the day, as well as healthy recipes to increase fruit and vegetable consumption.
The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) serves as a partner and bridge builder for organizations working towards shaping a healthier future for all Oklahomans. TSET provides leadership at the intersections of health by working across the state, by cultivating innovative and life-changing research, and by working across public and private sectors to develop, support, implement and evaluate creative strategies to take advantage of emerging opportunities to improve the public's health. TSET. Better Lives Through Better Health.
SHAPE -- the Society of Health and Physical Educators – is the nation’s largest membership organization of health and physical education professionals. The mission of SHAPE America is to advance professional practice and promote research related to health and physical education, physical activity, dance and sport. The W. Clyde Partin award is named after the first executive director of the Southern District. The Southern district includes Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.