Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) president Lisa Borders believes in the adage that health is our greatest wealth.
“If you are not healthy, you can’t get anything done, and you can’t help anyone else,” Borders said during the 3rd annual Total Health Forum hosted by Kaiser Permanente and the National Basketball Association (NBA) on Thursday (March 1) at the Georgia World Congress Center’s Georgia Ballroom.
The Total Health Forum “focuses specifically on how health and sports intersect to help build stronger communities,” according to an excerpt from the event’s program.
While geared toward a gathering of health officials, healthcare executives and star athletes – including two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors, Atlanta Hawks alum Dikembe Mutombo and ex-professional boxer Laila Ali – the forum’s messages held particular resonance because building stronger communities and total health are also part of the Georgia World Congress Center Authority’s (GWCCA) mission.
Through on-campus activities such as yoga, Zumba classes and massage therapy, the Authority provides a variety of on-campus options to get active and stay active. The campus also includes an employee gym and team members can sign up for a variety of 5K races and charity walk/run events taking place in the city at discounted rates.
Focusing on the total health of each team member is an organizational goal that is being led by the GWCCA Human Resources Department via the Authority Wellness Ambassadors. Along with incorporating physical activity, there is also a focus on nutrition, mental and financial health.
“Well-being is not a temporary focus, it’s a way of life. Simply put, our definition of well-being includes how you eat, move, think and sleep,” said Gwendolyn Miller-Jones, GWCCA Sr. Director of Human Resources.
NBA superstar Curry’s advice: “Do something you enjoy to get active.”
Forum participants made the connection between individual healthy and active lifestyles and the positive, inspiring impact that can be made on others.
“We have to make sure that we are modeling the behavior that the community can look up to,” remarked Borders. The NBA, WNBA, and Kaiser Permanente have partnered together to be shining examples for the community in terms of what it means to live a healthy life and how that can be achieved through sports.
Likewise, the Authority is not only focused on the total health of its team members, but also the total health of the community surrounding our campus as embodied by the organization’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) platform. The Authority’s CSR is geared toward its mission statement that addresses quality of life enhancement for all Georgians. These efforts are founded on four pillars represented by the acronym B.A.S.E.:
- B – Basic Needs (such as food, water, clothing, and clean air)
- A – Arts and Education
- S – Shelter
- E – the Environment
Through partnerships with organizations such as the Atlanta Community Food Bank, the Atlanta Mission and Habitat for Humanity, the Authority supports the total health of the community at large.
The Atlanta-based Center for Disease Control (CDC) is also along for the ride, providing opportunities for area youth by redesigning communities and sidewalks to make it safer for students to walk to and from school, therefore incorporating physical activity into an everyday routine.
“As the CDC moves towards healthy eating we cannot just tell people to go outside, we have to provide the policy,” said Total Health Forum panelist Ruth Pearson, CDC Director of Division of Nutrition.