Builders Series: Lisa Peacock Florida’s First Coast (Jacksonville)



I am a huge fan of George Babish, Senior VP of Organizational Advancement, at the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast in Jacksonville, FL. The team of talent he has assembled to advance the healthy living portfolio is outstanding and a lot of fun to work with.  One of which is Lisa Peacock, Director of Healthy Living Innovations:  Chronic Disease Prevention.  A little talk with her about building healthy communities:

Me: Lisa, what is your current role?

Lisa: I focus on chronic disease prevention for the entire First Coast YMCA Association.  We serve 5 counties and 100,000 people through 13 locations.  I work with our signature programs.  I review recommendations coming from YUSA and make suggestions to our organization about which strategies we should implement and when.  I go out to our communities, listen and bring back to our leadership suggestions about how to best serve the needs of the people in those communities. I work with hospital and health care systems and partners in our Healthy Living Centers.

One of my projects includes the Healthy Living Centers at the Williams and Ponte Vedra Ys. The Healthy Living Centers are the first of their kind on the First Coast, bringing medically integrated programs from Baptist Health into the Y – and making these programs more accessible to the surrounding community. More Y Healthy Living Centers are planned in the near future. The flagship Healthy Living Center will be located at the new Riverside Y along with Brooks Rehabilitation and Florida Blue. Our vision: Healthy Living Centers are a community based initiative designed to increase personal engagement and accountability for health, making it easier for people to achieve and sustain a healthier lifestyle.

Part of my responsibility is also to advance our association strategy of developing the Y as a Total Wellness Resource. This includes the delivery of our Y signature programs such as the YMCAs Diabetes Prevention Program and Enhance®Fitness, as well as our adaptive wellness programs, in partnership with Brooks Rehabilitation Health Systems. These adaptive wellness programs are designed to help those with mobility impairments through supervised physical activity.  Through these programs, participants learn how to stay active and improve their health after they complete formal physical therapy.

Where we are going as an organization is exciting.  I’m really involved in changing the way the community works with and perceives the Y.  We are a vital part of the health of our community and the overall healthcare system.

Me:  What’s your biggest challenge?

Lisa:  Time. There are many potential programs to focus on and we lack the time to address them all. It takes a huge amount of time to do diligent research to ensure we develop programs that meet community need and, in the end, transforming the overall health of those participating in our programs. Everyone can think of a great idea/program—that’s the fun part.  But you have to take that idea through focus groups, beta testing, fine-tuning and adjusting in order to do it right.

Me:  Following up with that idea—how’d you keep your job?  You needed a lot of time to show the value of the work you’re doing to the Y organization…

Lisa:  I have a strong faith and pray frequently. Not in the sense of keeping my job, but in the sense of being able to provide what both the association and our communities need. As for keeping programs running, we are blessed to receive grant funding, at times, as we did to launch the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program. This grant allowed one of our team members to focus on one program and really put the attention into the details of making the program succeed.  As a health educator, I highly value the concept of disease prevention & lifestyle behavior change. This allows me to speak from the heart about the great work we do. I can get behind an evidence-based program that is proven to work. During the time I was the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program Coordinator, I felt that my organization really trusted my judgment and I was able to develop professionally as the subject matter expert.

We received the grant and began this work in 2010 and it was three years until we flipped the business model and began receiving reimbursement for the program from Florida Blue in 2013. They are now a third party reimbursement payer.  Without them, we would have a really nice feel good, proven program, but not a strong sustainable business model. Currently, all Florida Blue insured individuals have coverage for and access to the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program. Florida Blue is also headquartered in Jacksonville, so this provides the opportunity to grow our partnership and improve the health of our community together as true local partners.

Me:  If you had more time (or budget) what would that buy you?

Lisa:  The additional time would buy me more organization and clarity. To have designated time to think, brainstorm with others, and research. To really navigate through and develop business plans. I have an amazing opportunity to work with some really great minds who challenge me. As a health educator, I don’t immediately think about the business model or financials. I would value more time to dive deep into this information and develop it further and to continue exploring how our organization can truly partner on holistic health outcomes.

Me:  Who do you admire inside or outside your industry?

Lisa: I enjoy listening to Heather Hodge Director, Chronic Disease Prevention Programs at YMCA of the USA.  It’s inspiring to hear what our national office is doing at a very high level with partnerships to advance our work.

There is an organization in our community, the New Town Successzone.  They are in a high-risk health zone. Their focus is revitalizing the community. What I value most, is who sits at the table – so many different organizations, of different backgrounds and races, all with the same focus, to better the community. It is very inspiring… I always leave the meeting uplifted.

Crawfords talk Physical Activity on The Drive


I love the chance to go on The Drive with Jack Ebling with Tom Crawford (yes, relation!).  This week we were talking the importance of physical activity and its role in alleviating arthritis pain.  I work with the Michigan Arthritis Collaborative Partnership and the YMCAs Enhance®Fitness program to promote this message.  Contact the YMCA of Lansing to find a program near you

Hear our chat:



#MiYMCA State Alliance of Michigan YMCAs Healthy Living March Newsletter


The March Healthy Living newsletter is out.  Please share with staff, participants, volunteers, and partners as we work together to build a healthier Michigan!

Check out some of the great work happening in Michigan YMCAs to build healthy communities through evidence based programs and partnership.

Please send me your content submissions for an upcoming edition.  I’d love to feature programs at your Y & innovative partnerships within the community.  I also invite you to be a guest columnist.  Tell your story!


#EnhanceFitness National Instructor Newsletter & Save the Date


Check out the EnhanceFitness National Instructor newsletter  great updates about Enhance®Fitness partnerships with ACE (American Council on Exercise) and Power Music.  Exciting industry partnerships to support instructor development.  Awesome work Paige Denison and team to develop these resources!!

Serious Instructor Training

Serious Instructor Training

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) Team is planning the 2015 Michigan Enhance®Fitness Conference.  Coordinators, Instructors, and aspiring instructors please join us for a day of fun and learning at  in Lansing at LCC West Campus Tuesday June 16th and instructor trainings during Michigan Enhance®Fitness Week!

2014 EnhanceFitness Conference National Kidney Foundation of Michigan delegation

2014 Enhance®Fitness Conference National Kidney Foundation of Michigan delegation

We are building a great team in Michigan to deliver and sustain this program.  Look for a two year training calendar soon as we work together to build a healthier Michigan!

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#MiYMCA @SaginawYMCA #Enhance®Fitness Trainings complete!


Leaders at the YMCA of Saginaw are now ready to put their training and planning into action and launch their Enhance®Fitness program.  Look for details soon of the program launch dates as the YMCA of Saginaw becomes the 9th Michigan YMCA to join the MiYMCA Enhance®Fitness program & expand their Healthy Living programs and serve older adults with arthritis.  Here’s a few shots of leaders in action:


Y Leaders building relationships through laughter!

Y Leaders building relationships with laughter!

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Sharing ideas

Sharing ideas










Of course, anything on the floor is from the pre-requisite course (weekend 1), not Enhance®Fitness (weekend 2)!

Thank you to CEO Steve Meyer for your commitment to serving your community through evidence-based Healthy Living programs.  Thank you to Tina Dowe, Health & Wellness Director and Andrea Jackson superstar volunteer instructor and coordinator for your planning and hospitality.  I love my Y hoodie!

Thank you for the thank you!

Thank you for the thank you!


I didn’t get a picture of it, but loved seeing all the community members playing chess in your lobby each day.  Great community building #BeCauseY!


Builders Series: Kristie King, National Kidney Foundation of Michigan


The Builders Series profiles people hard at work building healthier communities.  Meet Kristie King of the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan Nominate someone for our next builder’s series profile in the comments below or connect with me on Twitter @andicrawford

Kristie King (kneeling L of center) w/ NKFM colleagues at the Enhance®Fitness Statewide Conference

Kristie King (kneeling L of center) w/ NKFM colleagues at the Enhance®Fitness Statewide Conference

Kristie King

National Kidney Foundation of Michigan

Senior Program Manager

I first met Kristie King in 2008 when the Michigan Department of Community Health was investing in Michigan communities to implement a portfolio of evidence based programs to build the health of older adults.  She and I were both working on the delivery of Enhance®Fitness, a community and evidence based exercise program for older adults.

Since that time, the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan has done an amazing job of building relationships with community partner sites and now has 25 locations in Southeast Michigan delivering this program.  Kristie and her team have trained over 100 instructors, many who are community members who came to the program as participants.  As challenging as it is to administer this program (train and manage staff, manage budgets, and recruit participants), Kristie will tell you the most difficult challenge is building relationships and encouraging community members to  participate in this life-changing program.

What does your work at the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan entail?

“In addition to overseeing the Enhance®Fitness program I am the lead liaison for the Inkster Partnership for A Healthier Community

This coalition of nearly 40 organizations and residents works to support residents of Inkster in adopting and maintaining healthy behaviors.

While I’m not a resident of Inkster, I’ve worked hard to develop trust within the community.  Inkster has a rich history as a community of predominantly African American residents who settled in the area because of work opportunities at the Ford Motor Company.  Policies and practices restricted Dearborn to white employees and Inkster became a home for African Americans.  Inkster is a proud community working to address some critical community challenges, including the closing of their school district in recent years due to budget shortfalls.  Students now travel to four surrounding districts.  There is no grocery store within the community, leading to challenges with healthy food access.  How do you build a community with no school system and no grocery stores?  The coalition is working to develop garden programs, healthy food options, and access to health programs.  However, this is challenging because health is not top of mind for some residents.  Residents are concerned with meeting their basic needs; jobs, housing, education, and food.

My challenge is to use the resources that the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan and put them to the best use directly in the community.  This means working in partnership with community leaders.  People are not interested in my degrees or credentials.  In fact, sometimes those things prevent building trust.  You have to work with people.  As one pastor told me ‘We’re putting our trust in you, Kristie.  We’re not trusting your organization, the state health department, or anyone else.’  This is the key, delivering on what you say you’re going to do for people and communities. It cannot be short-term.”

Besides money, what is your biggest challenge?

Kristie:  “Money is not my biggest challenge.  The biggest barrier is getting to people who need these services the most.  How can we get people focused on taking care of their health when they are worried about rent, food, electricity, childcare, and education?  It takes really focused work to say, ‘let’s look at your resources and see how we can put them to use differently’.  That’s hard.  My approach with partners is to say, ‘This isn’t about an exchange of money, this is an exchange of resources’.  This approach communicates clearly that this isn’t about me helping you with funding I have, it’s us working together to bring about a change with what we all bring to the table; people, resources, space, commitment, and leadership.

What do you need more of?

“I need more staff, more committed people in all levels of the organization & community understanding what we’re trying to do.  The number of people in the community we’ve been able to serve are great, but it’s not enough.  We have to be in it for the long haul to really make a difference in people’s lives.  I make a lot of people mad because I demand that you be committed, to the people and to the program—this is long term change”.

Who’s work inside or outside of your industry or area of focus do you admire?

Kristie:  “There’s an organization on the Eastside called VODI-IMPACT it’s in what Detroiters call the ‘Old Holy Cross Hospital’.  I’ve worked with their Director Gayle Walters, who is actually transitioning away from this program as she’s relocating with her husband.  In the time we’ve worked together, we’re just kindred spirits.  You would think she has an MPH or a MSW, but she actually has a marketing background.  She is a master collaborator with many different partners.  She completely understands the social determinants of health and knows how to bring people together to get all kinds of services working together under one roof for residents.  VODI-Impact’s work needs to be studied and replicated—it’s just amazing”.