Desoto County News

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare leads Healthier 901 Initiative launch

Challenges the Mid-South to Lose One Million Pounds in Three Years

Credit: Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare news release

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare announced a bold initiative on Wednesday, Aug. 2 to challenge and help Mid-South residents to lose one million pounds throughout the next three years.

The Memphis-based healthcare system’s most recent Community Health Needs Assessment identified heart disease and cancer as the top causes of death in Shelby County and DeSoto County. Scientific studies show clear links between obesity and both conditions, and the Memphis Metro-Area is ranked the second most overweight city in America.

“Our neighbors and community members are diagnosed with life-threatening diseases every day. This challenge was built to help people in the Mid-South live healthier lives and make lasting changes for future generations. We can do what very few others have done and we’re going to do it, together,” said Michael Ugwueke, MPA, DHA, FACHE, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare president and CEO. “Building and maintaining a supportive community is key for long-term success. Healthier 901 is for the entire family, no matter where each person is on their health journey.”

Michael Ugwueke – Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare President/CEO (Courtesy photo)

Healthier 901 supports a healthier community for everyone, providing participants with the tools they need to engage and focus on various aspects of health and wellness, whether someone wants to lose weight or just gain greater control of their health and wellness.

·       On September 2, Healthier 901 Fest is a free, public event that will take place at Shelby Farms Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with fitness workouts, delicious cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs, health screenings, giveaways from sponsors, inflatables and fun activities for the whole family.

·       The challenge will also launch the official Healthier 901 app. Participants can track their progress, challenge friends or coworkers, and connect socially. The free customized app will be available to the public later in August online and via smartphone.  

Healthier 901 is sponsored by anchor community partners including Cigna Healthcare, Action News 5, Nike and Kroger.

“We are proud to partner with Methodist Le Bonheur on this important program to improve the health and vitality of the Memphis community,” said John Webb, Cigna Healthcare president of the TriSouth. “Together we’re building on our longtime relationship with MLH to help the people we both serve live longer, healthier and happier lives.”

“We are incredibly grateful to our generous sponsors who understand the dire need for this initiative and the challenges our community faces when pursuing a healthier lifestyle,” said Ugwueke. “There is power in numbers and together, we are committed to creating pathways to success for anyone in our community.”

To learn more and enroll in Healthier 901 community challenge, visit More details around the kickoff event at Shelby Farms and the app’s official launch will be announced soon.

Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob is also heard on 95.3 The Rebel twice a week with sports updates and high school football play-by-play broadcasts in the fall. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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