Today we are featuring another member of the LWOK Steering Committee – Arli Boustead, Coordinator of Healthier Communities and Community Benefit at CHI Health. Ms. Boustead has been a part of the coalition’s neighborhood pilot workgroup, giving her time and expertise to develop a plan to engage with agency leaders and residents living in 68107 and 68111. We appreciate her passion for helping others and her commitment to the collaborative work of Live Well Omaha Kids.

What inspired you to work in the field of health?
I believe that health shouldn’t be earned, that it should be something we all have the opportunity to achieve and enjoy.  I also believe that health starts at conception, and mom’s health affects baby’s health, and baby’s health is then determined further by their first year and really should be well established by the time a child is eight. There are so many opportunities for this to go awry during the birth-to- eight timeframe, and I believe we can all do more to make sure every baby has the opportunity to start healthy.

Tell us about your current role at CHI Health.
I am a Healthier Communities Coordinator for CHI Health, and this involves working with the hospitals in our system to look at community health needs, disparities, trends, etc., and help hospital teams identify ways to address these health needs either through their own evidence-based work or by connecting and collaborating in the community.

Why are you involved in the LWOK coalition? How does collaboration around child healthy weight benefit our community?
LWOK has been doing work to address childhood obesity for years and has developed a comprehensive network of experts and community members dedicated to changing the story of childhood obesity in our community.  Kids are the future.  We can act now to ensure we all have a bright future, by collaborating to give kids a healthy start and empowering them to raise up to be healthy and productive adults in our community.

When you’re not working, what kind of activities do you participate in to stay active and feeling energized?
I recently completed my first half-marathon.  While I don’t think the longer distances are my thing, I definitely feel proud knowing I was able to accomplish this.  I am somewhat addicted to physical activity, and I can tell when I’m missing it.  Not just in the way I feel, but in the way I think and act too.  Our family loves to travel, and my husband and I also love chasing our 6-year old around at parks.  Our little guy has Down syndrome, which means he has to work a little harder to accomplish some things, but his energy, strength, and love of being active has allowed him to meet and exceed the goals we all set for him regularly.  We are blessed to have a healthy family going into 2018 and wish health and happiness to our community as well.