Philippa Sonnichsen, Nutrition Chair
Bill Dixon, Community Gardens Chair
Nancy Doran, Physical Activity Chair

Meeting details

The Healthy Lifestyles Committee meetings for 2017 are in the Benton-Franklin Health District Board Room on 2nd Wednesdays 4:00-5:00 pm.


The Healthy Lifestyles Committee (HLC) is committed to preventing and reducing obesity in our community. To do so, the HLC has focused on three outcome goals, developed based on the Community Health Needs Assessment results:

  • Community members will be more physically active.
  • Adults will make healthier food choices.
  • Promote breastfeeding and improve child nutrition.

Primary activities/accomplishments

Kurtzman Garden young plantersThe HLC is fortunate to have developed strong leaders and partners who are working together to tackle obesity.  As written in the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), SMART objectives and tactics are being employed to improve the lifestyles of community members.  Strong partnerships have been developed with the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce, the WSU Extension Master Gardeners, the Tri-City Herald, the Bike Tri-Cities and the cities of Pasco and Richland.

Philipa Sonnichson writes monthly articles for publication in the Tri-City Herald.  Topics include nutrition, physical activity, and chronic disease prevention and management.  Aided by Dr. Amy Person, the articles highlight health statistics from the bi-county area to underscore the prevalence and incidence of chronic disease.  Recipes and activities are included to provide practical tools to readers.  Relevant local programs, activities, or events are included to connect the reader with resources and pepper the articles with a home-grown flavor.

Bill Dixon is a WSU-Extension Services Master Gardener.  He has coordinated and built _____ gardens in the Tri-Cities.  While our community is nested within a rich agricultural region, food deserts are an existing threat to the health of our citizens.  The expansion of the community garden program has brought thousands of pounds of food to community members.  A notable partnership begun in 2015 is with the Juvenile Justice Center.  They are growing vegetables and fruits in indoor and outdoor gardens.  Additional community gardens are being planned and built on an ongoing basis.

Additional activities of the HLC include:

  • supporting the Benton-Franklin Health District Women Infant and Children program Washington Steps Up for Breastfeeding Success,
  • promoting healthy lifestyles with the City of Richland by offering more walks in the city’s parks and along the Urban Greenbelt Trail,
  • participating in various health fairs and community events, such as the Walmart Wellness Fair, the Academy of Children’s Theater Garden Arts Tour, Dia de los Ninos, The Amazon Health Fair, the Benton PUD Health Fair, and the Chamber of Commerce’s, Good Health is Good Business challenge.