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The Get Healthy Guam Coalition was founded in October 2005. The original founders were Jessica Kadiasang, Pepe LaFlamme and Renee Veksler, who started the Get Healthy Guam ~ Step by Step programs, offering a 6-week low-cost nutrition/fitness programs to people looking to lose weight, improve their body composition (lower body fat, increase muscle mass, strengthen bones) and/or improve their health conditions by managing blood sugar and blood pressure, strengthening the heart, improving immune function and reducing stress. It provided fun sociable ways where people sampled different programs without having to sign long term contracts. An education portion preceded the exercise portion. Promotion assistance came from the PDN, KUAM (especially News 8 Extra), and K-57.

In Fall 2005 at our first meeting, Governor Lou Leon Guererro, then Head of the Legislative Committee on Health, suggested our name, the Preventive Health/Healthy Lifestyle Coalition.

Adztech sponsored the Get Healthy Guam~ Step by Step logo  


Chronology of Previous Activities

October 2005 - First round of Get Healthy Guam ~ Step by Step programs: Circuit training and coaching at Nuform with Pepe LaFlamme:1 class for teens and 2 classes for adult women; 2 classes of strength training/aerobics and personalized nutrition counseling at Paradise Fitness center with Jessica for teens and adults.


December 2005/January 2006 - Second round Get Healthy Guam ~ Step by Step program, "Holiday Survival" : 3 classes at Nuform for adult women, 2 classes at Paradise Fitness Center, Agana and Dededo for adults, and 1 aerobics and education class for youth at FDMS Gym with Chris Mullins.


January 2006 - Juan Flores, Guam Public School Superintendent invited a Coalition representative to join the Nutrition and Physical Fitness Advisory Council to help develop the local Wellness Policy.

Mid-January/Feb 2006 - Offered our Holiday Get Healthy Guam ~ Step by Step program, "Take the Right Step into the New Year" : 1class at Nuform for adult women, 2 classes at Paradise Fitness Center, Dededo for adults, and 1 aerobics and education class for youth at FDMS Gym with Chris Mullins.

The first 2 sessions had sponsors: Foremost for water, yogurt, and banners, National office supply for folders and bubble sheets, Subway for 2 very long sandwiches, DanzJazz for a youth dance class. Archway sponsored some I Love Guam t-shirts. Wholesale Direct sponsored keychains.


March 2006 Step-a-thon, in Partnership with and Sponsored by the Guam Women's Club. Over 50 volunteers came from various high school student NHS organizations. I-94 sponsored a singing promotion. Water, juices and fruit: from Pepsi, Foremost, Cost U Less and PayLess. Cookies from Chef Clayton, Guam Reef Hotel.


April/May/June 2006 we offered our Spring Get Healthy Guam ~ Step by Step program, "Put some Spring into that Step": 1 class at Nuform, 2 classes at Paradise Fitness Center, Dededo, and 1 class at FDMS, youth.

May 2006: The Get Healthy Guam Coalition elected 4 officers and 4 board members: Chuck Tanner, Jennifer Holbrook, Kathy Bay, Donna Sporrer, Dr. Stephen Hsu, Doreen Tamasi, Vangie Phillips, Tanisha Franquez.


May 2006: We filed our Articles and Bylaws with Rev and Tax. We had assistance from Cynthia Cabot, from the PayLess Community Foundation.

In 2006 Rev and Tax gave us approval for the Articles and Bylaws. Then we filed for Tax exempt status. We had assistance from Cynthia Cabot from PCF.

October 2006: Rev and Tax approved our Tax exempt status.


September/October 2006 we offered our Get Healthy Guam ~ Step by Step program, "Time to Fall into a Good Habit" : 1 class at Nuform, 1class at Paradise Fitness Center, 1 class at FDMS, 1 water aerobics class for youth by Denise Reyes at the Fiesta Resort Hotel pool, and 1 class at Gold's Gym.


October 2006: K-57 is agreeable that we will be on the first Thursday of the month, speaking on 'Health Issues' with the Chat with your Neighbor show, 12:00 p.m - 1:00 p.m. First show to start in Nov.


October 28, 2006: The Get Healthy Guam Coalition participated in the Red Ribbon Week Carnival at Ypao Beach Park.


November 2006: the PDN editors agreed that the Get Healthy Guam Columns would be a good idea in more efforts of promoting health to our community. The columns began running each Sunday.


December 2006: The Get Healthy Guam Coalition, along with other non-profits, decorated Christmas trees at GPO. Activity sponsored by Dr. Shieh.


Nov/December 2006 we offered our Get Healthy Guam ~ Step by Step program, "Trimming for the Holidays" : 1 class at Nuform, 1 water aerobics class at Fiesta Resort, 1 nutrition/fitness class at the UOG Cooperative extension. Guam Radiology Consultants sponsored the PE teacher for the class at UOG. Also offered were Qigong workshops at PIC by Lama Tantrapa and a Jumprope for Fitness class at Agana heights gym by Coach Brian Dodge.


February 2007: Get Healthy Guam Coalition had an election to replace some board members. New members: Cynthia Cabot, Carina Fejerang, Lawrence Alam.

February/March 2007: Doris Crisostomo invited a Coalition representative to participate in informal Task force meetings to provide input into the Healthy Guam Initiative.


March 2007: A Coalition representative participated in Advisory Council meetings regarding Block grant applications from DPHSS. A Coalition representative also contributed to the grant application under DPHSS for reducing stroke and heart disease on Guam.


Jan/Feb/March 2007 we offered the Spring Get Healthy Guam ~ Step by Step program: 2 classes at Nuform, the morning session for Seniors (sponsored by the Division of Senior Citizens) and 1 water aerobics class at the Fiesta Resort. Also offered were Qigong classes at PIC by Lama Tantrapa and Jumprope for Fitness at Agana heights gym by Coach Brian Dodge. Denise Reyes offered an exercise/health class at the Merizo Senior Center (sponsored by the Division of Senior Citizens) This was the last Get Healthy Guam ~ Step by Step session offered with the Get Healthy Guam Coalition. Medpharm was a Community partner with the Get Healthy Guam Coalition for several years. They offered testing and free lab services for Get Healthy Guam ~ Step by Step program participants wanting to monitor their blood sugar and blood pressure readings.


May 2007: The Get Healthy Guam Coalition did a project for National Women's health week, of giving away 390 free t-shirts to newly formed or already formed exercise groups. The t-shirt sponsor was the Region IX Office on Women's Health.


May 2007: The Get Healthy Guam Coalition was invited to do a presentation for the 33rd Annual Governors Conference on Aging. Renee Veksler and Liv Switzer did a presentation and skit and Lama Tantrapa lead the group (of 500 people) in Qigong movements.

Summer/Fall 2007: The GUAHAN project assisted the Get Healthy Guam Coalition Board with capacity-building.


Fall/Winter 2007: The Get Healthy Guam Coalition presented a partnership proposal with the UOG Endowment Foundation for the Spring event.  A proposal was also proposed to Guam Community College, for student assistance which could count as service learning hours.


January 2008: Initial introductory meetings and formation of committees.


April 2008: 1st Annual Energetic Exercise, Colorful eating (E.C.)Does it! HealthFest.


November 2008: Youth Obesity Prevention and Reduction Collaborative session, at GMH on Nov. 21st. Contributors: Leaders from CNMI, WMU, and Guam.

It was very impressive to hear how far along CNMI is in their formal efforts with youth obesity prevention and reduction due to the successful partnership between the CNMI team WMU team and the excellent buy in from community champions and stakeholders in CNMI! Many positive remarks were heard from the Guam participants, for example upon reviewing the CNMI BMI data graphs of school children and hearing how all school kids have the opportunity to exercise 60 minutes daily. It's excellent how this board policy was passed using the Whole Child Concept. Thank you for helping to move our collaborative efforts to the next level.

brainstorming session - Guam Task Force to advocate for some needed changes.

  • From CNMI: Frances Demapan, President Joeten Motors; Jackie Quitugua, Associate Commissioner of CNMI Public School System;

  • Rosa (Chailang) Palacios, Health Educator, Hinemlo Network;

  • Joe Santos, Health Systems Administrator, Marianas Medical Center

  • From Western Michigan University: Mozhdeh Bruss, Associate Professor of Dietetics and Faculty in Interdisciplinary Doctoral Evaluation Program; Linda Dannison, Professor and Chair, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences; Joseph Morris, Professor, Counseling and Counselor Psychology;

  • Andrea Smith, Professor, Early Childhood Education

  • From Guam: Lani Chang, Joanie Barcinas, Eugene Santos, Patrick Wolff, Delora Dela Cruz, Brian Dodge, Dr. Patrick Santos, Clarissa Barcinas and Boni Garrido and Dina McCreadie, Renee Veksler

  • December 2008, January 2009. Many goals written for 'Guam Task Force' have been put into Action Plans of committees under various formal projects on Guam.


2009 - assisted to set & reach goals made by teams under the NCD Consortium and the Guam Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalition.


We drafted 2 children's books - one on preventing non-communicable diseases and one on heart awareness. We were hoping to find teachers to assist in curriculum development.


The "Chat with your Neighbor" monthly radio show. It was on the first Tuesday of the month, hosted by NewsTalk K-57 radio.

Involvement in the Guam 2014-2018 Strategic Plan for the Non-Communicable Disease consortium. Physical Activity Group.


After an attempt at Fundraising, it was decided to focus efforts on seeking and applying for grant funds to make good on our goals to produce health prevention/health literacy materials. We also networked and found Partners in Prevention to support efforts.


Arlene Cohen, retired RFK Librarian, shared a distribution with us and that's how we were introduced to  Children For Health. Lou San Nicolas introduced us to the leaders of Guahan Academy Charter School who thankfully wanted the school to participate in the workshops with Children for Health in making and testing the storybooks and activities. The 2nd storybook involved also Inarajan Middle school and Manelu.

  1. August 2021, the Diabetes Poster was ready. Guam Subject Matter experts were involved with the review team for the poster.

  2. April 2022, the storybook, "Our True Colors" was published.

  3. May 2023, the Diabetes Toolkit, "My Hero" was published.

March 2024 we received our award letter from the Guam Cancer Trust Fund that our application to produce a short film was approved by the Council members and UOG President.


KUAM Health and Wellness Honorees

The Health and Wellness Honor 
2011-Linda Unpingco DeNorcey, DPHSS
2012 honoree – Renee Veksler, Get Healthy Guam Coalition, Inc.
2013 honoree- Rose Zabala, DPHSS
2014 honoree –Pat Luces, DPHSS
2015 honoree - Doctor Annie Bordallo


Governor's Council for Physical Fitness and Sports

We were involved with this Council for several years. Chuck Tanner was an awardee in 2014 for "Exemplary Contributions of a Health Care Professional". Many categories of awardees and awarded programs.

Screenshot_2020-09-06 GUM 2014 NCD Strat

2014-2018 Strategic Plan, Guam Non-Communicable Disease Consortium

The Get Healthy Guam Coalition was involved in the Non-Communicable Disease Consortium, Physical Activity Group


C-Change and the Guam Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalition

Senator Rodriguez, in a meeting on May 28, 2014 with the Guam Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalition (GCCCC), discussed ways to further educate and advocate for cancer care initiatives on Guam.

Senator Rodriguez, along with Renee Veskler who represented the GCCCC at a C-Change National Conference in North Carolina, recently returned with awards from the national organization recognizing them for their work in cancer support, research, advocacy and education.

C-Change is a national organization that supports various cancer care organizations in their work to fight the deadly disease.


Members of the Guam Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalition with Sen. Rodriguez.

cancer education outreach students in ts

We were involved in the Prevention Team of the Guam Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalition, sought out and brought to Guam the elementary school curriculum, Cancer Education Outreach Program from St. Jude Children's Hospital

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