Kelly Schwegman is the face of Active Living here at NKY Health. We’ve all seen her diligently mapping out indoor walking paths, handing out water bottles and providing exercise balls to use at the office instead of a chair (they help strengthen trunk muscles). Kelly, however, isn’t just concerned with how active NKY Health staff is; she also helps our communities get moving and get healthy, too. We asked Kelly a few questions and this is what she had to say:
1. Describe a typical work day for you. When does it start? When does it end? What are your duties?
No one day is the same. I could be heading to promote Bike to Work Week at the Purple People Bridge at 6 a.m., presenting in the evening at a city council meeting on Complete Streets, talking to a worksite at lunch about healthy meeting and vending policies, transforming into Produce Man to encourage kids to eat more fruits and vegetables, or kicking off community walking paths at an event on the weekend. The one common thread to it all is that with each interaction, I am helping that individual, that worksite, or that city make positive changes to their behaviors, the environment, or policies to create an overall healthier community.
2. What is the thing you like most about your job?
The opportunity to be out and work one-on-one with the communities we serve and really get to know those that live and work there. It is exciting when I get to see residents, businesses and community leaders work together to make a difference in their community.
3. What are you the most proud of?
Having been at the health department for 17 ½ years (yes, I count half years), what I am most proud of is getting to see all of the awesome changes happening in all of the communities I have worked! One example is that it is becoming easier and safer for all ages to walk or bike for not only recreation, but also as an active form of transportation, as more communities are adopting Complete Street Policies, applying for funds to build multi-use paths along busy streets, and marking safe walking routes for kids to walk to school.
4. What brought you to NKY Health (previous positions, schooling, etc.)?
I graduated from Miami University with a degree in Health Promotion and Sports Studies in May 2001. Growing up in a small town, I really had no clue what kind of jobs were out there. During my senior year at Miami, I had an internship at TriHealth conducting health screenings at worksite health fairs. I continued that as a contract worker once I graduated. Luckily, about 6 months later, I came across a job posting for a health educator position at the health department. So, this is my first “big girl job.” I actually started here as a health educator in the Abstinence program; however, a few months into my employment, someone in the Physical Activity/Nutrition program left and I was offered the opportunity to move into that program.
5. Tell us about yourself. Where are you from? What are your hobbies? What do you do for fun?
I was born and raised in Oxford, Ohio, and lived at home while attending Miami University. I met my husband, Jay Schwegman, in high school (many think we met here at the health department), and we have two sons, Brayden (15) and Logan (he’ll be 13 later this month). As a family, we enjoy kayaking, biking, hiking…anything active and outside.
In addition to working at the health department, I have also been teaching group exercise classes at a few local gyms for the last 14 or so years.
Thanks, Kelly, for your dedication to our health and the health of our communities!