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Pawhuska a ‘Certified Healthy Community’

City officials were notified recently that Pawhuska has been selected as a Certified Healthy Community by the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

The Certified Healthy Community program “recognizes communities who make a positive impact on the health of a city or town,” according to the announcement by Terry Cline, commissioner of health and human services for the state agency.

As part of Oklahoma’s “Shape Your Future” campaign, the CHC program certifies communities on one of three levels: basic, merit and excellence. Pawhuska was named for the middle level of merit, the commissioner said.

“Your contribution in creating a healthy place to live, work, learn and play is important to the future of Oklahoma,” Dr. Cline said.

The city is to be honored for its health-related accomplishments during a Feb. 13 luncheon and workshop at Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Norman, according to a letter from the Department of Health received by Pawhuska City Manager Paul McAlexander.

Title of the certified workshop is “Creating and Leading a Culture of Wellness,” said Julie Knutson, chairwoman of the Certified Healthy Communities Committee.

In addition to helping coordinate an overall community clean-up campaign, the City of Pawhuska has pushed forward an extensive anti-smoking effort aimed at reducing all forms of tobacco use. The Communities of Excellence program of the Osage Nation has played a major role in promoting the no-smoking campaigns.

“Your commitment to pursuing certification is a great step forward in helping shape our future,” the letter stated.

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