***Thank you for joining us in our 5k on Saturday, October 26th. We really appreciate your early support, your contributions and your steps towards A Healthy Billion Challenge.
A Healthy Billion is a Startup Ironman
Three companies with three big goals for 2013/2014 come together with 1 major focus: Building a community dedicated to working together to improve everyday health...by the billions.
The following projects are the 'swim, bike and run' of what we are calling a startup ironman:
- "The Swim" : College of Adaptive Arts, a non-profit building an innovative college for adults with disabilities - this year we need to find a permanent home for the college. We are also working on building a professional health & wellness department.
- "The Bike" : Vidapost, building a care coordination platform focused on simplifying the management of everyday care while continuously focusing on improving everyday health - this year our goal is to launch our first membership program, build and test our communication platform and complete our first healthy billion challenge: 1 billion steps.
- "The Run" : BuddiesInACTION, specializing in professional health & wellness programs for teens and adults with disabilities. - this year we are working on building a scholarship fund, offering workshops to staff and instructors on how to implement the ACTION philosophy to build inclusive wellness programs, and expanding to other cities and locations via our headquarters and affiliate programs.
A Healthy Billion is a Personal Commitment
While each company has their own "event" (and projects), their own mission and their own personal team, Jen Pleimann, has signed up for the full startup Ironman. She is the co-chair of the College of Adaptive Arts, the founder of Vidapost and the founder of BuddiesInACTION.
Typically, this time of year Jen can be found riding 100 miles from Carmel to Hearst Castle and leading TeamFITBuddies in the Audi Best Buddies' Challenge but this year she has embarked on a new challenge and is asking for your support as she pursues her passion and embarks on a new professional journey.
A little about Jen:
Current SF resident, originally from the midwest (St. Louis) with a dose of the east coast (Connecticut), south (South Carolina) and southwest (Oklahoma). Jen is a University of Wisconsin-Madison grad with a BS in Psychology and a work background encompassing many health related fields and settings including: behavioral therapist (for autism); physical therapy assistant; home health aide; and personal trainer.
She is a proud XXinHealth-er who has stepped away from providing care to solving everyday care problems. She does not have a MBA, she has MORE. She is a single member founder (with a great team), an outside-the-box thinker, and an optimistic, glass is always half full kind of thinker. And yes, she has undertaken three different endeavors but all with one main focus.
You can typically find Jen in workout attire with her laptop in hand (or at least nearby) and personal training a FIT in Los Altos a couple days a week. When not working on 1 of her 3 initiatives, she enjoys working out (de-stressing), spending time with friends, supporting her boyfriend's sports addiction or singing at the top of her lungs on her commute down 280. Although 3,000 miles away, Jen remains extremely close to her family and in fact, her sister, Tracy Richardson, is involved with both BuddiesInACTION and Vidapost.
A Message from Jen - Why this is so important to me:
It has been my everyday experiences in a variety of professional settings (homes, clinics, gyms, schools) that has led me to my current endeavors. For me, it is not about "what" I am working on or "how" I am going to solve the problems (although of course extremely important) but what keeps me going is WHY I am doing what I am doing:
- Because I worked in the homes of individuals with chronic conditions and witnessed the day in, day out struggles of everyday caregiving and understand the disconnect between everyday care and medical care from both a professional and patient/caregiver perspective.
- Because I have witnessed the life changing effects of professional health & wellness programs for individuals with disabilities
- Because I have watched adults with disabilities who were non-verbal, shy and disconnected from society "find their purpose" and become contributing citizens by taking college courses that cater to their strengths and abilities.
A healthy billion is a personal commitment and a professional endeavor that I am calling a startup ironman. And although I have never completed an actual Ironman, I have witnessed many and been a part of the training and I am well aware that it is an event that takes a village to complete: participants, coaches, volunteers and so on. Most importantly it takes community support to help cheer participants through each event and across the finish line. The startup ironman will require the same village.
A Healthy Billion is a Community Event
As mentioned, the main focus of A Healthy Billion is to build a community (that includes YOU) to work together to improve health...by the billions. We are asking for your support in the crazy ironman startup because we know that with your help, together we can cross the finish line and make a difference...by the billions. Here's how you can help:
- Make a donation (seriously, any amount helps): 20% goes to CAA, 40% to BuddiesInACTION, 40% to Vidapost.
- Move with us: Swim, Bike, Run, Walk and help us reach a billion steps (you can pledge $35 and we will email you a promo code or sign up directly at www.vidapost.com). Please note we have extended the challenge past Aug. 31st and will continue until we reach 1 Billion; You may register as a 'healthy' patient if you are not a caregiver, provider and do not have a chronic condition. Every step earns points towards health & wellness services for our Ambassadors who are adults with disabilities.
- Spread the word: Share our campaign and initiatives. Our number 1 goal is to build our community so help us spread the word.
What We Need & What You Get
Most of the contribution levels are actual prices for some of our programs and services. While we do have some tangible 'perks' (t-shirts, water bottles, etc) your contributions will go towards paying for a membership for yourself, sponsoring a friend, family or organization, or sponsoring the launch of an actual program or even a city launch! Below is the distribution of funding and what we hope to accomplish with your contributions:
- CAA (20%): We hope to expand our health & wellness department within CAA to offer more professional classes. This year they also hope to establish an official college campus for our students and solidify 500K in funding.
- BuddiesInACTION (40%): The funds raised will go towards establishing a scholarship fund and if you sponsor an affiliate program and/or headquarters you will have the option to specify the area you would like to see the program launched.
- Vidapost (40%): Funds raised will support A Healthy Billion Challenge and support our Ambassadors who are individuals with intellectual disabilities leading the challenge by both participating and sending encouraging messages to their teammates.
Please note that contributions are not tax deductive. If you would like to contribute directly to the college of adaptive arts you may make a tax deductible donation with them.
As mentioned, the number one goal is building our community and understanding that we all have a role to play. We have set up our 'perks' a little bit differently than most campaigns as we want you to be an active part of our network, building and creating with us as well as receiving.
More about the 3 Projects:
1) College of Adaptive Arts (CAA): Building an innovative college for adults with disabilities, specializing in the arts.
To date, programs and state funding for individuals with disabilities ends at the age of 22. Services are limited and opportunities are sparse. The CAA's goal is to establish a college campus so they can continue growing the programs and services that enable adults with disabilities to be contributing members of society.
Watch the video to learn more about CAA. Courtesy of Gabrielle Makower.
2) BuddiesInACTION: Improving the health & wellness of individuals with intellectual disabilities.
Erin Hopfinger, a fellow St. Joe Angel, recently partnered with Jen to begin growing and expanding BuddiesInACTION. Our goal is to expand the FITBuddies' program Jen started at FIT via our affiliate program to other gyms and organizations. We offer training and workshops for teachers, trainers and wellness instructors on how to implement the ACTION philosophy in any type of health & wellness program. We will be launching headquarters in various cities to to establish comprehensive wellness programs and build a wider community to address all the health & wellness needs of an individual.
A Special Congrats to Red Dot Fitness, one of our initial affiliates, on launching their BuddiesInACTION program in San Jose this fall!!
The video below shows our first program FITBuddies, offered at FIT in Los Altos, CA
3) Vidapost: Simplifying everyday care, improving everyday health.
At Vidapost we believe every single one of us has a role to play as a provider, as a caregiver and as a patient and that by working together, in a systematic way, we can make vast changes to improve everyday care. We are building a care coordination platform focused on simplifying the management of everyday care with a continued focus on improving everyday health. Today care coordination is not only scattered and disconnected but it is also only viewed as a medical problem (ie. only includes doctors, nurses, specialist, etc). At Vidapost, our goal is to connect the everyday providers and caregivers in a simplified way and enable the medical care team to connect to the information pertinent to their point of care.
Thank you in advance for you support! If you would like to follow Jen's personal journey, ongoing updates can be found at www.ahealthybillion.com.