HEALTHY Armstrong Appoints New Project Coordinator

Kittanning Township-native Trisha Brice was introduced as the new HEALTHY Armstrong Project Coordinator to Steering Committee members last week and is anxious for new opportunities.

By: Jonathan Weaver of The Kittanning Paper

A wellness coalition based in Ford City has a new leader.

Following the retirement of Project Director Kay Owen, the HEALTHY Armstrong Steering Committee has selected Trisha Brice as her successor.

Brice, 27, grew up in Kittanning Township and is no stranger to the organization.

“I have a history with HEALTHY Armstrong. In August 2009, I accepted a position as a Wellness Specialist/AmeriCorp member and served for two years. Since then, I have been working as an independent consultant for some nutrition education programs for different wellness programs throughout HEALTHY Armstrong, so I’ve stayed connected and stayed on the Steering Committee,” Brice said.

The Steering Committee includes 30 community leaders – from community organizations, such as the Crooked Creek Environmental Learning Center in Ford City and the Richard G. Snyder YMCA to major partners in ACMH and the Armstrong School District.

Some of those activities she worked on as an AmeriCorp include ‘Recipe of the Week,’ updated the organization’s website and community outreach, such as a cooking class at the Kittanning Public Library or at the Armstrong County high schools.

HEALTHY Armstrong stands for Healthy Eating Active Lifestyles Together Helping Youth.

Brice lives in Manor Township with her husband, Josh – Chief Resident at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh – and 1 ½-year old daughter, Taylor. Brice has already started instilling healthy habits in Taylor.

“We learn through example – that’s a huge part of nutrition, and a very important part that’s missing in today’s culture, so we sit down to eat meals with her so she learns to eat from what we eat and is more accessible to new things,” Brice said. “She’s doing well.”

Brice will guide HEALTHY Armstrong’s plan to target a new age level.

“All of the things that have been accomplished thus far have really been school-based, and in the organization as a whole a lot of that is continuing to occur, but the school district has the things in place they need to do it. In the meantime, a lot of the data now suggests that the obesity epidemic is starting earlier – children before they enter kindergarten are starting to show signs of being overweight or obese – so our focus is now moving to pre-kindergarten age children and families,” Brice said.

Until plans are more concrete, Brice spends about five hours per week at the Ford City location.

Owen stayed in contact with Brice during the past few years and was confident in her skills.

“We had our eye on her for a long time,” Owen said. “It’s right up her alley. I knew she’d be able to pick things up real-quick, and with her experience and all her community contacts, she was a perfect fit.”

An Elderton High School graduate, Brice graduated in December of 2009 from Indiana University of Pennsylvania for a Bachelors of Science in Nutrition.

Brice – who is also a Kittanning Township volunteer firefighter – also works an outpatient dietician at ACMH.

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