Working to create generation Healthy!

About Us

About the genHkids (generation Healthy!) Coalition

The genHkids Coalition is a non-profit, volunteer-based organization founded in October 2008 to address serious child health issues in Sangamon County, specifically shortcomings in areas of child nurition, physical activity and health education. Thirty-five percent of Illinois children are overweight or obese, ranking Illinois 4th in the nation for children with an unhealthy body weight. The childhood obesity epidemic is poised to become the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, replacing Tobacco as this nation’s leading killer.

The vast majority of our children, regardless of their current weight status, face profound long-term health consequences due to lifesytles and habits which include physical inactivity and increasingly poor nutrition. Lifestyle choices are the primary contributing factor to the childhood obesity epidemic, and swift and decisive action is needed to reverse the trend towards unhealthy weight and its detrimental health effects. Obesity is the Gateway which leads to a host of medical problems, the most concerning of which include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, stroke, and cancer. If the trend toward obesity is not reversed, this generation of children will be the first destined to a shorter lifespan than their parents.

genHkids Coalition Mission:

Create a generation of healthy kids through education, empowerment, improved nourishment and increased physical activity, thereby reducing the incidence of childhood obesity and its detrimental health effects.

In the words of genHkids Founder and President, Kemia Sarraf, M.D., M.P.H.: 

“The public health crisis the obesity epidemic represents is unprecedented, far-reaching, and will be catastrophic; not only to the physical health of this generation, but to our collective financial future and our national security. I believe it is incumbent upon us all — health professionals, educators, parents and politicians, to take every imaginable step necessary to curtail the impending crisis this epidemic will create. We must improve the ways in which we nourish our children and ourselves; we must increase the amount of physical activity they and we get every day, and; we must educate and empower them to make their own best, lifelong choices. Failure to do so is not an option — an entire generation of children is at risk.”

Since its inception, the genHkids Coalition has become the leading voice in Sangamon County with regards to the promotion of childhood wellness programs. With the help of an impressive list of Anchor Partners and generous Community Investors, genHkids has created and implemented more than a half-dozen early childhood education, physical activity, nutrition-based and community programs. genHkids programs are visible in more than 30 elementary and middle schools throughout Sangamon County. Click here to learn more about genHkids statistics to date.

Mad Mud Dash

You a Mudder?

genHkids inaugural Mad Mud Dash was a resounding success! Over 400 kids and their parents joined us, hurdling themselves over walls, slithering through the mud and leaping through tires. After completing the 1 mile course, participants stayed to listen to music and enjoy a from scratch dinner, and (despite the cold) everyone had a lot of fun!

This year’s event will be held Saturday, September 13 from 1-5 at 5200 North Walnut (Rt 29 just North of the Springfield Airport), and we are working to expand it (we had to close registration early last year!) And remember, adults are free with child’s registration.

To register for Mad Mud Dash 2014 click here.

If you are interested in sponsoring the event this year, please contact Jen Dillman.

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  • Why genHkids was created