What is Weight of the Fox Valley?

Weight of the Fox Valley (WOTFV) is a three-county initiative with a shared vision of working together to achieve and maintain a healthy weight at every age.  The counties include Calumet, Outagamie and Winnebago.  WOTFV was established after a two-day summit attended by more than 150 concerned stakeholders in the spring of 2013. The summit was held as obesity was recognized as an emerging priority for the Fox Valley HealthCare Coalition, Oshkosh and Fox Cities United Ways, ThedaCare’s CHAT Initiative and area LIFE Studies.

Why is addressing weight important to our community?

When over 60% of residents are overweight or obesity, it  impacts the vitality of our community.  Excess weight affects personal health leading to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, orthopedic problems and more.  It affects mental health and self-esteem.  It affects worker productivity.  It affects how we build our buildings and modes of transportation and even how we defend our country.  There is virtually no aspect of our community not impacted by this concern.

Why should people participate in Weight of the Fox Valley?

  • Connect – Participants get to know others in the region with the same passion and interests.
  • Learn – Participants learn about successful approaches by hearing from others who are leading amazing work in the Valley and through regular renowned speakers featured at quarterly gatherings.
  • Support – Participants take advantage of backbone support that may include professional facilitation, organizing tools, communication networks, meeting space, consultation and funding guidance.
  • Innovate – Participants contribute to a unique change movement locally, as well as nationally.  WOTFV is being supported by the Healthy Wisconsin Leadership Institute of UW Madison and the University’s research center. 
  • Celebrate – The visibility of WOTFV will create a spotlight for local efforts that are making a big difference.  These efforts will be shared at quarterly gatherings as well as in the media and online.

How will Weight of the Fox Valley make a difference?

WOTFV is using a relatively new approach to creating social change called Collective Impact.  Collective Impact is about creating a common approach with shared measurement and an appreciation of all the existing efforts currently underway.  By aligning mutually reinforcing efforts, developing strong communication patterns and providing infrastructure support through a backbone organization with paid staff (United Way Fox Cities and Oshkosh Area United Way), WOTFV can have a significant impact unlike any other effort that has come before.  

How is Weight of the Fox Valley organized?

WOTFV is championed by a Leadership Team of 35 community leaders from throughout the three counties.  These individuals are heads of business, healthcare, government, non-profit agencies and philanthropic organizations.  An executive Core Team of six members meets twice monthly  to more directly guide the initial development of this initiative.  A Program Manager, is paid by the United Way organizations within the Fox Cities and Oshkosh and is responsible for day to day operations.