Amy Wixted, MPH, CHES, CIC®
Wellness and Education Manager, The Villages Health
The Villages is an active retirement community of approximately 130,000 individuals in central Florida. In 2011, the challenge was put forward to make The Villages America’s Healthiest Hometown. The Villages Health was developed in 2012 to coordinate the care of the community and lead the drive to create America’s Healthiest Hometown.
To increase awareness of health, each month more than 100 free classes on nutrition, exercise, diabetes prevention, stress management and other health topics are provided through The Villages Health. The classes are offered in a small group format and encourage interaction for the betterment of adult learners. In addition, community screenings for memory and body composition analysis screenings are conducted free of charge.
Without a doubt, services that focus on behavior change in addition to raising awareness are the most impactful. Behavior change, however, is difficult to accomplish in one class so focus has shifted to providing programs and services in a multi-class format to offer ongoing support, accountability, and skills development.
Amy Wixted is the Wellness and Education Manager for The Villages Health. She received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Neuropsychology from Vanderbilt University and a Master’s of Public Health degree in Health Policy, Management and Behavior from the State University of New York at Albany. Amy is a Nationally Certified Health Education Specialist and a Certified Intrinsic Coach. She also holds additional trainings and certifications for the National Diabetes Prevention Program, Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention, and the Matter of Balance Fall Prevention program. She has worked in the public health field for more than 20 years with positions focusing on research, worksite wellness and community health programming. She oversees a team of 9 interdisciplinary experts for the America’s Healthiest Hometown initiative and acts as Program Coordinator for both the National Diabetes Prevention Program through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and for the Diabetes Education Recognition Program through the American Diabetes Association. Amy is a committee member for the American Diabetes Association Clinical Conference, the Go 4 Life National Institutes on Aging Postcard for Patients workgroup, and the Florida Statewide Engagement for Diabetes Prevention mentoring workgroup. In addition to community wellness initiatives, Amy also leads The Villages Employee Wellness Program and The Villages Health Continuing Professional Development program. Amy has been a part of the America’s Healthiest Hometown initiative in The Villages, FL since its inception in 2011, first through USF Health and now with The Villages Health.