SOMT receives Health Hero Award

SOMT receives Health Hero Award

Extraordinary things are happening in Montana to improve health through physical activity and nutrition programs, projects, and policies. The purpose of the Eat Right Montana and Action for Healthy Kids Health Hero award program is to acknowledge and celebrate the outstanding efforts by those striving to promote healthy nutrition and physical activity to improve the well-being of all Montanans.  Eat Right Montana and MT Action for Healthy Kids will be awarding 9 outstanding Montanans with the Health Hero Award on October 24th in Bozeman.  Special Olympics Montana has been announced as a recipient, with special recognition to President, Ben Nob Norbie.

Health Hero Special Olympics Montana: Bob Norbie, President

The statewide efforts of Special Olympics Montana (SOMT) and President Bob Norbie will be recognized this year.  SOMT is a statewide non-profit with their professional headquarters in Great Falls.  The organization provides year-round sports training, athletic competition, and health-related programming for individuals with intellectual disabilities.  There are over 2,300 athletes registered in 121 programs from 65 Montana Communities.  SOMT athletes receive the opportunities to participate in a variety of sports and learn about healthy lifestyle choices.  There is a wide array of sporting opportunities for athletes to participate with and gives them the chance to experience adventures they may not have elsewhere. There is also a healthy athlete program that educates participants in 9 health focused areas including nutrition, hydration, bone health, sun safety, physical activity, BMI, tobacco cessation, and blood pressure.  President Bob Norbie is described as the “Chief Executive Fan” as well as his title as President of SOMT.  The nominator for the award wrote that Mr. Norbie, “has a staff of 27 that he leads with great energy and devotion.  All 27 of these staff are amazing people who go above and beyond their call of duty as they travel, plan, and manage teams across the state.”  The nominator also adds that Mr. Norbie is able to call most athletes and volunteers by name and always has an encouraging word for all those involved with SOMT.

More about ERM/AFHK and the Health Hero Awards:  Special Olympics Montana is a true embodiment of the Health Hero Award, which looks for people who have been active in the following areas:

  • Increasing access to healthy food choices and/or nutrition program participation
  • Alleviating or decreasing hunger in the community
  • Increasing access to physical activity for kids, families, or communities
  • Advocating for workplace changes to support healthy choices.

Other Health Hero Award winners this year include First Lady Lisa Bullock for her work with No Kid Hungry across the state and promoting childhood wellness; Amanda Cahill of the American Heart Association and the Co-Chair of the Graduation Matters Nutrition Work Group in Missoula; Terry Miller of Missoula for her work in assisting hospitals to achieve Baby Friendly Designation; Reg Hageman for his promotion of healthy food choices in Helena Public Schools and an active officer with SHAPE MT; Lacey Gallagher of Great Falls for her work promoting wellness through various community efforts; Abigail Lichliter of Great Falls for her work in the Cascade County Extension office and SNAP Ed program; Donna Kruse for her promotion of health through the Food Service Department of Huntley Schools; and Chris Cook of Billings, founder of the Fit Kids club program.

For more information please contact: Erica Harp, HH Awards Chair at 406-403-2662 or

Picture: Terry Miller, Amanda Cahill, Lacey Gallagher, Abigail Lichliter, Dona Kruse, Bob Norbie, and Chris Cook. (Left to right) Not featured: First Lady Lisa Bullock and Reg Hageman

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