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Health challenge to feature online Cerner portal PDF E-mail

Participants in this year’s Hamilton County Health Challenge will have some online assistance in tracking their personal progress as well as keeping tabs on the competition.

Weigh-ins for this year’s event are scheduled to begin March 17, though an online portal is ready now for anyone interested in checking out a unique resource being made available this year.

“We are giving people a window so they can go to the website and create their profile, join the challenge and maybe play around with it a little bit,” explained Sara Sutherland, who is co-owner of the Aurora Fitness Center in Aurora while also working full-time as a program manager with the Cerner Corporation in Kansas City, Mo. “The benefit of this program is to create a friendly competition among all those partaking in the challenge.”

Sara’s husband and co-owner of the local fitness center, Dane, also works for Cerner, and said he is excited about the online resource.

“Last year I was pleased to see there was a lot of friendly chatter on the site for the early adopters,” Dane said, noting that the portal was a last-minute addition to the 2013 challenge. “There was some friendly competition, but also some smack talk, calling each other out. It definitely offers an opportunity for both competition and collaboration.”

The Sutherlands noted that Cerner’s online portal asks participants to enter their weight, though others will only see the percentage of weight lost.

“This program does not let everyone in the competition know what your weight is,” Dane said. “You can see how you are competing compared to someone else, but no one can see what your weight is. Many people are encouraged by that.”

Anyone interested can log on to the portal by going to and selecting “View Competition.” Then click the link that says “Sign in with Cerner Health” to find the 2014 Hamilton County Health Challenge.
New participants can set up their account prior to weigh-in, though Sara noted that the official entry weight will be recorded on the day of the weigh-ins March 17 and 20. The entry fee is $10 per two-man team, with winners to be determined by the largest combined percentage of weight loss during the 100-day competition.

Top prize $500

The winning team will receive $500 during an A’ROR’N Days finale, with $300 going for second and $200 for third. A $100 prize will also be awarded to the team with the most creative name.

Some prizes will be awarded immediately after sign-ups, including three-month memberships to Aurora Fitness Center, Aurora Curves and Aurora Jazzercise, as well as one Aqua Zumba a punch card from Curves.

The Sutherlands said they are proud to be able to offer the Cerner program locally.

“This is really central to our mission, which is to improve health and health delivery systematically across communities nationwide,” said Dane, a population health sales executive with the company. “This is one method of using technology to facilitate that.”

Though the online format was announced late in last year’s competition, the Sutherlands noted that those who did sign on tended to have better results.

“The ones who engaged the most with the site last year tended to have good results at the end of the challenge,” Sara said. “It’s one of the tools they can use to keep them motivated and engaged throughout the competition to help them reach their personal goals.”

“The more we get people engaged from the very beginning will help keep them organized and focused all the way to the end,” she added. “It also gives us an opportunity to push out information and communicate with all the participants. Being able to have that conversation along the way helps as well.”

Sponsors for this year’s challenge, which is coordinated by Memorial Community Health and the Aurora News-Register, include Jim’s U-Save Pharmacy, Subway, Cornerstone Bank, the Aurora Mall, Curves, Jazzercise and the Aurora Fitness Center.

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