Fit NOLA Announces January and February 'Healthy Heroes'

NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Health Department’s Fit NOLA Initiative, Whole Foods Market New Orleans, Humana and Athleta announced that Derek Wilson as the January 2018 Healthy Hero and Teddy Harkness as the February 2018 Healthy Hero.

A “Healthy Hero” is a New Orleanian dedicated to improving the physical and nutritional wellness of their community.

“Congratulations to our January and February winners who join us in creating a culture of health in New Orleans,” said Dr. Joe Kanter, director of the New Orleans Health Department. “The Health Department’s Fit NOLA initiative is creating cross-sector partnerships that promote wellness and help make it easier for residents to eat healthy and be physically active."

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Derek Wilson

Derek Wilson is a peer leader at Krewe de Lose, a program within Tulane Medicine’s Brinton Family Health and Healing Center where participants learn how to make sustainable lifestyle changes such as eating healthy and exercising regularly. Wilson loves to celebrate participants’ successes and provides an encouraging and supportive environment for participants on their healthy living journeys. He motivates participants by leading line dances at the start of class and providing the group with an inspirational word or phrase of the week. By sharing the message of Krewe de Lose at church and social events, his impact extends throughout the New Orleans community.  

For more information on Krewe de Lose, visit

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Sunni LeBeouf

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Teddy Harkness

Teddy Harkness teaches Adult Exercise fitness classes at various New Orleans Recreation & Development (NORD) centers across the city. Adult Exercise is a fun-filled, invigorating class filled with cardio moves and core strengthening components. Harkness provides his action-packed routine with a smile, encouraging participants to go at their own pace while uplifting the New Orleans community in the process. He emphasizes fitness as a key part of a healthier lifestyle for active seniors and all who take his class. Through his work at NORD, Harkness continues to be a health advocate for New Orleanians of all ages.

Harkness’ classes are currently scheduled at the following NORD facilities: Sanchez Multi-Purpose Center, Joe W. Brown Recreation Center, Treme Recreation Center, and Behrman Park. For a complete listing of NORD fitness classes, visit

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Each Healthy Hero will receive a Whole Foods Market gift basket, a Daily Beet gift card, a complementary workout outfit, Athleta gift card and shop party, a one-month unlimited classes membership at Higher Power and a Humana swag bag.

About Healthy Hero

Together, Fit NOLA & Whole Foods Market launched Healthy Heroes, a program to celebrate community members leading healthy efforts across New Orleans. The Healthy Hero program gives New Orleans residents an opportunity to receive recognition for their work in creating a culture of health within the metro area. Fit NOLA and Whole Foods Market aim to improve health outcomes for residents by promoting opportunities to access physical activity and healthy nutritional options.

Each month, residents are invited to nominate a Healthy Hero online before the designated deadline for a chance to be selected as that month’s winner. Nomination questions focus on the environment Healthy Heroes create for themselves and others.

To learn more about the Healthy Hero initiative or apply to be a Healthy Hero, visit or contact The next deadline for entries is Thursday, February 28.

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