Governor Newsom named 15 members to an Advisory Council on Physical Fitness and Mental Well-Being
The Golden State known for its sunny beaches, redwoods, and surfing, has announced a new advisory council that promotes healthy lifestyles. The Governor’s Advisory Council on Physical Fitness and Mental Well-Being, launched by California’s Governor Newsom, will explore health strategies and have an emphasis on the physical and mental health of children.
The new council will be co-chaired by First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom and Pro Football Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott. Siebel was a Division 1 athlete at Stanford University and a member of the women’s junior national soccer team.
“The pandemic has placed a spotlight on the importance of physical and mental health,” said Governor Newsom in the announcement. “We are committed to elevating healthy dietary and fitness habits, and mental well-being, to help build a healthier, more resilient California for all.”
The council says it will help provide guidance on wellness goals for Californians of all ages, increase awareness about the benefits of physical activity, sports, nutrition, and mental wellness, promote equitable access to outdoor and physical activities for underserved communities, and collaborate with federal, state, and local agencies, and private sectors to continue its promotion of health and wellness.
“As a lifelong athlete and the mother of four young children, I’m eager to embark on this exciting partnership to provide California children with ample tools and opportunities to establish lifelong mental and physical wellness practices,” says Siebel Newsom. “After all, we know that lifetime habits around physical activity, sports, nutrition and wellness are formed in early childhood.”
The Governor’s Advisory Council on Physical Fitness and Mental Well-Being will include representatives from health and wellness organizations, youth sports, education, mental health experts, and those in the entertainment and fitness industry. Board appointees include:
- Dr. Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine, UC Davis School of Medicine, and Director of the Center for Reducing Health Disparities at UC Davis
- Brandi Chastain, Olympic and World Cup Champion, National Soccer Hall of Fame inductee, mother and grandmother, and cofounder of BAWSI
- Jessica Cruz, CEO of NAMI California
- Nisha Devi, Founder of Kala Wellness, Eastern Medicine Practitioner
- Fran Gallati, CEO of YMCA of the East Bay
- Ashley Hunter, Founder and Executive Director of Fit Kids
- Savannah Linhares, Varsity Girls Basketball Coach, Biology Teacher, Leadership and Link Crew Teacher at Chowchilla High School, and “Double-Goal” 2020 Coach of the Year, Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA)
- Cheryl Miller, Olympic Gold Medalist, NCAA College Basketball 3-time Player of the Year, Head Coach Women’s Basketball at Cal State LA
- Dr. Bill Resnick, psychiatrist and philanthropist, and mindfulness practitioner
- Stephen Revetria, President, Giants Enterprises
- Francesca Schuler, President of the California Fitness Alliance
- Dr. Dan Siegel, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and the founding Co-Director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center
- Renata Simril, President and CEO of LA84 Foundation
- Dave Stewart, Former Major League Baseball Player
- Dr. Vernon Williams, Sports Neurologist and Founding Director of the Center for Sports Neurology and Pain Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute
- Kristi Yamaguchi, Olympic Gold Medalist, Founder of Always Dream Foundation
“During my career as a professional athlete, I learned the importance of both physical and mental health. We as a society tend to place a heavy focus on physical health, but being healthy in mind is just as important. I look forward to being part of this Advisory Council to ensure all California adults and children can be healthy in mind and body,” says Lott.
According to USA Today, premature and cancer death rates are among the lowest in the US, and California residents tend to have the healthiest of habits.
Courtney Rehfeldt has worked in the broadcasting media industry since 2007 and has freelanced since 2012. Her work has been featured in Age of Awareness, Times Beacon Record, The New York Times, and she has an upcoming piece in Slate. She studied yoga & meditation under Beryl Bender Birch at The Hard & The Soft Yoga Institute. She enjoys hiking, being outdoors, and is an avid reader. Courtney has a BA in Media & Communications studies.