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Local physician receives MOCAN Healthcare Professional Award

The Missouri Council for Activity and Nutrition (MOCAN) has awarded the 9th Annual MOCAN Healthcare Professional Award to Dr. Henry Petry, Freeman Center for Geriatric Medicine Medical Director.

This award recognizes Dr. Petry for demonstrating leadership in promoting an initiative in his community for active living, healthy eating or other obesity prevention.

“It’s overwhelming,” said Dr. Petry. “I’m being recognized for doing things that as a physician I should always being doing.”

Sarah Hampl, MD, Children’s Mercy Center for Children’s Healthy Lifestyles & Nutrition, presented the award.  Dr. Petry then shared highlights of his work with the MOCAN group in a zoom conference call.

Dr. Petry has more than 50 years’ experience in caring for individuals in the region. His approach focuses on mind, body and spirit. He motivates his patients to practice good self-care from head to toe and emphasizes preventative health strategies such as proper diet and exercise. Dr. Petry also promotes healthy eating and active living at every visit with his more than 500 patients.

“After World War II, our nation became focused on eating fast,” said Dr. Petry. “But fast food isn’t usually a good diet. Children today are eating foods that put them on the path to diabetes and heart disease. I don’t like to call it dieting but meal planning to make sure you eat right. And exercise is important for everyone. The body is designed to function and move, so if you become a couch potato, that is when problems develop.”

On his days off, Dr. Petry continues his commitment to community health education. Every Wednesday, he teaches an hour-long exercise class to more than 15 seniors at the Carl Junction Community Center. He leads aerobic dancing, weightlifting with low weights, calisthenics and other unique ways to exercise.

MOCAN is a coalition comprised of representatives from statewide and local agencies, institutions, organizations and other groups or individuals who work together to advance the goals and objectives of the statewide plan, Preventing Obesity and Other Chronic Diseases, Missouri’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Plan.

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