2021 - 3rd Quarter



The Fight for a Healthy & Equitable

DuPage County


During COVID-19, the health disparity between ethnic and racial groups became increasingly wider. FORWARD DuPage is responding through a variety of efforts building on our past and strengthening our future. We are committed to:

1) The FORWARD Coalition - A warm thank you to each of you for helping us eliminate barriers to health equity, reducing obesity and improving our resident’s health through improved access to nutritious food, increased physical activity and advances in the built environment while we also address the social determinants of health. If you haven’t already, please join us and Take the Pledge.

2) The NEWLY RELEASED DuPage County BMI Surveillance Report 2018/19 - Thank you to the DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) and the Regional Office of Education! Since 2011, thanks to this partnership, FORWARD has been monitoring the obesity rates of kindergarten, sixth and ninth grade students and adults along with DuPage children aged 2-4 years that are enrolled in the USDA’s special supplemental nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). The latest data indicates that DuPage obesity rates are holding steady overall, but more than one in seven (15%) kindergarten, sixth grade, and ninth grade public school students were obese. Additionally, 43.3% of all obese students had an elevated blood pressure reading. What is even more alarming, children aged 2 to 4 years enrolled in WIC (16.9% in 2018) had higher than the national obesity rate among this same group of children (13.9% in 2016). Now more than ever our work needs to continue! Early intervention is key especially in low income, high-risk communities. Click here for more information and please share these new results. For help in planning strategies with your community, contact Tonia Batogowski at toniabato@gmail.com.

3) Aligning our culture and business practices to reflect diversity, equity and inclusion - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is central to our mission and a reflection of the DuPage County we wish to nurture. Please consider joining the FORWARD DEI Workgroup of the Board of Directors which includes local stakeholders to help ensure that all residents in DuPage County have equitable opportunities to achieve optimal health regardless of racial, ethnic background, age, gender, income and/or body size. The DuPage Community should contact Tonia Batogowski at toniabato@gmail.com to be included in the next meeting on Friday, August 27 at 9am.


FORWARD is Leading the Way for Deeper More Lasting & Inclusive Change


Paving the Road to Health Equity: Ending Weight-Based Discrimination

Tuesday, July 27 - 11:30am


All people, regardless of body size, deserve respect AND to live free from stigma and discrimination. Understand other factors impacting this complex health issue that are not so easily controlled. Join us and our partner, Benedictine University, as students from the Department of Public Health discuss weight bias. Click here to register for FREE.



Young Lions Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course

Saturday, August 21 - 9:00am to 1:00pm

DuPage County Fairgrounds

FORWARD DuPage has partnered with ShapeUp U.S. to bring you this event along with a FREE Health & Wellness Expo to the DuPage County Fairgrounds for children and adults of ALL ages. There will be 10 obstacles where children can get physically active by running, jumping, crawling, climbing and swinging. Click here to register for the obstacle course (use coupon code SHAPEUPCHICAGO). Limited scholarships are available for at-risk children. Contact Tonia Batogowski at toniabato@gmail.com for more information.

Health & Wellness Expo Partners Wanted 

FORWARD is looking for partners to participate in the FREE Health & Wellness Expo from 9:00am to 1:00pm to provide interactive games and healthy nutritional opportunities targeted to children and families. If you would like to partner with FORWARD or would like more information, please contact Tonia Batogowski at toniabato@gmail.com


Webinar Series

Take 40 minutes for your health! Our webinars focus on health equity, optimization, and improving the immune system just to name a few. Past recordings of all our webinars are available and can be accessed here.


DuPage Medical Group Funds DEI Activities


FORWARD would like to thank DuPage Medical Group for our recent funding to:

1) Educate, empower, and support families of color to achieve their best health outcomes by engaging our early child care partners to better understand the underlying causes of racial and ethnic health and wellness disparities.


2) Survey at-risk families to obtain a deeper understanding of the role that access to, and knowledge about nutritious food plays in managing weight and ways to mitigate these issues.


For details on this effort and to get involved contact Tonia Batogowski at toniabato@gmail.com or go to our website here for more information and resources.


Give the Gift of Equity


Please take a moment to support FORWARD DuPage’s work. When you make a tax-deductible donation today, we can make an even bigger impact towards a healthy and equitable DuPage for everyone. Big or small, every dollar makes a difference and goes to supporting programs that make our mission a reality.


Read our statement here on Collaborating for an Equitable DuPage County.





Healthy Lifestyles in the News


The Healthy Food and Beverage Act passed; Awaiting the Governor's signature.


Read More

Policy Updates



Worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975.




Digital self-monitoring effective for weight loss, healthy lifestyle.




How to squeeze in exercise during work.




America's fittest city has claimed the title for the fourth straight year.




Do you need to wear a mask again?




Chicago ranked near bottom of list of bike-friendly big cities.




Focus on emotions is key to improving heart health in people living with obesity.




Stress during pandemic linked to poor sleep.



Upcoming Opportunities


DuPage Forest Preserve

Kayaking: Basics


Thursday, July 22 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm


Learn paddling strokes and safety tips in a one-person kayak. Equipment provided. Ages 12 and up; under 18 with an adult. $20 per person. Register here or at 630.933.7248.



Family Exploration: Plants & Trees


Friday, July 23

9:30am to 10:30am


Programs will focus on animals, bugs, plants and trees, or water and what lives under the surface. Each family can have up to four participants. All ages; under 18 with an adult. $5 per person. Register here or at 630.933.7248.



Volunteer Restoration Workday


Saturday, July 24

9:00am to 11:00am


Help improve a forest preserve prairie or woodland by collecting seeds or removing nonnative plants. Ages 8 and up; under 18 with an adult. Free. Register here or at 630.933.7248 at least five days in advance. 



Women's Outdoor Adventure Series - Archery


Sunday, August 1

11:00am to 12:30pm


Learn basic techniques and safety essentials of this classic sport, and enjoy great camaraderie at this program created for and led by women. Equipment provided. Ages 18 and up. $5 per person. Register here or at 630.933.7248. 



Fresh Air Friday


Friday, August 6

12:00pm to 1:00pm


Breathe deep on a scenic guided walk. You must wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. Ages 18 and up. $5 per person. Register here or at 630.933.7248.



Women's Outdoor Adventure Series: Fishing


Wednesday, August 10

11:00am to 12:30pm


Hear about fish ecology and then try some sure-fire techniques while you enjoy great camaraderie at this program created for and led by women. Equipment provided. Ages 18 and up. $5 per person. Register here or at 630.933.7248. 



Thanks for Summer Beauty: Gratitude Walk


Saturday, August 14

9:00am to 10:30am


Contemplate the seasonal wonders you’re grateful for on a leisurely guided walk.. Bring pen and paper and jot down your thoughts at each of four scheduled brief stops along the way. Ages 18 and up. $10 per person. Register here or at 630.206.9566.



Evening Forest Hike


Wednesday, September 8

6:30pm to 8:00pm


Get some healthy exercise and enjoy the wonders of a DuPage forest preserve on a guided 3- to 5-mile hike. Ages 18 and up. $10 per person. Register here or at 630.206.9566.





Food Readers


Saturday, July 24

3:00pm to 4:00pm


Gather to discuss Seedfolks by Paul Fleishman, a book about a community garden's founding. Click here to register.


Food Growers Network Event 2021


Saturday, July 24

3:00pm to 4:30pm


GardenWorks is proud to celebrate the 22 community gardens established since 2017. Click here to register.



Action for Healthy Kids

Summer Series: Staying NourishEd at Home


Wednesday, July 28

3:00pm to 3:45pm


Gather the entire family and join our Family Connect team members to learn ways to boost healthy and mindful eating at home throughout the summer. Click here to register.




Diabetic Foot Care Tactics


Wednesday, July 28

12:00pm to 1:00pm


Identify strategies to improve diabetic foot care in underserved populations. Click here to register.


Social Determinants of Health


Thursday, July 29

9:00am to 12:30pm


Hear ideas on policy, innovation, infrastructure, and collaboration that are happening now. Click here to register.



The Conservation Foundation

Yorkville Litter Clean-Up


Saturdays from 8:00am to 9:00am

July 31 - August 28 - September 25


Donate one hour of your time and help make Yorkville brighter. Participate in our clean-up program. Just bring yourself, gloves, and a mask. Trash bags and picker-uppers provided. Click here for more info.



Meetup of Downers Grove

Health Optimization in a Toxic World: Learn and Share Healthy Lifestyle Choices


Tuesdays at 6:45pm

August 10 & September 14


The research is clear. The first alternative, that we owe ourselves, is to use natural means to maintain and restore our health. No one else is responsible for this - not even our doctors or nutritionists or anyone else. Click on the date above to register.




Fall Seedling Sale


Saturday, August 14

9:00am to 3:00pm


Fall is a great time to get your vegetable garden going...AGAIN! Click here to register.

Glenbard Parent Series

Rethinking Parental Pressure


Thursday, August 19

7:00pm to 8:00pm


Hear how well-meaning parents can put soul-crushing pressure on young people. Click here for more info.



Action for Healthy Kids

Debunking Myths & Delivering Strategies to Foster Relationship in Vulnerable Communities

Thursday, August 26

11:00am to 12:30pm


Families of all demographics and communities are necessary for SHACs to understand the needs, impact policy, and advocate for change. Click here to register.




2021 Member Expo


Friday, August 27

7:30am to 3:00pm


With ICAHN, You Can...Learn. Lead. And Explore Limitless Opportunity! Click here for more info.

Active Transportation Alliance

Fifth Third Bike the Drive


Sunday, September 5

5:30am to 10:00am


New to biking, a seasoned veteran, or biking with kids? Fifth Third Bike the Drive is an event to remember. Register here.










Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Evidence of Action (E4A) Call for Proposals


Applications Due on Rolling Basis


E4A funds research that expands the evidence needed to build a Culture of Health. A Culture of Health is broadly defined as one in which good health and well-being flourish across geographic, demographic, and social sectors. Click here to apply.



Be an Agent of Change


The challenges facing children and families to support healthy lifestyles will take the combined passions, expertise and influence of many. If you're reading this message, you are one of those influencers. Join us in our mission:

Donate - Too many families don't have access to the services and resources they need to stay healthy. Every dollar will support FORWARD DuPage's work to build capacity in communities where the need is great and the resources are too few.


Sign-Up - Join our coalition of thousands of partners so we can drive change for children and families and improve healthy lifestyle outcomes together.

Share Our Message - Spread the word about the impact we have had on our website or on the social media links at the bottom of the page.


Do you subscribe to the IMPACT DuPage Newsletter?

Impact DuPage is a county-wide initiative of partner organizations working to influence change in the areas of affordable housing, access to health treatment, behavioral health treatment, substance abuse and healthy lifestyles. FORWARD is Impact DuPage’s vehicle to help influence residents and partners to make positive choices regarding nutrition, physical activity, and the built environment

to advance health status improvement.


For more details and to stay up to date on local progress, click here and subscribe to their twice a month newsletter. 


Help Us Get the Word Out!

Do you know of an upcoming event or health fair in DuPage County?


5-4-3-2-1 Go!® is a public education message with recommendations for children and families to promote a healthy lifestyle.

  • 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day
  • 4 servings of water a day
  • 3 servings of low-fat dairy a day
  • 2 or less hours of screen time a day
  • 1 or more hours of physical activity a day

For helpful resources and ideas for your DuPage County organization click here.


If you are interested in distributing health and wellness materials at an upcoming event call 630.221.7550 or email healthpromotions@dupagehealth.org or Tonia Batogowski at toniabato@gmail.com


We would like to thank our funders!






FORWARD DuPage | 324 South Julian Street, Naperville, IL 60540

Trusted Email from Constant Contact - Try it FREE today.



Tonia Batogowski  


773.720.2389 phone