Podcast: Alexa Can Keep You Moving!

Can voice technology help motivate people to be physically active? CARROT’s Michael Antaran addresses that and many other questions during Data Driven Design’s recent podcast.

“Each technology has its own strengths and limitations – and we’ve discovered that integrating the very best features of each technology can lead to some amazing results,” said Antaran, CARROT’s Founder and CEO.

Paul Hickey of Data Driven Design invited Antaran onto the program to discuss CARROT’s innovative approach to user engagement.

Antaran has become a leading expert in the integration of mobile and voice technologies. A University of Michigan Adjunct Professor, Antaran teaches “Intro to Entrepreneurial Design – The Voice-User Interface” through the College of Engineering and the University’s Center for Entrepreneurship.

This past August, he served as one of the featured speakers at Harvard Medical School’s “The Voice of Healthcare Summit” where his presentation, “From Mobile to Voice: The Story of CARROT,” addressed how leveraging the strengths of mobile and voice technologies is helping to keep CARROT users on track in their wellness journey.

CARROT recently released new skills for Amazon’s Alexa to allow participants to keep up-to-date on their activity goals, rewards and contests. CARROT is developing similar voice features for Google Assistant.

“We’re finding that users who now integrate with Alexa are making greater activity progress than they had previously,” Antaran said. “We very excited what the future can bring.”

Watch the podcast at https://youtu.be/mb-J2qAnuGo.

Study: Just Two Sedentary Weeks Can Have Troubling Effects

It’s always important to keep moving – but don’t just take our word for it. Ask the researchers at the University of Liverpool.

They recently conducted a study to determine the effects of inactivity. Their findings? Just two weeks of inactivity in young healthy people can reduce muscle mass and produce metabolic changes that could lead to an increased risk of developing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and potentially premature death.

The study included 28 physically active young adults who averaged at least 10,000 steps per day, but didn’t really exercise otherwise. The participants were instructed to cut their daily step count by 80 percent, or to about 1,500 steps per day.

“Basically, they took 28 healthy, active people, and they recruited them to be couch potatoes – essentially to see what would happen,” Dr. Frank McGeorge from the Henry Ford Medical Group said in a recent interview with WJR Radio’s Paul W. Smith. “Nothing in their diet changed at all, so all they did was become couch potatoes.”

After two weeks, researchers noticed significant changes in the participants’ body compositions, including loss of skeletal muscle mass and increases in total body fat.

“After only 14 days – two weeks – of significantly decreased activity, all of the participants had a reduction in muscle mass, as well as an uptick in body fat – particularly that more dangerous, metabolically active central body fat,” Dr. McGeorge said.

Bursts over long periods of time don’t really do as much as being consistent.
— Dr. Frank McGeorge, Henry Ford Medical Group

Overall, results showed that cardio-respiratory fitness levels declined sharply and participants were unable to run for as long or at the same intensity as previously.

Scary. So what’s the takeaway here?

“The real value in this particular study is that it shows that very unhealthy changes can occur in a very short time – basically as little as two weeks – and it reminds everyone that it's important to try to be as consistent as possible when you're exercising, working out, or basically staying active and fit.”

Added Dr. McGeorge: “Bursts over long periods of time don't really do as much as being consistent."

In the end, it’s not about running marathons. It’s about getting a little healthier each and every day. Keep taking those #CarrotSteps.

Checking All the Community Health Boxes

“The Affordable Care Act requires hospitals to conduct a Community Health Needs Assessment to identify health issues encountered in a hospital’s service area as well as to develop possible strategies to address these issues, adopt an implementation plan at least every three years, and be prepared to monitor and measure its progress.”

Ability to monitor? Check.

Measurable? Check.

Affordable for non-profits of any size? Check.

A mobile tool that allows hospitals to fully implement their plan to address their community’s health needs? Check.

When it comes to community health and wellness, CARROT checks (and thinks outside of) all the boxes!

Find out why.

CARROT's Michael Antaran Named Featured Speaker for Harvard’s “Voice of Healthcare Summit”

CARROT Founder and CEO Michael Antaran will serve as one of the featured speakers at “The Voice of Healthcare Summit”, which takes place August 5-6 in Boston, MA.

Antaran will present his topic, “From Mobile to Voice: The Story of CARROT,” at Harvard Medical School's Martin Conference Center on Monday, August 5.

“Having the opportunity to present at this prestigious event is a tremendous honor,” Antaran said. “I’m also excited that others are interested to find out how leveraging the strengths of mobile and voice technologies is helping to keep CARROT users on track in their wellness journey.”

CARROT recently released a new skill for Amazon’s Alexa to allow CARROT participants to keep up-to-date on their activity goals, rewards and contests. CARROT is developing similar voice features for Google Assistant.

Named after the popular show The Voice of Healthcare, The Voice of Healthcare Summit will bring together 500 healthcare executives, practitioners, and technologists for two important days.

The Voice of Healthcare Summit is emceed by Bradley Metrock, host of the popular podcast This Week In Voice (see the Season 3 Finale with Mark Cuban) who authored the recent Harvard Business Review article Your Company Needs A Strategy For Voice Technology.

The Voice of Healthcare Summit is part of the VoiceFirst Events series. For more information about the conference, including the agenda-setting conference program, visit The Voice of Healthcare Summit's website, https://www.vohsummit.com/.

Prize Auctions a Big Hit with CARROT Users

“I’ve got thirty, do I hear thirty-one?”

CARROT recently introduced a new feature that allows participants to use the currencies they’ve earned for walking to compete in live, 60-second auctions to win digital gift cards and other prizes.

The feature has been a resounding hit with as many as 2,500 bids submitted by users on certain days.

“Thanks for starting the auctions. I’ve won a $5 Starbucks and a $10 Kohl’s so far! I find myself making sure I make my goal more than ever, because I want to make sure I have enough for the next auction. Keep it up!” said Lori L., a CARROT participant since 2017.

“Thirty going once… “

“We’re always looking for ways to improve each user’s experience,” said CARROT Founder and CEO Michael Antaran. “By giving the participants a new, fun way to user their CARROT Coins and Reward Points, we were certain it would improve engagement – and it has definitely done that.”

Auctions available to all Premium Members are held each weekday with four-to-eight prizes up for bid at various times. Digital gift cards to Amazon, Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Panera Bread and many others are typical prizes. Shinola Detroit has sponsored a number of $25 gift cards as well.

CARROT’s development staff has just finished testing an update that will allow all CARROT clients to host reward auctions exclusively for their members. Beaumont Health, for example, will begin making its rewards available in the form of auction prizes to those who are enrolled in the “Beaumont Gets Walking” community health initiative on CARROT.

“Thirty going twice… “

Making rewards available through CARROT’s unique auction format, rather than simply listing them as “for-purchase rewards” on the app, provides many advantages:

  • More total rewards can be offered, and future prizes can be visible weeks in advance – increasing motivation with more “dangling carrots” available.

  • A countdown clock on each item lets participants know when that auction will start, so they never miss out on an opportunity.

  • Using the new auction filter, participants can view the prizes they “Like” as well as the ones requiring CARROT Coins or Reward Points.

  • It’s super convenient: the instant auctions happen in real time and are normally completed in a matter of minutes.

  • Only the winning bidder loses their currency – if a user is outbid for an item, they still keep ALL of their CARROT currency!

  • If a participant misses out on an auction, no worries – new prizes (and chances to win) are right around the corner!

Prizes are visible on the CARROT Wellness app under the “Auction” tab. Please be sure to check there frequently as new prizes are added regularly.

“SOLD – to another lucky CARROT user!!”

The app is a free download on the Apple and Google Play Stores and can be found by searching “carrot wellness”, or by following this link: http://onelink.to/carrot.

More information is available at http://carrotwellness.com.


6 Great Benefits of Walking

There are plenty of reasons to be as active as possible – and according to UberWalker.com, there are many great benefits to be gained simply by walking.

As it turns out, walking for exercise will begin improving your health immediately. Why? Because walking…

(1) Puts less stress on your body.
When you run, you put 3 times your body weight into each step, compressing muscles and ligaments and stressing your joints. When you walk, you put only one and a half times your body weight into each step, meaning less stress on joints and muscles and less chance of injury.

(2) Boosts your immune system.
Walking eases stress, increases your circulation, and frees your mind for meditation and contemplation. All of these factors give your immune system a natural boost, which in turn helps your body fight diseases of all kinds.

(3) Increases your metabolism.
The more you walk as a part of your regular exercise, the more muscle mass you build up. When this happens, your body is transformed and your metabolism increases because muscles burn calories faster. You’ll crave unhealthy foods less often and sleep better at night.

(4) Helps prevent major health problems.
Published studies show that moderate walking for about 30 minutes per day lowers your risk of heart disease, type-2 diabetes, stroke, and cancer by as much as 40%. Walking also helps prevent osteoporosis, lowers blood pressure, and boosts energy.

(5) Improves your mood.
Besides all these physical health benefits, walking also exercises your mind. Any physical exercise increases endorphins, your body’s natural neurotransmitters that improve your sense of happiness and well-being. Walking also gives you a chance to think, listen to music or entertainment, and dream.

(6) Helps you lose weight.
For some, this is the most desired benefit. Walking helps reduce your cravings for food while burning calories. When combined with a balanced, sensible diet, walking to lose weight is a proven method to improve your overall health.

“Closest Thing to a Wonder Drug”

According to Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this is "the closest thing we have to a wonder drug”.

He’s talking about (drum roll, please)… walking.

Yes, walking, that most basic physical activity. Thanks to social media, the very first steps taken by pretty much every young tot seem to be shared with the world. From that moment on, walking becomes (and continues to be) a critical, fundamental activity for a lifetime.  

That’s why walking is generally accepted to be foundational to good health. And according to the Harvard Medical School, there are five particular benefits to walking that you may find surprising:

1. Walking counteracts the effects of weight-promoting genes.
Harvard researchers looked at 32 obesity-promoting genes in over 12,000 people and discovered that, among the study participants who walked briskly for about an hour a day, the effects of those genes were cut in half.

2. Walking helps tame a sweet tooth.
A pair of studies from the University of Exeter found that a 15-minute walk can curb cravings for chocolate and even reduce the amount of chocolate you eat in stressful situations.

3. Walking reduces the risk of developing breast cancer.
An American Cancer Society study found that women who walked seven or more hours a week had a 14% lower risk of breast cancer than those who walked three hours or fewer per week. And walking provided this protection even for the women with breast cancer risk factors.

4. Walking eases joint pain.
Several studies have found that walking reduces arthritis-related pain, and that walking five to six miles a week can even prevent arthritis from forming in the first place. Walking protects the joints — especially the knees and hips, which are most susceptible to osteoarthritis — by lubricating them and strengthening the muscles that support them.

5. Walking boosts immune function.
A study of over 1,000 men and women found that those who walked at least 20 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week, had 43% fewer sick days than those who exercised once a week or less. And if they did get sick, it was for a shorter duration, and their symptoms were milder.

Our takeaway: get out and take those #CARROTsteps today!


Source: http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/5-surprising-benefits-of-walking

Choosing a Wellness Program? 8 Questions to Ask Yourself

Organizations have plenty of options when it comes to improving the well being of its staff members. Before you commit to using a health and wellness program, here are eight questions you should ask yourself:

(1) "If our current program is so great, why do we have to spend so many resources promoting it?"
CARROT’s success doesn’t rely on multi-faceted marketing campaigns aimed at your own staff. Rather, CARROT leverages the very tenets of mobile technology and gamification to provide a fun, motivating experience that grows quickly and organically throughout your organization. (In fact, staff members are incentivized to recruit their co-workers into the program!)

(2) "Does our current program engage our participants every Saturday and Sunday?"
About 85% of CARROT Health & Wellness participants engage with the app at least once per day, seven-day-a-week. (And most users engage at least three times daily!)  

(3) "Would we benefit from a mobile tool to support everything we do?"
A great wellness program complements all of your other initiatives. CARROT is designed to not only generate interest in your other well-being programs, but it’s also a seamless platform to reward those who complete HRA’s, annual screenings, nutrition classes, health coaching and other wellness activities. 

(4) "Does our current program create a real 'buzz' around the office?"
CARROT will not only serve as an effective wellness program, but it will also be your organization’s best employee engagement tool. With its digital rewards, games, contests, team & individual challenges and staff leaderboards, CARROT will quickly become a unifying program that adds value and becomes a favorite “water cooler” topic.  

(5) "Is our current program personally meaningful?"
“Personalized” means the program itself, and not just the marketing, has been customized to the participant. CARROT meets people where they are today, creating an individualized activity goal that allows them to be successful and engaged in the program. 

(6) "Shouldn't a great program actually make our HR staff's job easier?"
CARROT is a “set it and forget it” solution. CARROT’s algorithm recommends rewards for your population to maximize participation, engagement and the incentives budget. Digital rewards eliminate fulfillment, and easy-to-read analytics allow you to monitor progress.  

(7) "Wouldn't an easier, more simple program get more people to participate?"
People don’t want to log into web portals or remember passwords – so they don’t. With CARROT, there are NO web portals, NO passwords to remember, and NO paperwork to complete. CARROT reduces friction at every turn.  

(8) "Shouldn't the convenience of our own staff members be a primary consideration?"
CARROT is truly a MOBILE solution. It operates entirely on the user’s smartphone. Participation and messaging are done directly through the app, and lock screen notifications keep everyone engaged.  

(Oops… okay, so we miscounted! There’s actually a NINTH question you should ask yourself before committing to a wellness program:)

(9) "Is our staff more likely to participate in a program that's FUN?"
CARROT’s results are based on “lives touched”, not “percentage increases”. In a pilot open to 1,300 employees, 435 registered and actively participated in less than six weeks – and the only internal promotion of the pilot came in the form of two emails. If there’s true VALUE in the program – if they actually enjoy it and have fun – they will spread the word and get involved.

Where Traditional Wellness Initiatives Fail

You can’t undo a Big Mac with a salad.

You can’t undo five sleepless nights with a weekend in bed.

And, according to the American Heart Association, you can’t undo sitting at a desk for eight hours with vigorous exercise.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with exercise. But as the American Heart Association points out in a recent review, “Regardless of how much physical activity someone gets, prolonged sedentary time could negatively impact the health of your heart and blood vessels.”

Understanding the significance of increased movement – in the form of walking – is critical to making substantive changes in people’s lives.

According to the AHA’s findings: “Interventions focusing solely on reducing sedentary behavior appear to be more effective at reducing sedentary behavior than those that include strategies for both increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary behaviors.”

The American Heart Association’s conclusion: “Absence of sufficient data to recommend qualitative guidelines, it is appropriate to promote the advisory, ‘Sit less, move more.’”

In an article in The Atlantic summarizing the AHA’s report, James Hamblin writes, “And by ‘move,’ they mean almost anything that is not sitting or reclining – anything that increases your metabolism to 1.5 times that of being absolutely still. Which is a very low bar. ‘Leisurely walking’ is close to 2.5, while gardening… is closer to four.”

Sit less, move more. It’s a prescription that’s easy for anyone to grasp, and it’s far more likely to resonate among those who lead sedentary lifestyles (a.k.a. the 20-percent accounting for 80-percent of healthcare costs).

Sadly, this strikes at the very heart of why traditional health and wellness initiatives miss the mark. Health club memberships, fitness trackers and 30-day challenges are all very nice – but they don’t connect with the most at-risk members. They do nothing to make something as basic as “increased movement” a healthy habit for those who are sedentary.

Sit less, move more. Any organization looking to make a life-changing impact on the health and wellness of others needs to consider using a program that embraces this very fundamental concept.

What’s the Value of 70 Miles?

We’ve discovered that if you walk 70 miles with a Fitbit, you’ll earn something they call a “Penguin March” badge.

Hmmm. Well, that’s… motivating.

On the other hand, if you walk 70 miles in CARROT’s program, you’d earn about 160,000 Reward Points – enough to compete in our annual “Mega Madness” college hoops contest, a full season of “CARROT Fantasy Bachelor”, enter two “Survivor” walking challenges, and get one free month in our “Versus Fantasy Football” contests (with the chance to win prizes in each!)

Of course, you could choose to do both. Then you’d get Fitbit’s virtual badge AND be able to compete in all the great CARROT contests. Bonus!

BTW, special thanks to the CARROT participant who passing this info along to us (our users are the best!!)

"They walked HOW FAR?"

Beaumont Health recently sponsored a “Summer Sweepstakes” contest on CARROT as part of its community health and wellness initiative. The response from users was, quite simply,  off-the-charts:

(1) There were 153,801 entries in Beaumont’s Summer Sweepstakes contest on CARROT – meaning participants redeemed nearly 154-million steps in pursuit of $250 in Amazon Gift Cards!

(2) Participants walked about 70,000 miles to enter the drawing, roughly the equivalent of walking:

2,668 marathons,
31,777 trips from the U.S. Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial,
14,000 trips over the Mackinac Bridge,
11,461 trips around Central Park, or
25 trips from New York City to Los Angeles.

(3) Walking a circuit around Metro Detroit to all eight Beaumont Hospitals would require about 242,000 steps – meaning the participants walked the equivalent of 636 “Beaumont Loops”.

(4) Beaumont’s offer of $250 in prizes resulted in more than 615,000 steps per dollar invested!

(5) CARROT users were attracted to Beaumont’s contest in huge numbers. In the course of purchasing nearly 154,000 entries, users viewed the Beaumont reward about 680,000 times during the month of July.

Antaran Named to OU Advisory Council

It’s commonly called “giving back”.

But for CARROT Founder and CEO Michael Antaran, it’s more like “getting more” – as in “more fulfillment” for having the opportunity to take a very hands-on leadership role with his alma mater.

Antaran has been named to Oakland University’s Graduate Advisory Council.

The Graduate Study Advisory Council's mission is to support OU's graduate education by contributing to the development of its strategic direction and implementation of strategic objectives.

“It really is a tremendous honor to have the opportunity to serve OU,” Antaran said. “This university has played an instrumental role in any success I’ve achieved, and I’m just so happy for the chance to work side-by-side with some amazing people on the Board to help OU in any way possible.”

The Graduate Study Advisory Council is an invitation only position facilitated by the Dean of Graduate Education. This position will support the work of Graduate Study and provide mission-based leadership and strategic advocacy. The Dean-Council relationship is a partnership.

This is the third time OU has honored Antaran in recent months. This past February, Oakland University’s School of Health Sciences named Antaran to its new Board of Advocacy and Resource Development (BOARD).  And late last year, he was invited to give the Commencement Address during OU’s December graduation ceremonies.

Beaumont Sports Medicine Doc: Try CARROT

Just 18 months ago, CARROT won a competition for being the “most innovative solution to engage Millennials with their health care”. Now, a leading sports medicine physician suggests those age 50-and-over would also benefit by using CARROT.

The Oakland Press recently interviewed Beaumont Health orthopedic surgeon James Bicos, M.D., director of the William Beaumont Sports Medicine Fellowship, about the use of smart phone apps to motivate people to live healthier, more active lives. The article was primarily focused on mobile apps helpful to those age 50 and over.

According to the article: “Beaumont Community Health offers a fitness app called Carrot, and Bicos recommends using it. Carrot, a free app, allows users to earn points which they redeem for rewards. The rewards are used to play games, compete in challenges, and redeem gift cards to local businesses. Carrot gives user personalized activity goals that update daily.”

From Millennials to Boomers, CARROT is a great option for anyone looking be more active.

Today’s CARROT Audience: The World

Accenture hosts weekly Skype meetings to a global audience promoting the latest advances in health care. This week’s topic: CARROT Wellness, featuring a 30-minute presentation by Founder & CEO Michael Antaran.

Participants in Accenture’s meetings hail from Manila, London, Madrid, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Paris, Amsterdam, Shanghai and Singapore, among many other cities. For those unfamiliar, Accenture is a global management consulting and professional services firm that provides strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations services.

It may be difficult for CARROT to top this week’s audience – but it won’t stop us from trying!

“Beaumont Gets Walking” with CARROT

Beaumont Health is taking a new “gamified” approach to community health, utilizing the CARROT Wellness mobile app as the high-tech centerpiece of its “Beaumont Get Walking” initiative.

Participants in the free program will use CARROT to earn “virtual currencies” for walking and meeting individual activity goals – and they will use those currencies to purchase exclusive rewards including digital gift cards and incentives offered by local businesses. Through CARROT, Beaumont will also promote, and reward community members for participating in, a variety of wellness-related events.

“We’re absolutely honored to be working with Beaumont to support their amazing work in community health,” said Michael Antaran, CARROT Founder & CEO. “Their longtime commitment to the communities they serve is well-established. We firmly believe CARROT will be an effective tool in helping Beaumont reach the entire community, including those who do not typically take part in wellness initiatives.”

Chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity affect work, family and overall quality of life. To address the alarming trend in chronic disease, Beaumont – one of Michigan’s largest health care systems with eight regional hospitals – has partnered with key community stakeholders to improve health one community at a time.

“Our partnership with CARROT gives community members an incentive to get moving,” said Betty Priskorn, Vice President, Community Health Outreach at Beaumont Health. “The program uses individualized goals and instant gratification to motivate. Beaumont is committed to becoming a leader in care that supports the needs of the communities we serve.”

“Beaumont Gets Walking” focuses on the communities in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties in Southeast Michigan. As a part of this initiative, CARROT will provide Beaumont with an engaging, measurable, and mobile program that essentially makes a game out of walking.

To participate in the program, Metro Detroit area residents are encouraged to:

     1) Download the free CARROT wellness app from the Apple or Google Play Store. Search “carrot wellness” or go to http://onelink.to/CARROT

     2) Open CARROT and log in. Log in using your phone number (preferred) or Facebook

     3) Swipe left to “BEAUMONT” tab, tap on the “Join the Program” reward item and “purchase” your free entry into the program

Local businesses who would like to support the program by contributing rewards may do so at no cost. Those merchants can get involved by contacting CARROT directly.

Introduced in Metro Detroit in 2016, CARROT Wellness is a free mobile app that uses personalized activity goals and instant gratification to motivate users on an individual level. Its gamified approach to health and wellness has demonstrated results in leading people to make increased movement a new, healthy habit.

CARROT was named the “Most Innovative Solution” to engage millennials with health care during the annual Crain’s Detroit Business Health Care Leadership Summit in November 2016.

The app is a free download on the Apple and Google Play Stores and can be found by searching “carrot wellness”, or by following this link: http://onelink.to/carrot. More information is available at http://carrotwellness.com.

Monday is Deadline for CARROT Offering

The clock is ticking.

CARROT's offering on Netcapital ends this Monday, April 2, at 4pm.  For as little as $4.90, you can now have an equity interest in CARROT PASS LLC.

CARROT’s "gamified" approach leads to quick adoption and unrivaled engagement by all users, particularly among those who do not typically participate in health and wellness programs.

Investors on Netcapital, a crowdfunding platform, can purchase stock from promising companies such as CARROT.  Entering its final week, CARROT has already raised about four times more in investment dollars than its minimum Netcapital target.

To learn more or to invest in CARROT, visit https://netcapital.com/companies/carrot.

Final Two Weeks of ICO (Initial CARROT Offering!)

There are just two weeks left to grab that ownership stake in CARROT.

The opportunity to purchase shares of common stock in CARROT through Netcapital, a crowdfunding platform, ends April 2.  CARROT has already raised about four times more in investment dollars than its minimum Netcapital target.

For as little as $4.90, you can now have an equity interest in CARROT.

“We’re excited about the response we’ve gotten,” said CARROT founder and CEO Michael Antaran. “Going through this process has really put us on the map and has started some great conversations with people who recognize our potential. It's very exciting.”

CARROT’s patent-pending, “set-it-and-forget-it” program uses personalized goals and instant gratification to motivate employees on an individual basis, making CARROT an attractive corporate wellness program for companies of all sizes. CARROT leverages the viral advantages of mobile technology to quickly onboard small employers while offering a cost-effective, scalable solution for the world’s largest corporations.

With a few clicks, investors on Netcapital can purchase stock from promising companies, such as CARROT Pass LLC, for as little as $4.90.

To learn more or to invest in CARROT, visit https://netcapital.com/companies/carrot.

Clarkston Chooses CARROT to Support Community Health Initiative

To generate interest and excitement in its fifth annual “Body, Mind, Green Community Expo”, the Clarkston (MI) Area Chamber of Commerce is using CARROT to engage the community.

The effort, sponsored by Health Alliance Plan (HAP) of Michigan, allows those who live, work and play in the Clarkston area to participate in a community walking challenge free of charge. The Clarkston Chamber will also promote the expo and its sponsors on the free CARROT Wellness mobile app.

 “CARROT is known as a fun, engaging corporate wellness program, but it can also be effective as a community engagement tool,” said CARROT CEO Michael Antaran. “The City of Royal Oak used CARROT to support a similar program last year, and now we’re extremely happy that Clarkston has taken it to another level.”

“In the days ahead, we’ll have an exciting announcement about an even larger community engagement initiative that will benefit thousands,” Antaran said.

The “Body, Mind, Green Community Expo” will take place Thursday, April 19 at Clarkston High School. The Clarkston Health Challenge, as the walking contest is called, begins March 19.

Participants in the Clarkston Health Challenge will have the opportunity to compete for prizes by meeting their daily CARROT activity goal. Users will be able to follow their progress on an in-app leaderboard. In exchange for the Reward Points earned for walking (one step equals one Reward Point), participants can also enter drawings for prizes on the CARROT Wellness app. Contestants must be present at the expo to win.

More info is available at https://www.clarkston.org/.

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CARROT Founder Named to New OU Health Sciences Board

Oakland University’s School of Health Sciences has named CARROT Founder & CEO Michael Antaran to its new Board of Advocacy and Resource Development (BOARD). BOARD was formed to help support academic, research and community engagement programs in interdisciplinary health sciences, clinical and diagnostic sciences, public and environmental wellness, and human movement science.

“Our BOARD membership provides an impressive array of experience and connectivity reaching across Southeast Michigan,” said Dr. Kevin Ball, who serves as dean and professor for the School of Health Sciences.

“This is a great honor,” said Antaran. “The other members are among the very top of their fields, and each brings a wealth of expertise and knowledge to the School of Health Sciences. I’m excited and looking forward to contributing as best I can to the group and university.”

Antaran is one of 14 members of the Board of Advocacy and Resource Development. Other BOARD members include:

  • Reyna Colombo, director of rehabilitation at Beaumont Troy;
  • Kathy Forzley, director of the Oakland County Department of Health and Human Services;
  • Arthur Griggs, retired from a 30-year career at Oakland University as assistant vice president of Academic Affairs;
  • Darryl Hill, senior vice president of safety at FirstGroup of America;
  • Dr. Robert Jarski, professor emeritus, lecturer and research advisor at OU students;
  • Greg Jordan, director of University of Recreation and Well-Being at Oakland University;
  • Ewa Matuszewski, CEO and a co-founder of MedNetOne Health Solutions and a champion of innovative primary care and chronic care initiatives;
  • Telva McGruder, director of Global Facilities Engineering and Manufacturing Operations for General Motors;
  • Moon J. Pak, a medical physician and the founder of OU’s health and medical programs;
  • Tom Spring, director of Wellness and Community Programs for the Health Alliance Plan of Michigan;
  • Teresa Stayer, vice president at Spectra Med Inc.;
  • Rheanne Suszek, executive director of the North Oakland Family YMCA; and
  • John Waugh, system vice president for the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine product line in the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit.

“The members of our Board of Advocacy and Resource Development are each committed in their own careers to help bring about positive change in community health and well-being, and collaboratively, we will now accelerate the ability to provide exceptional experiential learning opportunities for our students,” Ball added.