Texas Rangers – Medical Center Arlington Fitness All-Stars

Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation and Medical Center Arlington Abbi Miller, Owedia Kemp, Deborah Su, Patty Fearka, Rush Olson and Karin Morris Arlington elementary school students have discovered learning life-long health habits can be fun. Especially when they’re taught by the Texas Rangers. The Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation and Medical Center Arlington teamed up six years ago to form the Texas Rangers Medical Center Arlington Fitness All-Stars. The team, along with firefighters from the Arlington Fire Department, visits elementary schools within the Arlington Independent School District to promote health and fitness to fifth graders. The team has used mascot Rangers Captain – riding into the school parking lot on a fire truck with sirens blaring – as a focal point of the campaign against childhood obesity. “Not only does MCA care for patients that have a need for our services but we are committed to the well-being of our community through education and prevention of chronic diseases,” says All-Star Abbi Miller, MCA’s director of marketing and business development. “The Fitness All-Stars program is working with children to prevent obesity, diabetes and other chronic health issues.” Miller’s experience includes the community relations department of the Dallas Stars, account director at J. Walter Thompson and director of marketing at Hicks Sports Marketing Group. She currently serves on the executive committee of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce Women’s Alliance. Other All-Stars are Owedia Kemp, Deborah Su, Patty Fearka, Rush Olson and Karin Morris. Kemp, director of athletics for AISD since June 2011, started her career in 1980 as a teacher and basketball/track coach at Sam Houston High School. In 1993, she became assistant principal at Arlington High School, and in 1998, was named principal of Gunn Junior High. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Arlington and a master’s degree from North Texas State University. Su started with MCA in 2004 and has been manager of outreach services, H2U, contracts since 2009. As manager, she coordinates and manages employer and community-based health events, and networks with civic and community groups throughout Arlington, Mansfield, Grand Prairie and Kennedale. She also is involved in physician and hospital based contracts, and manages the hospital’s Senior Health to You (H2U) program. A graduate of Texas A&M University with a master’s degree in zoology and a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry, Su is active with Girls Inc. and the American Cancer Society. A licensed physical therapist assistant, Fearka provides therapy services to both MCA inpatients and outpatients. She trains hospital staff on back safety techniques and speaks on health, wellness and exercise for city employees. She previously owned a personal training business and taught fitness courses at UTA and the YMCA. Olson, of Rush Olson Creative and Sports, has created advertising campaigns for the Rangers, the Dallas Stars, the Mesquite Championship Rodeo, Big 12 and major market television stations. He also provided play-by-play for the Fort Worth Cats, Fire, Brahmas and Flyers. When not working, Olson plays bass guitar and sings in local bands Loda Dimes and Rosedale. As executive director of the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation, Morris oversees the strategic development, fundraising, program development and financials of the nonprofit. As the vice president of community outreach, she oversees the club’s outreach efforts particularly in the Hispanic community. Morris is a member of the Junior League of Arlington Advisory Board and the After-School All-Stars and an advisory committee member for the Noche de Esperanza event benefiting St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Morris is a graduate of Marquette University with a degree in international business and marketing. – Betty Dillard