published Saturday, May 12th, 2012

Mike Huckabee to speak at Chattanooga area wellness event


• What: Wellness Summit

• When: 7 p.m. June 10; 8 a.m.-7 p.m. June 11

• Cost: $149.

• Special guest: Mike Huckabee speaks at 7 p.m. on June 11; cost for the Huckabee event only is $29.

• Information:

Former Arkansas governor and Fox News host Mike Huckabee will speak at a Chattanooga-area wellness event next month, talking about how he lost 110 pounds and ran four marathons after he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

The former Republican presidential candidate will headline the first Wellness Summit at Southern Adventist University on June 10-11.

"He is an amazing motivator and speaker," said Phil Garver, dean of the School of Physical Education, Health & Wellness at Southern. "He is someone who is credible and can connect personally with the community."

Garver said he first heard Huckabee speak at a wellness event five or six years ago, before he ran for president or began hosting his own show on Fox News.

Huckabee, 56, lost 110 pounds after he was diagnosed with diabetes in 2003, according to his website. He went on to run four marathons in 2005 and 2006 -- two Little Rock Marathons, the Marine Corps Marathon and the ING New York City Marathon.

He also has written the book, "Quit Digging your Grave with a Knife and Fork." He now hosts a show called "Huckabee" on Fox News and a syndicated radio program on Cumulus Media Network.

Huckabee's ability to articulate and his vision of overall wellness are impressive, Garver said.

In addition to Huckabee, the wellness summit will include information about the relationship between physical and mental wellness, corporate wellness programs and keys to successful aging.

Although anyone would benefit from the summit, Garver said the focus is especially for wellness and human resource professionals, church leaders, business owners and health care administrators.

"We especially want to reach community leaders; if these people grab it, it will trickle down," Garver said. "The summit will give us a platform to move forward in an effort to change the culture in our community."

Contact staff writer Mariann Martin at or 423-757-6324.

about Mariann Martin...

Mariann Martin covers healthcare in Chattanooga and the surrounding region. She joined the Times Free Press in February 2011, after covering crime and courts for the Jackson (Tenn.) Sun for two years. Mariann was born in Indiana, but grew up in Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Belize. She graduated from Union University in 2005 with degrees in English and history and has master’s degrees in international relations and history from the University of Toronto. While attending Union, ...

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