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ACE Youth Spokesperson Receives Indiana's Premier Health Award

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Oct. 26, 2006 –The American Council on Exercise (ACE), America’s Authority on Fitness, is pleased to announce that Debi Pillarella, M.Ed., ACE Youth Spokesperson and 2004 ACE Fitness Director of the Year, was selected to receive the Tony and Mary Hulman Health Achievement Award.

Recognized for her passion and boundless devotion to public health in Indiana, Pillarella was presented the award for her outstanding achievements and continued dedication to the health and welfare of youth during the Indiana Public Health Foundation Awards Dinner Oct. 19 at the Westin Hotel in Indianapolis.

Pillarella is the exercise program manager for The Community Hospital Fitness Pointe, located in Munster, IN. She lectures often at industry conferences and has written fitness articles and books including Adventures in Fitness for Kids. Most recently, Pillarella has developed a youth focused program entitled, Fit Trip for 1st and 2nd graders, as well as Take 5 for Life that targets 5th graders.

Take 5 for Life is a data-driven, school-focused, healthy and fit lifestyle program run by the Community Hospital Fitness Pointe. The plan offers creative solutions to one of the nation’s largest public health challenges – the growing obesity rates of children. Results from the program have shown that healthcare organizations can extend their resources to improve the health of their communities.

“My hope is that adding this achievement to my credentials and future grant applications for the Take 5 for Life program, I can continue to secure funding to reach under privileged youth who are at risk for obesity and diabetes due to their inactive lifestyles,” said Pillarella, 2006 Tony and Mary Hulman Health Achievement Award Recipient.

Since 1885, the Tony and Mary Hulman Health Achievement Award has been awarded to top health care professionals who have helped shape and enhance public health in Indiana. Recipients are recognized for demonstrating longstanding excellence in one of four categories---environmental health, geriatrics/gerontology, preventive medicine and public health and health science research.

Pillarella began to address health issues with children more than 15 years ago while teaching in the Chicago school system. Having been an overweight teen herself, she shared with children her own struggles and the lessons of a subsequent journey to lead a healthier lifestyle. She created for the Chicago school system an after-school youth fitness, and in-school “Gotta Move” program, as well as starting her own fitness company creating wellness initiatives with other schools, community centers, hospitals and corporations.

About ACE
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) is a nonprofit organization committed to promoting active, healthy lifestyles and their positive effects on the mind, body and spirit. ACE pledges to enable all segments of society to enjoy the benefits of physical activity and to protect the public against unqualified fitness professionals and unsafe or ineffective fitness products, programs and trends. ACE accomplishes this mission by setting certification and continuing education standards for fitness instructors and through ongoing public education regarding scientifically sound health and fitness practices. For more information on ACE and its programs, call (800) 825-3636 or log onto the ACE Web site at

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Founded in 1985, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) is a nonprofit organization committed to America's health and wellbeing. Over the past 30 years, we have become an established resource for health and fitness professionals, and the public, providing comprehensive, unbiased research and validating ourselves as the country's trusted authority on health and fitness.

Today, ACE is the largest nonprofit health and fitness certification, education and training organization in the world with more than 65,000 certified professionals who hold more than 72,000 ACE Certifications. With a long heritage in certification, education, training and public outreach, we are among the most respected organizations in the industry and a resource the public has come to trust for health and fitness education.