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About LifeQuest
In 1992, responding to escalating healthcare costs, the City of Gainesville launched LifeQuest, a wellness program designed to help employees take charge of their own healthcare. The concept was simple: educate our employees to make the small changes in lifestyle that would make big differences in personal and professional lives.

Today LifeQuest is a multi-phased program for City of Gainesville employees, retirees, and their families involving diet and nutrition workshops, one-on-one counseling, health screenings, physical fitness programs, and seminars on health related issues. Treating each employee as an "Occupational Athlete," the City of Gainesville designed training programs tailored to the challenges faced by each individual. It worked.

Due to the marked decreased health care claims and the variety of facilities and programs provided, LifeQuest was presented with the Well Workplace Gold Award by the Wellness Councils of America in 2001. This honor is in recognition of outstanding achievement in health promotion. In 2003, LifeQuest received WELCOA's highest and most significant distinction, the Platinum Award. Gainesville is the first municipality in the nation to achieve this honor.

The City of Gainesville employees are a team. Like all great teams, we know what it takes to be the best. LifeQuest views each employee as an "occupational athlete," and designs programs to meet specific challenges of each individual. We are committed to serving our great community. Our standard is excellence. The fitness and well-being of each member of our team is important. The City of Gainesville recognizes this and has made a commitment to the health and well-being of our team through LifeQuest.

Studies have shown that when individuals are healthy and active, they enjoy life more fully and are more effective, inspired, motivated, and productive at work. The City of Gainesville and LifeQuest want the very best for its employees and retirees. Getting healthy takes hard work, but we think it's worth the effort. In fact we even provide the coaching staff that will help you achieve your goals - just as they have helped hundreds of others. The City of Gainesville's LifeQuest program offers you the opportunity to work with healthcare professionals, educators, athletic trainers, and dietitians who work as a team - YOUR team - to help you build a healthier lifestyle.


It's good for all.
Why? Employees who are in poor health often miss work. They also contribute to higher health care costs. In 1992, in an effort to confront growing health care costs, the City Commission created a wellness program, LifeQuest. LifeQuest's goal is simple: to take a proactive approach to improving the health of city employees.

Since then LifeQuest has had a major impact not only on lowering health care costs, but also on the lives and the quality of retirement for many employees. This website serves as a starting point for those employees who wish to take charge of their health and their future. Learn more about LifeQuest and our services that we provide by navigating through links.

Platinum Award
Platinum LogoLifeQuest Receives Platinum AwardThe Platinum Well Workplace Award represents the pinnacle of results-oriented worksite wellness programming. The Platinum Award is granted to organizations that have previously achieved a Gold Well Workplace designation and are now forging new ground by linking health promotion objectives to business outcomes. The Platinum Award process is by invitation only, and is rigorous in its expectations. Each year, a very limited number of organizations world-class in their approach to worksite wellness, will receive the Platinum Well Workplace Award.Visit the Wellness Councils of America (WELCOA) for more information:


 Meet the LifeQuest Staff

KathrynParkerKathryn Parker R.D., L.D.
LifeQuest Director
Phone: (352)-334-5000 x5893

Kathryn Parker has been working with the LifeQuest program since its implementation in 1992. Originally hired to provide nutrition counseling, Kathryn's role expanded to Director in 1996. formerly, Kathryn was nutrition consultant to the University of Florida Athletic Association.

LifeQuest earned recognition from the former surgeon General, C. Everett Koop, M.D. in 1995, and is ranked one of the nations top 40 wellness programs by the Center for Disease Control. In addition, LifeQuest holds the coveted Platinum Award for Worksite Wellness from the Wellness Council of America. The City of Gainesville is the only municipality in the nation to hold such distinction.

Kathryn has her own business, TrainAmerica which provide programs focusing on wellness, nutrition, and fitness.

Kathryn served as president of the Florida Dietetic Association in 1992 and has two children attending the University of Florida.


Gary PorterGary K. Porter, Jr. - MS,ATC/L
LifeQuest Athletic Trainer
Phone:(352)-334-5000 x5362

Gary was born and raised in St. Petersburg/Clearwater, FL. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in Exercise and Sport Sciences with a specialization in Sports Medicine/Athletic Training from the College of Health & Human Performance, at the University of Florida. He is a certified athletic trainer and a certified ergonomics assessment specialist.

He has vast experience in the industrial, occupational, clinical, athletic, and research settings. Gary interned with the University of South Florida Bulls inaugural football team and served some time with the Tampa Bay Storm arena football team. He worked two years as a Sports Therapist/Athletic Trainer in a physical therapy clinic in the Tampa Bay area. Gary was contracted, through the outreach program of his clinic, to work with the Tampa Bay Extreme semi-professional women's soccer team. Some nationally known soccer players on the Extreme were Danielle Fotopoulos (1998 Gator Nat'l Champ) and Michelle Akers (1999 World Cup Champ). He was also the Head Athletic Trainer and Clinical Instructor at P.K. Yonge High School in Gainesville. Gary also acted as a Research Assistant to Dr. MaryBeth Horodyski at Shands Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Department at UF. He has spoken nationally and has been published in Advance for Directors of Rehabilitation, Isokinetics and Exercise Science, and Journal of Athletic Training. He was also featured in the NATANEWS.

Gary has effectively operated as an Athletic Trainer/Sports Medicine specialist at Employee Health Services in the City of Gainesville's Risk Management Department/LifeQuest since 2001. Injury care & prevention are his forté.