Vicki Heath

Vicki is the National Director of the faith-based wellness ministry, First Place for Health. Vicki is a reluctant author (Don’t Quit Get Fit and My First Place) and nationally-known speaker. She holds certifications with American Council on Exercise and Body & Soul Fitness. She dances, jumps and limps her way to health as she leads exercise classes in her community of Edisto Island, SC. She strives to bring others into the Kingdom through her speaking and writing. She is an example of a radical, but humble, devoted follower of Christ. She understands the struggle for health and wellness is real, but worth it. Vicki is a pastor’s wife and she and her husband, Rob, have four grown children and ten grandchildren, and 1 great grandchild.
You can reach Vicki Heath at:
Phone: (800) 727-5223 x1005

Lisa Lewis

Lisa Lewis is the Chief Operating Officer, overseeing social media programs and day-to-day operating functions of the First Place for Health office. She designs First Place for Health marketing materials and coordinates the publishing arm of First Place.
Lisa began her career with First Place for Health as a part-time shipping clerk in the order department in 1988. She then began maintaining the subscriber database and coordinating high volume mailings for the First Place subscription newsletter. She moved on to fill openings in every department of FP4H from accounting to events to customer service before becoming COO.
Lisa is author of the cookbook, Healthy Happy Cooking and is a contributing author to nonfiction titles including Better Together and Healthy Holiday Living. She coordinated the Today Is the First Day and Living Well devotional book projects and the New First Place Favorites Cookbook from beginning to completion. She also assisted Carole with her book, Back on Track working with those who have taken the Triple Dare Challenge, in addition to the publications, Light Healthy Holidays and Healthy Holiday Living. She also provided the recipes for 14 of the First Place for Health Bible studies.
Lisa lives in Galveston, TX and is married to John Lewis. They have three children: John, Hunter and Harper.
You can reach Lisa Lewis at:
Phone: (800) 727-5223 x1001

Helen Baratta

Helen is the Director of Development overseeing leadership, group curriculum, financial administration, and events.
In 2006, obese and unable to walk without pain, she surrendered to the Lord and He transformed her life. Since then, Helen has shed and maintained a 120+pound weight loss. Helen is author, coach, fitness instructor, speaker, trainer, and a triathlete. She is author of the books Restored! Embracing Weight Loss God’s Way, and My Place for Leadership.
In 2011, Helen answered the call to ministry, leaving a 30-year management career in Health Insurance. She joined the staff of Crossroads Church as their first Small Group Director, overseeing 5 campus networks, growing to 70 small groups. She joined the First Place for Health staff in 2015.
Helen and husband, Vince, are currently living the dream in Pittsburgh, PA returning after an adventurous six-years on the Big Island of Hawaii. They have two sons and a daughter-in-law. Helen encourages everyone to live long and strong as they embrace change and say “Yes” to all that God has planned.
You can reach Helen Baratta at:
Phone: (800) 727-5223 x1005

Mary Ward

Mary is Associate Director.
Born in San Diego, Mary is a California girl at heart. She loves beaches, tide pools, sailing and building sandcastles. Certified by the American Council on Exercise in Group Fitness, Mary has spent the past 25 years leading all types of fitness classes. She recently served as Vice President and Marketing Director for Body & Soul® Fitness. She is the past chairperson of the First Place for Health Board of Directors.
Virginia became her home when the Navy transferred her husband Brad to the East Coast. They have two children, one son-in-law, two grandsons and she wears the title Grandma Mimi proudly. She loves to travel, ride her bike, is a foodie at heart and drinks tea instead of coffee.
Mary is author and contributor for First Place For Health’s My Place for Fitness. She believes that everyone is uniquely loved created by God and not a one size fits all. Mary loves to encourage people to find the thing that will get them moving.
Mary’s philosophy is “It’s not about what you can’t do, start where you are and do what you can.”
You can reach Mary Ward at:
Phone: (800) 727-5223 x1003

Carole Lewis

Carole Lewis, Director Emeritus. Carole led First Place for Health as the National Director from 1987  to 2014. A member of the original First Place group that began in 1981, she watched the program grow from 12 groups in one church to thousands of members at more than 12,000 churches throughout the nation and in many foreign countries.
When Carole attended the First Place orientation in March 1981, she was unsure of where God was leading but knew she needed to make some lifestyle changes. A chance meeting with a friend from her past gave Carole the impetus to determine she did not want to be “fat and 40.” She joined a First Place group and soon lost 20 pounds. Learning how to bring balance to her life motivated her to become a First Place leader to encourage others to achieve their goals.
Carole has authored fifteen books and leads conferences, Christian spas, workshops and seminars with an emphasis on personal and spiritual balance, fitness, encouragement and temperament analysis. Her audiences know her as warm, transparent, honest and humorous.
Carole and her late husband, Johnny, have three children (one deceased) eight grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
Carole lives in Houston, Texas and teaches a Sunday Bible study class and her First Place for Health group at her church.
Books: First Place, Choosing to Change, Today is the First Day, Back on Track, The Mother Daughter Legacy, The Divine Diet, A Thankful Heart, Stop It!, Living Well, First Place 4 Health, Better Together, Hope 4 You, Give God A Year, Live Life Right Here Right Now .
You can reach Carole Lewis at:

First Place for Health Board

Sherry Leggett - Chairperson

Gari Meacham

Maggie Rowe

Cynthia Ruchti

Susan Ficken