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Susan (Mackin) Boe '84 carves out niche with spiritual health textbook

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[Total Health Choices for a Winning Lifestyle]
Susan Boe's '84 textbook "Total Health -- Choices for a Winnning Lifestyle" incorporates spirituality into health education with a focus on mind, body and spirit.

Susan (Mackin) Boe '84 is changing the way health education is viewed. She wrote a high school textbook, "Total Health Choices for a Winning Lifestyle," that incorporates spirituality into health education - something she believes is very important for today's youth. Many people believe this method of education is controversial, however, and Boe had trouble finding a publisher for the textbook.
      In 1995, after a year of waiting and hoping, she self-published the book. Now, more than 800 private schools, missionaries and home-school programs are using "Total Health." "Quite a success," Boe said. The book has not been adopted into public schools because of its biblical references. "Total Health" focuses on mind, body and spirit, and Boe believes that total health cannot be achieved without a belief in God.
      Boe, a West Linn, Ore., resident, said the book's main purpose is to empower young people to make wise decisions that will positively affect them in the future. Boe's motivation for writing the book was "to let teenagers know that God cares about every detail of their lives."
      Boe received many rejection letters from publishers before an outside supporter read her book and offered to help. She and her supporter opened their own publishing company, RiversEdge, in 1995 out of Boe's home. Her husband, Scott, decided to quit his job to help develop the publishing company, and now takes care of their two boys, Steven, 7, and Christopher, 3, while she works. "It was a miracle in my life how God brought all of the pieces together to get this book published," Boe said.
      Boe graduated from PLU with a bachelor's degree in K-12 physical education, and then went on to obtain a certificate in theology from Portland Bible College.
      Some of Boe's inspiration for the textbook came from PLU's Physical Education Department. Boe is especially thankful to Paul Hoseth, Colleen Hacker and Frosty Westering for their tremendous support.
      Boe spends some of her time traveling around the country attending teacher conventions to promote her textbook. She is also working on another health text, due out this fall. The new text is being developed for junior high students and provides an optional supplement about sex education.
      The Total Health curriculum is available at Christian Supply stores, and further information is available from RiversEdge Publishing at 1-888-337-1850, e-mail RiversEdge@worldaccessnet.com, and on the Internet at www.worldaccessnet.com/RiversEdge.

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