The Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness is announcing Warren County has been named a candidate for official designation as a Healthier Tennessee Community.
Healthier Tennessee Communities are those that encourage and enable more physical activity, healthy eating and tobacco abstinence at the local level. The program takes a community-wide approach to improving Tennesseans’ health by engaging the local leaders of cities, towns, counties and neighborhoods.
“Research has shown that we are much more likely to change our health related behavior and establish healthy habits when we are encouraged and supported by others – when we are in community,” Governor’s Foundation CEO Richard Johnson said. “That’s why making health and wellness an integral part of life where you live, and with the people who surround you, makes such a positive difference.”
In Tennessee, one in five adults smoke, and one in five high school students use tobacco. Approximately 34 percent of the population is classified as obese and an additional 34 percent are overweight, and type-2 diabetes and high blood pressure are at epidemic levels.
“A healthier citizenry is a healthier McMinnville…onward,” said McMinnville Mayor Jimmy Haley.
To be designated an official Healthier Tennessee Community, Warren County must identify wellness champions to lead the initiative that engages people in workplaces, schools and faith organizations, and then work to initiate and sustain community-wide events and activities that support physical activity, healthy eating and tobacco abstinence.
The community is expected to track and measure outputs and accomplishments of the program. They have one year to complete their work.
A committee of concerned citizens is working on several different initatives, exercise, nutrition and tobacco abstinence. Several of these are in place in the school system, with expansions in progress.
School system employee and committee member Cheryl Kelly said, “We are working on the programs, and definitely have other things coming up.”
The committee will be onsite at the upcoming Kids Funfest on May 13 promoting healthy habits, and possibly having a group walk that day.
Other committee members include, Kaitlyn Patterson, Matt McColloch, Mayor Jimmy Haley, Shannon Gulick, Shayla Sanderson, Hilda Lytle and Shannon Railling.
For more information about local programs, Patterson can be contacted at 473-8468, and Kelly at 668-4022.
Cities and counties interested in becoming Healthier Tennessee Communities should contact the Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness at firstname.lastname@example.org or (615) 610-1880.
More information on the program and other Healthier Tennessee initiatives is available at www.healthiertn.com.