Mt Pleasant News
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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 11, 2017

County participates in Healthiest State Walk, moves forward with HRSA Action Team

Oct 04, 2017

By Grace King, Mt. Pleasant News

 

Students in the Mt. Pleasant, New London and WACO community school districts participated in the Healthiest State Walk today, which is a part of Live Healthy Iowa’s fall fitness challenges.

Students were encouraged to walk 30 minutes during gym classes on Oct. 4 to promote healthy and active kids in Iowa. Sunnybrook at Mt. Pleasant held their own Healthiest State Walk, incorporating Alzheimer’s awareness by wearing purple. During the walk, there was an opportunity for a free will donation to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Henry County is currently ranking 50 out of 84 teams in Iowa for Live Healthy Iowa, a program out of the Iowa Sports Foundation created as a strategic health initiative to address the state’s growing obesity problem.

“(The Live Healthy Iowa) events have been fairly easy for us to promote,” said Kelly Carr, the Healthy Henry County Communities (HHCC) coordinator during an HHCC board meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 3. “They’ve gone along with our mission and the healthy community Henry County is working toward.”

As a part of working toward a healthier community, Ken Brown, executive director at The Fellowship Cup, is introducing a Building Bridges “Getting Ahead” class for people looking to get out of the cycle of poverty.

Brown was unable to stay for the entirety of the HHCC meeting, but Carr read what he said about the class: “When individuals are under-sourced, their daily living experience becomes dominated by the tyranny of the moment. They end up staying stuck in a cycle of poverty.”

This class seeks to help people remove barriers and work to get out of this cycle. The class is 18 weeks, once a week, beginning Monday, Nov. 6, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Dinner, child care, transportation and a stipend for attending class will be provided. Brown is looking for 10 individuals for the class. Six spots are already filled.

“This has been very successful in Burlington,” Carr said. “It’s shown to be impactful. I’m excited (Brown) is bringing it here to Mt. Pleasant.”

During the HHCC meeting, Carr also presented a HRSA grant update to the board, a three-year, $1 million grant that was awarded to help Henry County improve overall health of the community. An Action Team has been appointed to identify gaps in health care. They are tentatively scheduled to meet for the first time on Monday, Oct. 9.

“I think this will continue to grow and be fluid,” Carr said, adding that they will possibly include church leaders and law enforcement officers on the Action Team to get a “full range of perspective” from the community.

Carr, along with Chief Operating Officer at Henry County Health Center (HCHC) Michelle Rosell and Public Health Director Patti Sallee, will have a conference call once a month with a technical adviser, a progress officer to monitor Henry County’s work plan and a grant manager to help with the budget.

The next HHCC board meeting will be Tuesday, Nov. 7, in the HCHC Health Education Center.

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