The Grundy County Health Council has been hard at work during the past year helping citizens improve their health. According to Tonya Garner, Health Council Facilitator, “We have many activities going on that we would like to make citizens aware of so they can become involved.”
The Council received an Appalachian Diabetes Translation & Control grant through the Office of Rural Health at Marshall University in January of 2013. As a result of the grant, Shopping Matters tours are now available to Grundy County residents. Shopping Matters teaches how to purchase healthy food without breaking the bank. Another program involving nutrition that the Council has sponsored is led by Karen Wickham. Ms. Wickham has taught three Diabetes Seminars, which have helped residents lose weight, lower blood glucose levels, reduce blood pressure, and lower cholesterol.
Along with nutrition programs, the Council is also working to get Grundy County residents more active. ACTIV8 Grundy, a subcommittee of the Council, has been partnering with the University of the South to help the after-school students become more active. There have been six family fun nights with dinner, physical activity, and education on the benefits of an active lifestyle. Two 5K runs have been sponsored by North Leaps for the whole community.
The Council also combined funds from the South Cumberland Community Fund to construct a walking track at North Elementary School to give residents a safe place to walk. Grant funds have also made Zumba classes available twice a week. According to Garner, “Increasing physical activity and eating healthier can really help prevent or control diabetes. We are excited to be able to offer opportunities to be active.”
Food insecurity can lead to obesity, which is a risk factor for diabetes. To address food insecurity, Health Council members volunteered at the Food Bank and donated food in December. According to Garner, “After realizing how hard the Food Bank crew works each week, we have even more respect for what they do to make sure Grundy residents have food.”
The Grundy County Health Council meets every third Tuesday of the month at noon at the U.T. Extension Building in Coalmont and all county residents are welcome to attend. If you would like to become part of the Health Council, learn more about their programs, or would like to attend one of their classes, call Tonya Garner of the Grundy County Health Department at 692-3641 or like the Grundy County Health Council on Facebook.
Pictured members of the Grundy County Health Council include (l to r): Savannah Burrows, Mary Jo Gallagher, Charlene Nunley, Jen Whitson, Clyde Leeds, Karen Wickham, Julie Wilems, Angela Coffelt, Susie Sweeton, Sheila Beard, Tonya Garner, Tabitha Brown, Kathy Hall, Emily Partin.