Health Coalition Plans to Get County in Shape

By: Dara Rees Email
By: Dara Rees Email

Some Knox County officials were not happy with the numbers from the recent Health of Kentucky Report. Now the county is working to form a coalition to get the county back in shape.

A 28,000 dollar grant is helping the coalition get off the ground.

"That will bring the citizens and leaders of Knox County together try to tackle some of the bigger problems that we have," says Debbie D'Anna, the Dean of Student Affairs for Union College.

Rita Miracle with the Knox County Health Department, "In rural parts of Kentucky, we have a lot of health issues, such as access to care, obesity problems, diabetes, high cancer rates."

Rita Miracle says south eastern Kentuckians typically fall into unhealthy habits, poor food choices, and sometimes little or no exercise. With Union College, local schools, and the health department on board, plans are already underway to get the county in shape.

"The one thing we hope to get running right away is working with some elementary school students on being active and nutrition type programs," says D'Anna.

Jeff Frost, the Principal of Lay Elementary says, "We want to do some training for parents and make them aware of good food choices, and good investments on food."

Knox County officials say they hope to see long term benefits across their county.

"We're trying little by little to enjoy fitness. And what we found is, not only do they enjoy the fitness side, but they enjoy the socialization side of it too. I think it is improving every day," says D'Anna.

The first meeting for the coalition is Tuesday, September 30th at noon.

Union College already has a few programs in place, including Bulldog Buddies, a tutoring program that pairs community kids and college students once a month for physical fitness.

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