Healthy Communities Initiative
What is the Healthy Communities Initiative (HCI) of Jefferson County?
Funded by the King's Daughters' Hospital Foundation and with resource support from King's Daughters' Health and the Envision Healthy Communities Committee, the Healthy Communities Initiative (HCI) of Jefferson County focuses on bringing community members together to address the major health needs of the community - making our county a healthier and safer place to live.
What major health needs are addressed by the HCI?
HCI uses the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) produced for King's Daughters' Health to determine the major health needs for the county. The most recent CHNA determined the following to be the top health issues in Jefferson County with the HCI team to address this issue identified in italics:
- Substance Abuse/Addictions—Substance Abuse Team.
- Suicide/Mental Health—Zero Suicide/Mental Health Team.
- Overweight and Obesity—Healthy Lifestyles Team.
- Tobacco Use—Healthy Lifestyles Team.
- Lack of Physical Activity—Healthy Lifestyles Team.
- Chronic Disease—Healthy Lifestyles Team.
How can I join one of these teams?
Everyone in the community is welcome and encouraged to join one or more of the HCI teams. To learn more about each team, click on the links below or email Carri Dirksen at firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional information may be found on the HCI Facebook page.
Healthy Lifestyles Team
The Healthy Lifestyles Team works to lower our county's obesity rate, prevalence of chronic disease and tobacco use. The team has hosted multiple events and programs to promote healthy lifestyle choices and community wellness in Jefferson County (Indiana).
Annual Health Lifestyles Challenge (June 1- 30)
Participants are challenged to complete 10 tasks in the categories of physical activity, nutrition, community, and mindfulness during the month of June. Those who complete the challenge are entered to win one of four prizes - plus one youth prize.
Annual Youth Tailgate Party (Fall)
Jefferson County youth are invited to attend the Youth Tailgate Party at Madison Consolidated High School before a home football game to celebrate and learn more about community organizations, activities and healthy living. Various organizations set up booths with a game or giveaway for those who attend. Over 350 youth attended in 2017.
Lighten Up Jefferson County Weight Loss Contest
The first county-wide weight loss contest was held over eight weeks in January 2018. Funds collected from the $5.00 participation fee were awarded to the top three winners (by percentage of weight lost). Additional funds were donated to New Hope Services, Inc., by choice of the overall winner. Collectively, contest participants lost 391 pounds.
Healthy Lifestyles Resource Guide (2018)
The Healthy Lifestyles Team produced a Resource Guide that highlights all physical activity and nutrition opportunities in Jefferson County, including area parks, yoga classes, walking trails, and more! Visit the link above to view or print the guide.
Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Grant
The team supports all efforts of the Jefferson County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Grant through the Indiana State Department of Health. Areas of work include:
- Tobacco-free worksites, schools and housing;
- Educating youth about the harmful effects of tobacco use and tobacco marketing practices;
- Advocating for smoke-free air;
- Promoting the Indiana Tobacco Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW).
If you are interested in participating in tobacco activities in Jefferson County, contact Natalie Garrett at 812.801.0598 or email@example.com. For free assistance with quitting tobacco, call the Indiana Tobacco Quitline at 1.800.784.8669.
The Healthy Lifestyles team meets on the second Wednesday of each month from 12:00 - 1:15 p.m. in the King's Daughters' Health Conference Center (basement level of the hospital). Anyone interested is encouraged to attend. If you have additional questions, contact Heather Foy at 812.801.0175 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Substance Abuse Team
Substance Abuse remains a top health concern for Jefferson County. The Substance Abuse Team works closely with with the Jefferson County Justice, Treatment and Prevention (JCJTaP) program on what we can do as a county to work on this issue at the local level.
There are three (3) active sub-committees that have arisen from this team:
- Mentors for Moms. Over 20 percent of babies in our county are born addicted to substances. The babies are weaned off the substance and then are sent home to their mothers and/or other caregivers who may not know how to care for a baby and give it the support it needs for its mental and physical development. This sub-committee, in partnership with Second Stories - a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide parents with tools and resources to build successful partners - has established a Mentor for Moms program in the community which partners these mothers with a positive mentor who serves as support to these mothers and teaches them how to be better parents/caregivers to these babies.
- Road to Recovery. During this team's meetings, the need for drivers to take individuals to and from treatment was brought up as a need in the community. Upon further discussion, the need for positive mentors/support was also brought up. In partnership with the Salvation Army of Madison, this sub-committee is developing such a program for Jefferson County.
- Community Resource Guide Sub-Committee. This team is working on creating a community resource guide for Jefferson County which will be located on Look Up Indiana, a website sponsored by the Lutheran Foundation. It will incorporate treatment options, support groups, a listing of acronyms commonly used, and any other information found to be valuable both for those with substance abuse issues and their caregivers.
Zero Suicide/Mental Health Team
The suicide rate for Jefferson County far surpasses state and local averages. Through the financial support of the Community Foundation of Madison and Jefferson County, this team is rolling out a Zero Suicide Plan for Jefferson County.
Components of this plan include: training, community awareness/breaking the stigma of mental health, coping skills, communication, reducing lethal means, and continuing education on evidence-based programs and practices.
This team partnered with the Madison Consolidated Schools (MCS) system on a Counseling Initiative Grant awarded by the Lilly Foundation. This grant provides additional suicide prevention training for the students and teachers/faculty for all Jefferson County schools and parents/caregivers.