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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 ObesityHealthy 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 Keith Howard (HCI Coordinator) at or Nadja Boone at

Additional information may be found on the HCI Facebook page.

Healthy Lifestyles Team

Healthy Lifestyles Team

The Healthy Lifestyles Team works to lower our county's obesity rate, prevalence of chronic disease and tobacco use. In 2020, the team will host multiple events to promote healthy lifestyle choices and community wellness in Jefferson County (Indiana).  Special events include:

  •  Jefferson County Park Hop – month of March 
  •  47250 Challenge – May 1-30
  •  Healthy Scavenger Hunt – tentative date June 26th
  •  Healthy Youth Tailgate Party – tentative date September 11th

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 the Tobacco Cessation Coordinator at 812.801.0598. 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. Anyone interested is encouraged to attend. If you have additional questions, contact Heather Foy at 812.801.0175 or

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

COVID-19 HCI Guide

Facing Suicide Booklet

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.

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