The Community Health Coalition of Caldwell County is working with community partners in Caldwell County and Bastrop County to duplicate efforts to reduce the occurrence of diabetes-related hospitalizations. The coalition’s Diabetes and Nutrition Education program, led by a registered dietitian, provides no-cost group and individual diabetes education for residents of Caldwell County who are uninsured or underinsured. The office- and home-based program was created to educate and motivate county residents to make behavior and lifestyle changes that can lead to better health. With the addition of a community health worker, the coalition will expand services to Bastrop County, where it will address the issues of obesity, hypertension, and high cholesterol and develop a health education model, which will lead to the creation of a healthier community.
Burnet County is currently building additional capacity for the Highland Lakes Health Partnership, which will allow for comprehensive community assessments to be completed as well as the identification of priorities for healthy lifestyle interventions. The WilCo Wellness Alliance is serving as a model for Burnet County’s infrastructure and potential strategies.
The Community Health Coalition of Caldwell County is continuing work begun in 2009 to improve the health status of Caldwell County residents and to reduce the occurrence of diabetes-related hospitalizations. The coalition’s Diabetes and Nutrition Education program, lead by a registered dietitian, provides no-cost group and individual diabetes education for residents of Caldwell County who are uninsured and underinsured. The office- and home-based program was created to educate and motivate county residents to make behavior and lifestyle changes that can lead to better health. With the addition of a community health worker, the coalition will expand services to address issues of obesity, hypertension, and high cholesterol as well as develop a health education model, which will lead to the creation of a healthier community.
The Institute for Public Health and Education Research (TIPHER) began work in June 2012 to bring together government, business, health, and community leaders to advocate for environmental and policy changes to increase opportunities for physical activity and decrease the exposure to secondhand smoke and use of tobacco products. The group is coordinating a Community Health Summit for September 2012, when downtown streets will be closed to vehicle traffic for four hours, allowing families and individuals to participate in fun fitness opportunities at activity stations that will be set up along the route. Walking maps will be provided to encourage groups to walk or ride their bikes to the local farmers market.
Also, the Caring Community Coalition has been established to implement a tobacco-free campaign to encourage local businesses and restaurants to display their “tobacco-free environment” signs. The coalition is also partnering with the law enforcement community to increase the enforcement of laws prohibiting the sale of tobacco to minors.
Community workers with the Institute for Public Health and Education Research Inc. (TIPHER) have been working in Guadalupe County since June 1. Meetings have been held with key leaders of the community to build an active-living coalition to promote physical activity and ultimately reduce the incidence of diabetes. Another effort the Institute has undertaken is the development of a comprehensive plan to recruit, train, and implement a promotora program to educate students and parents in the Seguin I.S.D. to effectively manage their diabetes.
The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District is working with the Live Well Waco project to promote wellness to area residents by teaching them how to make healthier choices at home, work, and play. The Live Well Waco project offers a variety of information through each program sector: Eat Well Waco (healthy dining options guide and restaurant program), Play Well Waco (free physical activity opportunities and school wellness programs), Be Well Waco (chronic disease management and smoking cessation), Work Well Waco (worksite wellness), and Think Well Waco (mental health and spiritual well-being). Activities, information, and resources are provided through community events and a new website due to launch in September 2012. The project is further complemented by a robust media campaign and kick-off event that will coincide with the launch of the Live Well Waco website. Ongoing activities are scheduled to keep the community aware of health messages and available opportunities for making healthy choices.
Williamson County is currently conducting community-wide assessments on healthy lifestyle behaviors and barriers, expanding on the efforts of the WilCo Wellness Alliance. Assessments include tobacco use among adults and children, breastfeeding regulations in health-care facilities, the availability of physical activity opportunities in the community, and current chronic disease self-management education resources in the community. Maintenance of existing initiatives and awareness campaigns continues.