There was a conference in Wichita last week. It was a gathering sponsored by the Kansas Health Foundation for communities across the state that have qualified for $25,000 grants aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles. Barton County is one of the recipients.
There were local representatives at the three-day gathering, members of the Barton County Health Community Design Leadership Team, known as Be Well Barton County. The group is a new branch of the much larger and well established Central Kansas Partnership, a broader coalition made up of concerned citizens from Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Stafford and Rice counties that tackles such weighty topics as substance abuse, risky behaviors and other health-related areas.
Back to the conference, those attending listened to presenters offer suggestions and strategies to promote exercise, encourage the consumption of healthful food, and discourage smoking and other dangerous choices. Participants also walked and biked the streets of Wichita.
There was talk of the obesity trends in the United States and Kansas. Unless reversed, these trends, it was said, are a disaster in the making. That was the thrust of the meeting – looking beyond the typical incentive-based “biggest loser” type program and focusing on changing the unhealthy culture that is so prevalent in this country.
Such meetings are great to energize folks to go home and get involved. Now, it is up to Be Well Barton County to keep the flame alive
In the coming weeks, members of the team may ask for help or input as they put the final polish on a plan to make Barton County a better place. If approached, take part.
Whether or not you exercise or eat your veggies, it is our children’s future that is at stake. We are doing this for them.