This year, Kosciusko County announced their designation as an Indiana Healthy Community! This recognizes them as a community that is dedicated to improving the health and quality of life of its citizens through the Wellness Council of Indiana’s (WCI) Indiana Healthy Community initiative. It is an evidence-based collaboration process designed to help communities focus on implementing and sustaining a culture of health and well-being to spur economic vitality. Through this process, the WCI helps communities assess their programs, services and infrastructure in four areas: health, economy, environment and community.
Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Rob Parker, says ” I am very proud of the work being done in our county to improve the health and wellbeing of our citizens. I know that there is much that will need to be done, but I believe in our community and its commitment to making a significant impact on improving our health outcomes within Gallup’s 5 elements of wellbeing: social, financial, physical, community, and purpose/career. By implementing our Healthy Community Action Plan, we believe we will impact the culture of health and will improve economic vitality for individuals and the business community.”
Communities use data from the WCI assessment and other sources to determine needs and take action by developing a Healthy Community Action Plan with goals and objectives. The designation from the WCI recognizes communities that have taken steps to improve the health and quality of life of their citizens. There is a heavy focus on healthy workplaces and employer involvement, as the initiative uses the community health conversation to drive economic vitality.
This state-wide achievement was facilitated by the Kosciusko Healthy Community Council, which consists of key community stakeholders that came together to collaborate on the comprehensive community assessment and goals to be carried out over the two-year designation cycle. The Council consists of the Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce, the K21 Health Foundation, Live Well Kosciusko, Kosciusko Community Hospital, Parkview Health, The Bowen Center, and the Kosciusko Community YMCA.
“Kosciusko County began the journey to a Healthy Community designation in 2016 through the leadership of the Health and Wellness Committee of the Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce,” says Lisa Harman, President and CEO of Live Well Kosciusko. “From that first community meeting in 2016 to learn about the Wellness Council’s AchieveWELL program, to the Community Conversation on Health event in October of 2018, the community has been actively involved in developing initiatives to address health and quality of life issues in Kosciusko County.”
Kosciusko County will be formally recognized at the 2019 Indiana Wellness Summit on September 17, 2019.