People exercising.

Moving Forward with Health and Wellness

The HDI Health and Wellness Initiative has been highlighted in a number of spotlights over the past few months, including Stephen Love’s impressive accomplishments through the HealthMatters program at Tri-Generations in Somerset; a collaboration between Health Partners and Fayette County Public School System to teach students about exercise and healthy eating; and an Impact article on community based organization programming to build healthy cultures for people with disabilities.

HealthMatters Profile

Stephen Love didn’t want to be a part of the HealthMatters program at Tri-Generations in Somerset, Kentucky. He relished his junk food and didn’t mind that he was overweight. But then something happened, he saw the participants in the program and the positive outcomes they were experiencing and the fun they were having. He then went to the doctor and got a real wakeup call about the negative impact of his unhealthy lifestyle. It was then that he made the conscious decision to make a healthy change and requested to be a part of the HealthMatters program. Because Stephen had asked specifically for a new group to be started, Tri-Generations created a second group of HealthMatters programming that cultivated what has now become a healthy culture within the organization with widespread positive and healthy benefits being experienced by all clients and staff. This video not only includes Stephen discussing his experience and even reading a powerful poem he authored about his journey to get healthy and lose weight, but highlights the administrative perspective on the healthy transition by Tri-Generations through participation in the HealthMatters program from HDI’s health & wellness initiative.

February Fayette County Schools Collaboration

Along with scheduled programming, facilitators of Health Partners recently assisted members of Fayette County Public School System at their quarterly Life-Skills Social.  Approximately 100 students with and without disabilities from all high schools across the county gathered at the Family Worship Center on Tates Creek Road. Lindsey Mullis and Megan Jaspersen, along with co-facilitators Morgan Turner and Monica Hayes, led students in two stations. In the gym, partner-based resistance-band exercises were completed with the help of several peer mentors who accompanied the school groups. Additionally, healthy food choices were emphasized in a team game in which students raced to identify types of food in the Choose MyPlate model.

Lorraine Thomas, a Fayette County instructional resource specialist, noted: “Partnering with UK brings it all together… Their emphasis is on healthy eating, the importance of exercise, and building relationships with peers and friends. We’re hoping this will grow…”

University of Minnesota UCEDD Impact Article : HealthMatters Kentucky: A Multi-Level Approach to Building Health Promotion Capacity

In the winter 2016 issue of Impact, the health and wellness initiative at HDI was highlighted as the first state to implement a multi-level approach to building health promotion capacity across the state. The background and discussions that took place to jumpstart the health and wellness initiative and the partnership with the HealthMatters scale-up program demonstrate innovative thinking and collaborations at the academic, community, and state policy level. This article outlines the community based organization programming and supports implemented as well as the positive outcomes and successes experienced in building a healthy culture within the community organizations. The importance of peer supports and influence of staff involvement in health promotion activities is a critical component to those successes.