(Submitted) The Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness is a non-profit foundation which was begun with the mission of promoting better health in our local communities. The Foundation employs three simple principles: Move More, Eat Smarter, and Cut out Tobacco. The foundation has designed programs, as well as easy to use tools, to reach families, work places, and places of worship. They also help form coalitions in each county to promote and further their mission on a local level using interested community members to promote and provide programs that further one or more of their principles.
Activeandersontn is the local coalition here in Anderson County. The coalition consists of members from all three local school systems, the Health Department, the community, business, the Chamber of Commerce, and Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP). For over a year now, this group has worked together to achieve “Healthier Tennessee” community status by meeting the goals set by the Governor’s Foundation.
At a conference in Arrington, Tennessee, outside of Nashville, representatives from almost one hundred cities, towns, counties, and campuses around Tennessee gathered to listen to experts in coalition building, effective planning, workplace and faith community wellness, and social media.
According to Art Miller, Director of the Anderson County Health Department, the principles espoused by Healthier Tennessee dovetails perfectly with the TN Dept of Health mission “to protect, promote, and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee.”
Activeandersontn strives to further the mission of both organizations. Miller added, “I think the Health Dept and our partners in the community and the schools have done a good job bringing opportunities to learn the benefits and enjoyment of healthy eating and providing physical activities that anyone from age two on up to seniors can enjoy. Our tobacco programs range from preventing youth from starting tobacco to helping pregnant women quit smoking, and educating the public about the dangers of second and third hand smoke exposure.“
Activeandersontn is excited about expanding members and increasing their service and program offerings with new funding from outside organization and community volunteers.
According to Stacy Baugues, Senior Regional Director for the Foundation, who helps mentor Activeandersontn as well as other East Tennessee communities, “Anderson County’s efforts stand out among Healthier Tennessee Communities in the East Region. While many of the communities are making great strides, the Active Anderson group has made excellent progress in growing the local committee, implementing health related initiatives that reach various groups of the population, and engaging all sectors of work, worship, and local leaders in their efforts.”
If you are interested in joining with the activeandersontn coalition or being a volunteer at local events, please call Kathy Scruggs, Health Educator, at 865 425-8768 or write to her at Kathy.Scruggs@tn.gov. You can also check out our activities at activeandersontn on Facebook.