Brighter, Healthier Future on Horizon for Lee County – from The News-Press

Healthy Lee | Brighter, Healthier Future on Horizon for Lee County - from The News-PressCommunity leaders throughout Lee County are working together to actively engage the community to live healthier, more active lives. Healthy Lee recently held its 10th annual meeting, taking the occasion to reflect on its successes and renew inspiration for the future.

Lee Memorial Health System convened the first Community Health Visioning 2017 meeting In January 2007 to look at the delivery of health care in the community and commit to improving its health. A diverse group of 38 community leaders, chaired by Gary Trippe, charted a plan for long-term improvement in the health status of residents of Lee County. In 2013, the group changed its name to Healthy Lee to focus on its primary objective of inspiring a culture of wellness.

In the early years, behavioral health was the top priority. Through the work and support of Healthy Lee, there has been a significant gain in access to mental health services, including the addition of more than 300 behavioral health beds in Lee County.

Today, Healthy Lee is an award winning collaboration of more than 300 health care providers, social service agencies, non-profits and business organizations that are coordinating efforts to improve the population’s health.

Through its programs and website, Healthy Lee encourages the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle that includes nutritious eating, physical activity and exercise, good stress management, routine medical care, and avoiding risk factors for disease. It is also active in influencing policy and environmental change in support of healthy lifestyles.

Over the past year, there have been two significant community engagement activities: the Million Mile Movement and the 5210 Pledge campaign.

The Million Mile Movement encouraged people to get moving and then log any miles they walked, biked, swam, ran or even danced, with the goal of reaching 1 million miles in 90 days. While the Movement didn’t quite reach that lofty number, it was a huge success. The 1,581 people who registered logged more than 360,000 miles and the publicity generated a great deal of momentum for participation in the next Movement, which is slated for January 2017.

The 5210 Pledge started as a community action plan to help fight childhood obesity and has now expanded to include adults. When signing the 5210 Pledge, participants agree to eat 5 servings of fruit and veggies daily, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day, participate in 1 hour of physical activity daily and drink 0 sugary beverages. Hundreds of people have signed up for the pledge since the launch of the campaign in May, and you can too.

Healthy Lee has had a significant impact in improving the health of Lee County and in improving access to medical care. Documented in the most recent community health assessment was a 15 percent drop in obesity, a 35 percent drop in childhood obesity, gains in physical activity, increases in access to routine medical checkups and a drop in serious disease such as heart disease and stroke.

These are proud accomplishments, but there is always more to be done. Healthy Lee will continue its work to improve the health of Lee County residents and the health care delivery system in our community. For more information, browse through the rest of our site or like us on Facebook.

Thank you to The News-Press for this article!


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