Healthy discussions

A group of people representing health care organizations, social service providers, local business, volunteer organizations and city government met Tuesday evening to continue discussions on ways to build a healthy county.

The meeting marked the second gathering of individuals interested in building a more healthy county. The Healthy Hamilton Coalition met for the first time last month at Hamilton Hospital. Fifty-five participants attended the kickoff meeting. The coalition’s action was spurred by the fact that Hamilton County fell in the rankings of the state’s healthiest counties, dropping from the top 30 to No. 64.

“That’s not a good number. That’s not good at all,” said Chamber Director Deb Brown.

“We have too may smokers, a lot of adult obesity, we lead in the motor vehicle crash death rate and with teen birth rate we beat everybody out,” she said.

Brown was brought in to moderate the session Tuesday at the All Cultures Equal Building. She guided those attending through a series of exercises to identify services, strengths and tools that each person and organization could bring to the group. The participants wrote their comments on large sheets of paper mounted around the room.

“We’re making sure that everyone knows who’s here, the groups they serve and their area of concentration in relation to being a healthier Hamilton County,” Brown said. “We also identified the tools that they bring to the game.”

The participants were then encouraged to walk around the room, read what others had written and then to partner with someone or an agency that they normally wouldn’t work with to see what kind of healthy Hamilton County event could be created.

“These partnerships are very exciting,” she said. Brown said the outcome of Tuesday’s meeting should bring several actions items for the coalition.

“We want action items tonight. By the next meeting, we’ll be able to roll out the 10 things that Healthy Hamilton is going to do in the next year,” she said.