L-r are: Dr. Karen Shepherd, Extension Agent Aneta Eichler, Gov. Bill Haslam, Sherry Cagle, and Russell Cliche. Photo contributed.
April 19, 2018 – Sequatchie County has been honored by the governor of Tennessee for its steps toward creating a healthier community.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness CEO Richard Johnson recently designated one city and 13 counties – including Sequatchie – as “Healthier Tennessee Communities.” The recognition honors Blount, Cannon, Carroll, Carter, Cheatham, Greene, Johnson, Robertson, Rutherford, Sequatchie, Sumner, Warren, and Washington counties.
The City of Kingsport, after achieving the initial Healthier Tennessee Community designation in 2016, is the first location in Tennessee to achieve bronze status under the new bronze, silver, and gold Healthier Tennessee Community criteria.
Representatives from the recognized communities traveled to Nashville last month to participate in the designation ceremony at the Tennessee State Capitol.
Gov. Bill Haslam delivered remarks congratulating the designated communities while stressing the importance of prioritizing preventative health efforts in all 95 counties.
“We must continue to encourage and enable community-led efforts like the ones we’re celebrating today if we want to improve the health and quality of life of Tennesseans,” Haslam said. “I congratulate these communities on their efforts to improve the health of their citizens.”
The Healthier Tennessee Communities initiative is a grassroots approach to improving Tennesseans’ health by engaging citizens and local leaders in cities, towns, counties, neighborhoods, and college campuses across the state.
To be designated, the communities established wellness committees and developed sustainable community-wide events and activities that support physical activity, healthy eating, and tobacco abstinence. They then tracked and measured outputs and accomplishments of the programs.
In Sequatchie County, that effort has been spearheaded by Step Up Sequatchie.
The Foundation launched the Healthier Tennessee Communities initiative in March 2015 with nine pilot communities. Today, more than 100 communities, neighborhoods, and college campuses are engaged with the program, and 59 have received the designation.
More information about the communities program, including a list of participating cities and counties and other Healthier Tennessee® initiatives, like the Small Starts® suite of interactive wellness tools, is available at healthierTN.com.