Lincoln group involved in healthy exercise

December 21, 2004|EMILY BURTON

STANFORD - A community-based organization led by the Lincoln County Health Department would like to see Lincoln County citizens a little more fit.

Nothing can be accomplished, however, without the community's help, said organizers.

Mobilizing Action through Planning and Partnership has three subcommittees working toward the realization of three closely-related needs in the county. Those needs include providing more students basic medical care at school, a crisis center for domestic violence victims and a wellness center families can walk off those extra holiday pounds.

The three needs were identified last year during a bioterrorism preparedness study, and the committees started meeting in May.

Each committee is staffed by an employee of the health department, but is comprised of any interested person who works or lives in the county. There is plenty of room for more volunteers, said Lincoln County Public Health Preparedness Coordinator Rebecca Judy

The proposals are still in the research and plausibility stages, but community support is growing, said Judy. The crisis center, in particular, has gained support from local churches. "It seems to be a really strong committee with real possibilities."


The committee has already toured several potential locations, and has researched the grants available for such a project. There is hope that a home might be donated to the cause so grants can be applied directly to renovations, said Judy.

Wellness center would be similar to Danville's

The second proposal, a wellness center, would be similar to those in Danville but larger and more accessible to families on a limited budget.

The group has toured several such facilities in Woodford County and Georgetown, with plans to visit Shelbyville. A possible site for the wellness center has been identified in county's memorial park, which will be on the corner of Goshen and U.S. 150, but is still under construction.

"There is an area of land not designated for anything in particular that would work for a wellness center," Judy said.

Judge-executive Buckwheat Gilbert said he would go to the center should it be built, but it could take a while.

"It's a great idea. But it will probably be in the last stages of our park. We're probably about $4 to $6 million away" from that point, Gilbert said.

The third and final identified need would attend to those students currently not receiving basic and preventive medical attention in school.

School Health Coordinator Eva Stone agreed that kids are being missed when it came to school health care.

"From my vantage point, I see we have a lot of kids who are in the cracks," Stone said. The purpose behind school-based health centers would not be the duplication of services, but rather something that "reaches those children that aren't receiving services," said Stone.

It could include a nurse or general practitioner for students

This could include a nurse or general practitioner being available to students in each school building every day of the week, as opposed to the current system of one nurse in the middle school three days a week and just one assigned to the high school. Each elementary school has a nurse in the building, said Stone, but there are always improvements that can be made to assure each student receives preventive care, such as basic check-ups, and general treatment for simple illnesses.

While each committee is still in the research phase, excitement for the projects is building as each group sees the possibilities, said Judy.

"It's encouraging to go and see things like this up and running in Kentucky, so it doesn't feel like such a pie in the sky, impossible goal."

She encouraged anyone living or working in the county to help better themselves and their community by joining a committee. "Any level of participation is appreciated," she added.

The next joint meeting of Mobilizing Action through Planning and Partnership will be 4 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Health Department. For more information, call (606) 365-3106.

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