Coalition continues to strive for a healthy community


Jackson County’s Community Health Improvement Plan is being set in motion.

The Improving Nutrition Workgroup recently met via Zoom, led by Bethany Daugherty, health and wellness education specialist at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour and coordinator of the Healthy Jackson County All-Coalition.

Daugherty said Katelyn Kutemeier, community wellness coordinator for Purdue Extension, is developing some recipe cards to send out to food pantries.

The plan is to create healthy recipes that include food items that the pantries commonly have, Daugherty said.

“Purdue Extension has a number of videos already created to demonstrate the recipes,” she said. “John Doriot had previously suggested putting a QR code on the cards to direct people back to the Healthy Jackson County website.”

The website includes information about all of the Healthy Jackson County workgroups. Under the “Improving Nutrition” tab is a link to healthy recipes and also a nutrition toolkit with some practical resources.

Purdue Extension Jackson County Educator Molly Marshall also was a part of the Zoom meeting and announced the Jackson County Breastfeeding Coalition is going to be reconvening through Schneck.

“We were meeting pre-COVID and then stopped, and now, we’re getting back together and have been able to make some good connections across southern Indiana,” Marshall said.

The services that are provided for moms are not only for breastfeeding but also are centered around healthy babies.

She said the breastfeeding coalition has put together safe sleep resources. Besides educating moms about safe sleep, the plan is to cover other topics, too, such as nutrition and other information to keep the mom and baby healthy.

Daugherty said the coalition is interested in engaging with businesses about having a comfortable location for new moms to pump breast milk while they are at work.

“It’s required by law that businesses have that, but it’s not always the most comfortable setting,” Daugherty said.

Besides nutrition, the workgroup discussed upcoming projects within the community pertaining to health and wellness.

Melanie O’Neal, planning coordinator for The Arc of Jackson County, talked about the second phase of the accessible inclusive playgrounds areas that are being put in at Gaiser Park in collaboration with the Seymour Parks and Recreation Department.

Phase 2 will extend off of the Sway Fun area and will be on the north end of the park.

“This phase will include a new swing set and frame structures that the city has purchased,” she said. “They will place their existing swings on those new structures.”

The swings include regular swings and also some of the molded bucket swings that people with disabilities would be able to use.

Through grant dollars, The Arc of Jackson County has funded pour-in-place flooring.

“Now, there will be a smooth transition from the sidewalk onto the existing Phase 1 area and then extend to the Phase 2 area,” O’Neal said. “This makes wheelchair access much easier.”

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Healthy Jackson County meetings are being held via Zoom until further notice.

The next Improving Nutrition Workgroup meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. June 9.

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