News and Tribune

October 6, 2013

Wellness Coalition links public with healthier lifestyle choices


> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Building a healthier Southern Indiana is not a spectator sport. Targeting Clark, Floyd, Scott and Washington counties’ residents, a variety of valuable opportunities, information and success stories about better choices for healthier living are now a keystroke away, thanks to the Wellness Coalition of Southern Indiana’s new website.

Members of the coalition, which serves as a conduit to raise awareness and educate the public of all ages about health, nutrition, fitness, and general well-being, invite individuals and organizations to share their information and successes on the website for the benefit of all.

Checking out is an exercise in collaboration and improved communication among area communities, according to a news release. They expect the website to propel the cause of wellness to a new level of awareness.


• It’s an event calendar listing wellness events by date and searchable by category. This gives events a welcome boost by equipping the public to avoid schedule conflicts and competition for the community members’ time. The event listings even may offer links to event websites and show Google maps of locations.

“Now that we know about this site, we can collaborate effectively instead of compete,” said coalition member Janet Steffens of the Purdue Extension/Floyd County in the news release.

• It’s a vehicle for other groups to post their information, linking people to details that can help them plan schedules and make better lifestyle choices. Like one-stop shopping, it’s a convenient pipeline of information that can lead to much-needed collaborations to make events more robust with higher attendance and better outcomes.

• It’s a collection of wellness information pages on such topics as nutrition, physical activity, stress, obesity, cancer, heart disease, and tobacco. Coalition member Shannon Carroll, a registered  nurse at Floyd Memorial Hospital and Foundation, hopes it’s the leading go-to site for community planners and the general population.

“It helps close the gap in communication with the public,” she said. “I want everyone in Clark and Floyd counties to know of and visit it regularly to post health and wellness events as well as use it as a guide for improving health.”

• It’s a new key to partnering initiatives. For example, the Growing Healthy Lives page promotes walking and biking in Clark County and highlights organizations making strides in the wellness area. The Floyd County Physical Activity Coalition highlights its Give Me 10 campaign featuring 10-minute daily workouts for everyone. The Floyd County Nutrition Coalition page focuses on its 5-A-Day campaign with tips for increasing consumption of fruits and veggies.

• It’s a collaboration to address community wellness issues. Broadcasting community wellness resources leads to stronger communities in which everyone benefits, according to coalition member Jennifer Harris of the YMCA of Southern Indiana/Clark County Branch.

“Ultimately, more people will become involved in fitness classes and activities,” she added.

• Harris encourages others to log onto the website for more information and become involved in the ongoing efforts to build healthier communities, one person, one family, one organization at a time. Ultimately, it will mean stronger communities in which everyone benefits.


Walking the talk about collaboration, the new website itself is the result of a dozen area partners who provided funding for the site: Clark Memorial Hospital, Clarksville Town Council, The Estopinal Group, Floyd County Tobacco Coalition, Floyd Memorial Hospital, The Ogle Foundation, Ohio River Greenway, Pacers and Racers, the CDC-funded Growing Healthy Lives initiative, and the cities of Charlestown, Jeffersonville, and New Albany.

 In addition to Steffens, Carroll, and Harris, Wellness Coalition members are: Natalie Allen of Stretch-N-Grow Indiana, Julie Callaway of the YMCA of Southern Indiana/Floyd County Branch, Nikki Dillon of the City of Jeffersonville, Shaunna Graf of the Ohio River Greenway Commission, Bill Hanson of the News and Tribune, and Ryan Penrod of the Scott and Washington County Family YMCAs.