Sometimes bad news can produce good things.
Each year, among the 2009-2011 County Health Rankings reports, the nine counties that make up the Southeast Kansas region ranked near the bottom in terms of overall health.
The most serious health challenges each county faces are common across this area, suggesting that a regional approach to addressing these issues could have a larger and more sustainable impact than a single-county approach.
So health-minded leaders in these nine counties – Allen, Bourbon, Cherokee, Crawford, Labette, Montgomery, Neosho, Wilson, and Woodson – decided to take action and form the Southeast Kansas Regional Health Coalition.
The regional effort is comprised of multiple components, including the Community Guide mini-grants and the SEK Meltdown. The Community Guide mini-grants, funded by National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), were created and distributed to 6 SEK counties in 2011 to help them create evidence-based projects to improve healthy eating and active living among residents. Examples of projects include:
The SEK Meltdown, a much larger, six-week challenge designed to improve the health and well-being of Southeast Kansas residents, dovetailed with the mini-grants. Thrive Southeast Kansas and the Southeast Kansas Regional Health Coalition share ownership of the project which, in 2011, resulted in XX pounds lost among XX people in the region.
If you’re interested in joining the Meltdown, feel free to check out our calendar to the right! You can also navigate to the Meltdown’s page using the link on the right-hand side of the blue rail at the top of the page.