Health coalition ends year with strategic plan

The Scioto County Health Coalition marked the end of 2015 with the completion of a three year strategic plan.

The plan outlines the priorities of the coalition and desired goals.

According to released information, members of the coalition have been working over the last nine months to compete the plan, with an ultimate goal of improving the health of the county.

The strategic plan states the coalition will continue work thru committees. Committees of the coalition include, wellness, economic development, behavioral health, public relations and organizational development.

The committees will have a direct focus on tobacco reduction, healthy lifestyle behaviors, education, low birth weight/premature birth, years of lost life and premature death.

Some of the ongoing programs of the health coalition include, The Healthy Plate Initiative.

According to Regina Tipton, Scioto County Health Coalition Coordinator, “The Healthy Plate initiative is calling on restaurants in Scioto county to nominate dishes on their menus to determine if they qualify as a healthier option.”

She said once a dish is nominated it will be reviewed by members of the coalition. If chosen stickers can be placed by the item indicating it a healthy option.

Area restaurants that have healthy food options approved by the coalition will be used in promotional material for the coalition.

Over the course of 2015 the coalition designated as a non-profit organization.

“I am proud to announce we are officially a non-profit, we got our designation two weeks ago. Which means I can now apply for grants, I have about six grants on the docket, that are getting ready to go out,” said Regina Tipton, Scioto County Health Coalition Coordinator.

On several occasions in 2015, the coalition and many of its partners offered health screenings throughout Scioto County.

“If you look at trying to impact the community health issues, those health screenings are your first wave of trying to raise awareness. For us it’s a matter of trying to maneuver among the geography of Scioto County,” said Ed Hughes, CEO of Compass Community Health and a leader in the Scioto County Health Coalition.

“I’ve been excited to watch the level of enthusiasm people have had go out and do health screenings, bring that information back and talk about what worked and what did not work.”

He said one of the ideas to reach more people with the screenings is to merge them with other community events such as, basketball games.

One unique aspect of the collation that Hughes and Tipton acknowledged and praised the diversity of its membership.

Tipton said through that diversity the coalition has been able to form partnerships.

Tipton said one of the unique partnerships the coalition has is with the Southern Ohio Port Authority (SOPA).

“With this partnership we can not only work on the physical wellness of our community we can work on the financial and economic growth of Scioto County. They are every much tied together (health and economics),” Tipton said. “The fact that they are at the table collaborating with us and trying to figure out what’s best for the community. That’s something a lot of communities don’t have.”

For more information about the Scioto County Health Coalition call Tipton at 740-353-3025 or visit the coalition on Facebook.

Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT