PARKERSBURG - A group met in Parkersburg Monday to review the two-year efforts and results of a community wellness program.
The Center for Disease Control in 2010 awarded a $4.5 million from the Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative through the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department, one of 50 in the country to receive a multimillion-dollar grant to reduce obesity and obesity-related chronic disease.
"The money has been to develop a tool kit to figure out what works in rural communities and how to do it," said Stephanie Frost, part of the initiative and a research instructor at West Virginia University.
Photo by Brett Dunlap
Barbara Fish and Helen Matheny of the West Virginia Healthy Lifestyle Coalition look at some corn in a fresh vegetable display set up in the meat department at the south side Foodland Store.
The initiative was implemented in the health department's six-county region. It is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' program supporting public health efforts to reduce obesity, increase physical activity, improve nutrition and decrease smoking, four critical actions for combating chronic diseases and promoting health.
About 40 officials met Monday in Parkersburg to review programs implemented from the grant, Helen Matheny, chairwoman of the West Virginia Healthy Lifestyles Coalition, said.
"It's an overview of the initiative and to find out what worked and what has been done in the last two years," she said. "We're looking at the best practices to promote a healthy lifestyle."
Frost said officials are also listening to individuals who implemented the policies. The two-year effort was summarized into two categories: food activity environments and physical activity environments.
The group met in the morning at the Blennerhassett Hotel, followed by site visits in the afternoon. Frost said multiple communities from round the country have been asking about the Mid-Ohio Valley and how it implemented the program.
She said it's interesting to see the area drawing the attention for its work.