Be on the lookout
Following are health practices we care about. Do you see them occurring?
• Is each child you know getting at least 30 minutes of vigorous activity each day? Are you? (Vigorous activity is a fast walk.)
• Do people you know know that losing weight begins with reduction in calorie intake, not exercise?
• Do parents know the difference between good stress and bad stress, and practice it?
• Is your child living LIVE54218 each day: 5 fruits or veggies, 4 bottles of water, 2 hours max of screen time, 1 hour of exercise, and 8 hours of sleep?
• Are children you know tending to a vegetable garden?
• Are vending machines void of unhealthy foods?
• Are only healthy foods served at meetings?
• Does your organization have group walking competitions?
• Do your friends know their body mass index, and work on improving it?
Partnership brings attention to goals
In February 2012, the 240 attendees at the two-day Brown County 20/20 Envisioning the Future conference generated goals for the community to achieve by the end of the decade.
The visions are grouped around education, overcoming division, economic development, personal and community health and self-sufficiency.
This year, a similar number of people are involved in task forces working to translate the goals into measurable actions. Press-Gazette Media will publish their summary reports through the end of 2013.
A complete look at the ongoing effort is available at bayareacommunitycouncil.org.
Our charge in Brown County 20/20 is across a broad range of personal and community health objectives.
While we worry often about dealing with the consequences of bad practices (high and frequent medical expenses, mental health counseling, and alcohol-related abuse), we also need to develop practices that avoid these results and their associated anxiety and expenses. Those are the healthy lifestyles that keep them from even occurring.
There are many models for doing what is right, and our community eventually needs to get energized behind one.
Our most active current emphases:
• Shortfall in mental health counseling for children: Manitowoc and Appleton already have initiatives to deal with this. Estimates are that only 40 percent of Green Bay children who need counseling due to emotional abuse and other limiting factors are getting the outside counseling they need. This is a massive inadvertent reduction in children’s capabilities that will continue into their teenage and adult lives if not fixed both through counseling and education of parents. Accordingly, we are big supporters of the Community Partnership With Children, which provides parenting guidance to at-risk parents from birth through age 4, but which is only 40 percent funded so is providing parenting guidance for only 40 percent of those identified with the need.
Teachers are well-aware of this need. School systems contacted each identified 15 to 20 students who currently need extensive help, if not removal from mainstream classrooms, and up to 40 percent of all children are disruptive to classroom decorum and learning to some degree.
• Affordable Care Act requirements: To get more people covered by health insurance with easier access to a health system, we are developing non-political informational materials explaining why and how a person needs to purchase insurance, presumably via the exchange by March 31 in order to avoid the penalty.
• Personal fitness: We understand that the best way to energize people to engage in healthy habits, including exercise and good eating, is via participation in groups. We have established a Facebook group where people are encouraged to share effective techniques. We hope to grow it considerably. The address: facebook.com/groups/319222108201026. We need more participants in charge of coordinating their organization’s wellness activities. Please consider signing up.
More important is the development of fitness groups within work organizations, which can support each other’s participation. We know that socialization of fitness via groups attracts and involves those with the greatest need, who have the greatest opportunity to extensively reduce medical expenditures. The emphasis on fitness leads automatically to good wellness practices such as eating the right foods in the right amounts, and doing both aerobic and strength exercises.
Several of our members are following a major community wellness development initiative called Blue Zones (bluezones.com), which has energized communities in Minnesota and California, is now in four in Iowa, and soon will be in Texas and Hawaii. They’ve also completed integrating their concepts into a company environment, a Minneapolis service company.
Phil Hauck chairs three TEC CEO Groups in Northeast Wisconsin, and is chair of the Bay Area Community Council Personal and Community Health Issue Group.