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Coalition of area agencies to look at wellness of entire county

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By The Staff

    SHEPHERDSVILLE - He knows it will work. And he knows there are so many agencies that are already doing great work that a collaboration of all the forces would make incredible strides in providing a better quality of life in Bullitt County.

    Dr. Swannie Jett, executive director of the Bullitt County Public Health Department, believes that a countywide health and wellness coalition is needed. And he believes there will be funding from the federal government to make some great things happen.

    After receiving some good marks from the University of Wisconsin’s recent County Health Rankings, Jett said that was just another indicator that good things are happening locally.

    He also knew that in Jefferson County, millions of dollars were secured for a coalition headed by the health department for a variety of wellness programs.

    On Thursday, the health department will host its first meeting from partners in the coalition.

    One area of concern in the recent health rankings was the low marks for physical environment. Jett said the partners in the coalition would be asked to come together to offer solutions.

    “We need to assess the needs of the community,” said Jett, who added a current project is being spearheaded by the health department to answer some vital questions.

    Jett said the county needs more walking trails, bike trails, sidewalks, Farmer’s Markets and other programs to fight obesity.

    During the recent discussions between the YMCA and county government over the future management of the parks and recreation department, Jett has made several appearances.

    The discussion has been that an overall look was needed to the public health and wellness system in Bullitt County.

    The swimming pools are important, according to Jett, as they provide another form of physical exercise.

    He added there needed to be more entrepreneurs in Bullitt County looking to bring their energy and ideas to the community.

There needs to be efforts to make sure the Center for Women and Families is provided the support required to operate in the community and to provide abused spouses with the proper protection.

    “These issues are everybody’s issues,” said Jett.

    “We must get the key partners involved,” said Jett. “Everybody has to be involved.”

    The current MAPP needs assessment project is underway but Jett said more input from the community.

    “We have to show the need before we can apply for the money,” said Jett.

    Instead of looking at individual agencies, Jett said the county must look at public health and wellness from a much larger picture.

    “This is something that involves all of us,” said Jett.

    Anyone wishing to learn more about the community health coalition, contact Jett at the health department (543-2415).