In January of 2020, Connections IN Health began the county engagement project. Grant County was the first to see the benefits of the engagement. Grant County was chosen by the Connections IN Health team because of the pressing health issues present in the community as well as the existing coalitions, partnerships and interest in improving health outcomes.
Diabetes and obesity were identified as two of the main health challenges that the community wanted to address. As a way to combat those challenges, a mobile kitchen was set up to help the people in the community learn how to eat healthier through cooking classes and also as a resource to loan families cooking equipment. Social media promotion, personal contacts with members of the community, and a team for task force activities were also set up to better the knowledge of the community and strengthen the communication between families and community leaders.
All of these efforts were part of a plan put together by the Cardiovascular and Diabetes Coalition of Indiana (CADI) a Connections IN Health initiative, and Grant County community leaders. They established goals and set the plan in place to help create a healthier community.
“Grant County has many amazing community organizations and community leaders,” stated Pam Leslie, a parish nurse coordinator in Grant County. “Connections IN Health did great work learning about and hearing from our residents. They created an atmosphere of genuine interest with a desire to expand and grow our community collaboration and communication. We have been thankful for the insights and challenges presented by them.”
Connections IN Health and Grant County’s collaborative efforts will continue with more health-related plans for the future. One larger community challenge the group has begun to address is the lack of community communication which results in residents not having the resources they need to live healthy lives. The community has adopted Charity Tracker to assist in organizational communication and hyper-resourcing those they work with. This is currently in a pilot phase and will be available to organizations that serve Grant County residents in early 2023.
We will be sharing stories of other county engagement efforts in the next few months. Click here to view the first story about the county engagement project.