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Health and Family Services Cabinet
You are Invited to Plan the Future of Your Community’s Health

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, November 08, 2006  
Contact Information:  Gwenda Bond or Beth Crace, (502) 564-6786  

To continue community collaboration in the effort to fight the state’s obesity problem, the Department for Public Health (DPH) will have a planning session in Shelbyville on Nov. 28.

The session, which is open to the public, will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 28, at the Stratton Community Center, 215 Washington St., Shelbyville.

“Physical inactivity, obesity and chronic disease have become a worldwide plague, particularly among children. Yet we struggle to get people to take an active interest in their health,” said Health and Family Services Secretary Mark D. Birdwhistell. “It is for this reason that we’re seeking residents of the commonwealth to share their personal insights with us and help us address this important issue.”

DPH believes prevention of obesity requires communities to work together to create environments that promote healthy eating and physically active lifestyles. To reach the goals of the state action plan to address the obesity problem, the obesity prevention program staff wants to work with regional communities to coordinate local grassroots efforts.

“Community collaboration is essential as we continue to address the state’s obesity problem,” said Elaine Russell, DPH’s nutrition services coordinator for the obesity prevention program. “It is for this purpose we are requesting the public’s attendance at this session.”

The planning session is designed to build on the widely successful statewide obesity forums and regional meetings. Participants were asked to provide input on how their community was combating obesity and what they would like to see happen in the future.

The Kentucky Nutrition and Physical Activity State Action Plan was developed using a combination of the forum results and the Partnership for a Fit Kentucky’s expertise. The action plan can be found at

During the Shelbyville planning session, participants will be divided into five small groups according to the venues of the state action plan: schools, families and communities, worksites, built (man-made) environment and health care. Each group will choose an objective to work on and begin developing a regional strategic plan. During the small group work, DPH staff members will ask for two volunteers to represent each of the five venues.   

The work of the obesity program also will be an integral part of Governor Ernie Fletcher’s fitness initiative, Get Healthy Kentucky. This program builds on the Get Healthy Kentucky campaign and was designed by Governor Fletcher to educate and inspire Kentuckians to lead healthier, more active lifestyles. It was made possible by legislation passed by 2006 General Assembly and will include, among other things, an interactive Web site where people of all ages can gather useful information about nutrition, physical activity and leading a healthy lifestyle.

Through the re-energized Get Healthy Kentucky effort, all Kentuckians will have a reliable, single source for nutrition, physical activity and tobacco cessation-related tools and information. The program will also include a Governor’s Challenge program to engage individuals, families, business, schools, churches and other organizations to meet individualized physical activity goals and be recognized for the completion.

Participants at the planning session are encouraged to preview the action plan before the workshop. Those who cannot personally attend should send a representative so all stakeholders in building a healthy community will be represented.
RSVP with contact information to or call (502) 564-3827, ext. 3843.


Last Updated 11/8/2006