By Max Hrenda
In lieu of a statewide health care initiative, Carter County Health Department employees took a shot at healthy living … literally.
On Wednesday, the health department kicked off its community health-oriented initiative with a March Madness-themed free-throw contest to promote physical activity.
CCHD Director Caroline Hurt said the contest was designed to help her staff “walk the talk” when talking about healthy activities.
“We tried to cross-cut our employee wellness activities with our primary prevention initiative activities,” Hurt said. “The initiative allows for public health workers to get in front of the community to increase awareness about healthy activities and what the health department does.”
The primary prevention initiative is the brainchild of Dr. John Dreyzehner, Tennessee’s health commissioner. According to Hurt, Dreyzehner’s objective through the initiative is to promote healthy activities throughout Tennessee that would be both cost-effective and practical.
“We’re talking about eating healthy, getting a decent amount of exercise per day, watching our calorie intake, proper hand-washing, and doing those things that your mom taught you to do,” Hurt said.
Hurt said her office will have two main focuses to satisfy the primary prevention initiative: Healthy activity and healthy eating.
The first will be to market Family Fun Fitness Day, an annual health event that will be held at Sycamore Shoals State Park.
“It gets families outdoors, using walking trails, playing volleyball, and using the park to do easy, fun, family-oriented activities that get you moving,” Hurt said. “During the day, Sycamore Shoals gives the public free passes to the swimming pool.”