Be Well LivINgston
Despite being named one of the healthiest counties by the 2016 Community Health Assessment, Livingston County struggles with high obesity rates. The Be Well in Livingston initiative was incorporated into the Livingston County Community Health Improvement Plan with a focus on obesity prevention among those with low social economic status.
The mission of Be Well LivINgston is to support sustainable healthy lifestyle choices within communities through policy, system, and environmental changes.
The Be Well Committee of the Genesee Valley Health Partnership identified Nunda as a high-need area after statistics revealed that 37% of Keshequa School District students in Nunda are overweight or obese and one in every six Nunda residents is living in poverty.
The committee mobilized Nunda residents and stakeholders in a comprehensive needs assessment to address these public health concerns. The committee collected data and demographics, identified existing health resources, and determined gaps in services. The needs assessment included focus groups, surveys, School Health Index assessment, and the CHANGE assessment. The committee hosted meetings directly in Nunda to allow for wider participation. This enabled those most affected by obesity to be actively involved in the process.
The main objective of the needs assessment was to collect data, statistics, and demographics on the chosen target population and community. The next phase was to identify the needs being met and the existing resources in the community. Lastly, a determination of areas where needs were not being properly addressed and utilization of local resources were implemented.
To further engage the community, the Be Well Steering Committee, which is comprised of Nunda residents, was established to engage the community. The committee continues to utilize evidence-based strategies regarding chronic disease prevention. To create a sustainable systems change and improve the culture of health, Nunda community members continue to work in partnership with community partners to ensure the success of this initiative which emphasizes eating better, moving more and stressing less.
There are currently planned interventions to address the obesity issue in the Greater Nunda Area. In addition to policy changes in the school district and at a local worksite and environmental changes which included the establishment of a historical walking trail, focus group participants identified priorities including community outreach programs, healthier grocery store options, opportunities for physical activity in the village, and better methods to address drug use in the community. These priorities are included in the long-term strategic plan for the Greater Nunda Area. The Chronic Disease Prevention and Management Committee will continue to work with the Be Well Steering Committee and community members of the Greater Nunda Area to develop, implement and evaluate the strategic plan to decrease obesity to achieve health equity.
Livingston County, NY- 2019 AAC Finalist: Presentation
Public Health Director, Livingston County