AP NEWS

Local coalition working to create healthier community

May 25, 2019

Local Coalition Working to Create a Healthier Community

The Platte County Lifestyle Coalition (PCLC) is a grassroots effort to create a culture of health in our community. It encourages people to move more, eat healthier and get proper rest so they can live their healthiest lives.

You may have heard about one or two of the coalition’s efforts. For example, the coalition recently organized a Walk to Jerusalem event with nine local churches and Youth and Families for Christ. It was an imaginary walk from Columbus, Nebraska to Jerusalem, Israel that took place over 12 weeks. The 1,000 participants walked more than 219,000 miles. That’s enough to make 14.5 round trips from Columbus to Jerusalem.

Another recent coalition effort was inspired by a community member whose children attend St. Isidore School. With permission from the school principal, the community member started an after-school running club in the fall for fifth and sixth graders. It was so successful that she plans to coordinate it again this fall. She will also train two more local schools on how to operate similar running clubs that are supported by volunteers like herself.

A third coalition effort is bringing the Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP) to a local business. CHIP is a 12-week intensive lifestyle enrichment program – offered through Columbus Community Hospital – which is designed to reduce disease risk factors through better health and eating habits.

These are just a few of the exciting programs and events the PCLC has brought to our community. But the coalition is always looking to do more as it works to build a healthier future for Columbus.

What does a healthier Columbus look like? That’s yet to be determined. Maybe it will be more community gardens, group walking initiatives, increased employer involvement in worksite wellness or increased brain breaks in schools.

By joining the coalition, you can help shape the future of our community. The coalition meets on the second Friday of each month from 7-8 a.m. The next meeting will be held June 14 in the Columbus Wellness Center’s multipurpose room at 3912 38th St.

Consider this an open invitation to join us at the coalition table. You may be wondering what you have to offer and to that I would say “more than you think!” Ideas such as the running club started as just that – an idea – and grew into reality. All of this happened because one person had the courage to come to the table and suggest something that could improve the health of our community. We encourage you to do the same.

For more information on the coalition or how to join, contact Roberta Miksch at rhmiksch@columbushosp.org. Additional information on the coalition will be shared in a monthly article, such as this one, written by a PCLC member.

The PCLC has received valuable technical assistance and guidance from the Rural Futures Institute and the University of Nebraska.

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press.All rights reserved.