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PHOTO:  The number of community health groups is expanding in Kentucky as a push for collaboration is emphasized.  Photo courtesy of Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.
PHOTO: The number of community health groups is expanding in Kentucky as a push for collaboration is emphasized. Photo courtesy of Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.
October 28, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. - You surely know the proverb that starts, "It takes a village ..."

When it comes to making Kentucky a healthier place, more community groups are joining forces to tackle the myriad of challenges. A statewide directory of local groups working on health issues has grown from 150 to 208 in a year's time. The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky compiles that data, and according to Susan Zepeda, the foundation's president and CEO, that shows community spirit at work.

"Whatever it is that's brought them together, it's that shared concern and that desire to make their community better that's really the driving force."

Zepeda said the foundation is using the directory to "lift up" the work of the various health coalitions and to foster collaboration among the groups.

Williamstown mayor Rick Skinner, who chairs Fitness for Life Around Grant County, said sharing ideas with other groups improves his organization's mission of helping people live healthier lives.

"Talking among the different coalitions and what works and what doesn't work and success stories and what they're doing; it makes it so much easier than trying to reinvent the wheel," Skinner declared.

Zepeda said the health coalitions are working on a variety of issues.

"They may be concerned about obesity and healthy food and physical activity," she said. "They may be concerned about asthma and air quality, maybe concerned about smoking and not wanting young people to get started smoking."

The directory shows that there is now at least one community health group in each of the state's 120 counties, something that wasn't the case last year.

You can access the directory by going to the foundation's website at Healthy-KY.org.



Greg Stotelmyer , Public News Service - KY