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Healthier Tennessee Communities Program hosts regional conferences

October 3, 2018

Johnson County represented in Healthier Tn Communities by GoJoCo Committee

Submitted by Jana Jones
Farmers Market Manager

Healthier Tennessee Communities, the grassroots initiative of the Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness, conducted three regional conferences in September for community leaders who are participating in the program. The series began with the East Tennessee conference in Knoxville, followed by one in Arrington in Middle Tennessee, and ended at the University of Tennessee at Martin in Upper West Tennessee. More than 300 community leaders with varied backgrounds in business, education, local and state government, and health care participated in the 2018 conference series. Attendees represented communities that have earned or are working towards “Healthier Tennessee Community” designation and also neighborhoods and college campuses now participating in the program.

“We are grateful for the passion these wonderful, hard-working volunteers have for making their communities healthier,” said Richard Johnson, CEO of the Governor’s Foundation.“Their level of knowledge and diverse backgrounds are invaluable as work is done to engage more citizens locally in the effort to improve the health of Tennesseans.”

The Healthier Tennessee Communities initiative takes a “where we live” approach to improving Tennesseans’ health by engaging citizens and local leaders in cities, towns, counties, neighborhoods and college campuses across the state. The Foundation launched the Healthier Tennessee Communities initiative in March 2015 with nine pilot communities.

Outstanding community programs were invited to speak at the conferences. Johnson County’s own GoJoCo Kids Club was one of the new ideas shared. A GoJoCo Committee member attended the East Tennessee Regional Conference in order to present this successful program in a power point presentation with other communities.

The GoJoCo Kids Club currently takes place at the Johnson County Farmers Market (JCFM) every Saturday morning through the end of October. From 9am until 11:30am, children are invited to make healthy snacks, taught about healthy choices, and participate in an obstacle course race or other exercise activity. Thanks to an award from the Johnson County Community Fund, all participants receive free tokens to spend at the JCFM.

The Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness is a non-profit corporation dedicated to enabling and encouraging Tennesseans to lead healthier lives. Based in Nashville, the Foundation brings together a statewide coalition of employers, health insurers, hospital systems, local governments, school systems and healthcare-focused foundations and community organizations to effect positive, measurable change.

The Foundation’s Healthier Tennessee initiative strives to increase the number of Tennesseans who are physically active for at least 30 minutes five times a week, promote a healthy diet, and reduce the number of people who use tobacco. The Foundation launched the Healthier Tennessee Communities initiative in March 2015 with nine pilot communities. Today, more than 90 communities, neighborhoods, and college campuses are participating in the program, and 58 are currently designated. More information about the program, including a list of participating cities and counties and access to other Healthier Tennessee resources, is available at healthierTN.com