‘Jefferson Joins’ focus for County Health Council
By: Gayle Page – Staff Writer / THE STANDARD BANNER
Updated: January 24, 2017
Painting and redecorating has been going on at the University of Tennessee Extension office in Dandridge. The community room looks far more spacious with its new facelift. That’s where the Jefferson County Health Council held its meeting last Tuesday, beginning with a hearty lunch provided by Sarah Vaden and the folks from UT-Jefferson County Extension office.
Most of the meeting’s focus was on “Jefferson Joins” and that group’s plans for activities and initiatives supporting the Healthier Tennessee movement.
Health Council Chair Debra Shultz announced that a meet and greet reception is planned for people interested in participating in Jefferson Joins sometime in March. The event takes place at the Shepherd Inn in Dandridge, graciously offered as a venue by Health Council member Karen Everett. Various grants and other incentives are available to groups that promote the program.
Health Council members were encouraged to advocate for Jefferson Joins at their churches and non-denominational faith-based organizations. Stacy Baugues, the Healthier Tennessee representative, reminded everyone that this movement includes people from all walks of life all across Tennessee coming together to improve community health.
Baugues, a health educator, is a regional director for the Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness. She encouraged people to “like” Jefferson Joins on Facebook to be eligible to win a $5000 grant for the group. Also, individuals who “share” it may win $250 and a healthy lunch.
Sherrie Montgomery brought people attending the meeting up-to-date on what is happening at the Tennessee Health Department. She said the process has begun for building electronic medical records at the department. Tennessee’s Health Department is pioneering this big change.
Electronic health records make it possible for health care providers to better manage patient care through secure use and sharing of health information.
Even though there has been some progress in THD’s smoking cessation initiative, and $91,560 of the tobacco settlement money has been already been received, more funding may soon be forthcoming. The main focus will be on youth, as well as preventing babies from breathing second-hand smoke and preventing young people from becoming smokers.
Preventing tobacco use is a main parameter for Rescue 180, led by Debra and Keith Shultz, along with stopping drug use. Also a focus is “Count it, Lock it, Drop it.”
Debra handed out medication counting sheets so people could keep up with the number of prescription pills they have taken and the number that should be left in the bottle. She recommends prescriptions be counted, then locked in a safe place. When a person is through using a medication, it should be dropped off at a designated disposal point, which she said includes most police departments in the county.
Lois Symington passed out a flyer on the Health Council’s Senior Food Program. The flyer encouraged donations from local churches and individuals to participate in the 2017 program. Those who would like to help out with providing fresh produce for the county’s elderly population can make a gift payable to the Jefferson County Health Council, designating the Senior Food Program. Health Council is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization.
Members of Health Council who also attend all Jefferson Joins meetings, adopted a logo at the December meeting.
A Jefferson Joins meeting followed the close of Health Council’s January meeting.