By Andra Bryan Stefanoni
NEVADA, Mo. —
Residents of Nevada will be asked today to pledge to become part of a healthier community as a citywide wellness initiative gets under way.
Earlier this year, Cerner Corp., a Kansas City-based provider of electronic medical systems selected Nevada to partner on building a new model of health. The project seeks to enhance the health of individuals and empower health professionals, while reducing the overall amount spent on health and care.
The goal, says program coordinator Katie Cox, is to increase Vernon County’s ranking by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation from the bottom third to the top third of Missouri counties.
Today, the Healthy Nevada kickoff event will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Walton Park.
“The main event of the day will be the pledge walk around Walton Park,” Cox said. “After all, we have to be accountable for our health, and it is something that is personal, so we are aiming to make it that way.”
The walk, which begins at 11:10 a.m., will be followed by a canvas signing, where participants will be asked to pledge to be a part of a healthier Nevada. Beginning at 11:30, residents may participate in a wellness fair, family and kids activities, and see appearances from KC Wolf and the Kansas City Chiefs cheerleaders.
In recent weeks, Healthy Nevada has been reaching out to local schools, the community and employers as part of the citywide initiative, Cox said.
On Oct. 1, Nevada Regional Medical Center began a 15-week weight loss program run through Cerner Health Wins. Hospital employees are on teams of two to four participants who encourage each other to adopt healthy habits through selecting nutritious foods and exercise. Participants will weigh in at a kiosk three times to manage their progress, with the competition ending on Jan. 11.
STAT!, a 10-day online health program, is accessible to high school classrooms in order to expose students to how current lifestyle choices affect their future health.
Healthy Nevada also is working with the PedNet Coalition, an advocate for better trails for walking, biking and wheeling, and other forms of non-motorized transportation. The group plans to develop a bicycle and pedestrian master plan and focus on efforts to increase healthy food consumption by assessing availability and affordability, among other things.
Today’s event is free and open to the public. No registration is necessary.