Muskegon County ranks 82nd out of 82 counties in health behaviors and 64th out of 82 in health outcomes in Michigan. A health initiative has been organized to raise their ranks.
It's called 1 in 21.
The goal is to raise the county's health behaviors from last to first by the year 2021.
Linda Jaurez is co-chair of the 1 in 21 campaign and CEO of Hackley Community Care Center. Ken Krause is the director of public health for Muskegon County.
Kruase says the purpose of the initiative is to get the community to commit to changing something in their personal, family, or community life, and move toward healthier habits to create a culture change.
“It’s looking at how do we get people to think of ‘what can you do?’ rather than trying to tell them what to do,” Krause says.
Jaurez says they were able to put together the initiative with little funding.
The campaign has already started some new programs in the county, such as “Bike to Work Week," and had a school participate in an “Eating an Apple” challenge with New Zealand.
The campaign reaches out to those who are health conscious and those who aren’t through health care providers and physicians providing the information to patients about the campaign.
Jaurez and Krause have some advice for all of Michigan on how they can get together to become more health conscious.
“Don’t wait for a big corporation to give money – begin now,” Jaurez said.
*Listen to full interview above.
–Bre'Anna Tinsley, Michgan Radio Newsroom.