Partnerships for Healthier Kansas Encourages Health Education
by Jenny Barnes
It is evident that there is an increasing number of overweight and obese people in the United States. The 2005 Kansas Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey showed that 60.7 percent of adult Kansans are overweight or obese. These numbers lead to problems such as hypertension and diabetes. This is setting a trend for young people to follow in those footsteps.
Kansas State University professors Elaine Johannes and Mike Bradshaw, both of Family Studies and Human Services, designed and implemented a project to help combat those rising statistics. "Partnerships for Healthier Kansas: Making Theory-Based Health Promotion Accessible to Community Leaders," utilized training, technical assistance and internal capacitybuilding strategies among extension agents, school teachers and community PRIDE groups.
In her project report, Johannes listed the long-term aims of the project as, "Improve population-based health practices, improve overall health of community residents and build capacity in Kansas communities to collaboratively address social, behavioral, environmental health with quality, relevant, proven and sustained strategies."
The project developed several training modules and also generated six community grants which led to the Get It — Do It projects. Glasco, Kinsley, Melvern, Olsburg, Portis and Stafford designed individual projects for their community. Overall, the projects reached 988 Kansans and generated more money to support the projects.
A member of Glasco PRIDE, Joan Nothern, wrote in her report, "The Get It — Do It concept of each community building its own project to meet its own defined needs conveys a respect that really promotes the will to deliver."
Johannes wrote in her final report, "Partnerships for Healthier Kansas has improved the understanding and application of health promotion theory among community leaders."