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Clarksville applauded by Governor Bill Haslam as Healthier Tennessee Community

Posted By Clarksville Online News Staff On Wednesday, March 29, 2017 @ 3:07 pm In News | No Comments

City leads community wide effort to improve health, fitness

City of Clarksville - Clarksville, TNClarksville, TN – Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan and members of Healthy Clarksville were applauded Tuesday morning by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam for making Clarksville a Healthier Tennessee Community.

The Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness hosted a breakfast and awards ceremony at Waller Law in Nashville to honor Clarksville and eight other communities that have earned the designation.

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam presents a plaque to Clarkville Mayor Kim McMillan and members of the Mayor’s Fitness Council/Healthy Clarksville designating Clarksville as a Healthier Tennessee Community.

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam presents a plaque to Clarkville Mayor Kim McMillan and members of the Mayor’s Fitness Council/Healthy Clarksville designating Clarksville as a Healthier Tennessee Community.

The City of Clarksville was credited with leading strong collaborative work to improve the health of local citizens.

These efforts met the goals of the foundation’s Healthier Tennessee Communities initiative, which drives better health by engaging local citizens for more physical activity, healthy eating and tobacco abstinence.

Governor Haslam said he was impressed with the creativity shown by Clarksville and other communities in improving the health of Tennesseans.

“Government is a lot better at fixing potholes than changing people’s hearts,” Haslam said. “So I knew if we were really going to make changes to improve people’s health, those changes would have to come from communities. And that’s the work we celebrate here today.”

Mayor McMillan joined with leaders from the Mayor’s Fitness Council/Healthy Clarksville to accept the award. The group included Takeisha Ivery and Channel Lemon from Clarksville Parks and Recreation; Jennifer Hamilton from the local Health Department; Toshia Lenard from Tennova Healthcare-Clarksville; and Tamera Adjei from UT Extension.

“One of the first things I did when I became mayor was to make a commitment to better health for our citizens and form the Mayors Fitness Council,” McMillan said. “I’m so proud that decision has blossomed into this achievement.”

To earn designation, communities had to organize and establish a wellness council, which locally became known as “Healthy Clarksville,” and develop sustainable health-improvement programs.

“This was a great team effort by the City of Clarksville, our County Health Department, our public schools, Austin Peay State University and UT Extension,” Mayor McMillan said. “This designation shows that our work building a healthier Clarksville is showing strong results.”

Healthy Clarksville, local governments and agencies collaborated on these efforts:

  • The City’s Parks and Recreation Department promoted health and fitness programs and the downtown Farmers Market, where Montgomery County Health Department health educators passed out healthy food samples and recipes.
  • The Health Department introduced its Baby and Me Tobacco Free program and provided statistical analysis of local tobacco cessation programs.
  • Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools encouraged substantial use of GoNoodle, a series of fitness videos for children, in elementary classrooms.
  • APSU interns UT Extension staff helped workplaces and faith communities in Clarksville start wellness programs.

Richard Johnson, Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness CEO, noted that Healthy Clarksville implemented more than 60 wellness programs in Clarksville.

“These nine new Healthier Communities show that we have a lot to be proud of, but we also have a lot more to do,” Johnson told the crowd. In Tennessee, one in five adults smokes, and one in five high school students uses tobacco. Approximately 34 percent of the population is classified as obese, and type-2 diabetes and high blood pressure are at near epidemic levels.

The awards breakfast kicked off Healthier Tennessee Day on the Hill, a chance for community leaders to meet with their elected representatives to highlight the Healthier Tennessee Communities program and the value of effective preventative health initiatives.

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