The Work Begins For A Healthy City - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

01/18/08 - Nacogdoches

The Work Begins For A Healthy City

by Donna McCollum 

Volunteers serving on the Heart and Stroke Healthy City coalition care about the wellness of their community. They're finding ways to help Nacogdoches residents live healthier lifestyles and not be subjected to an unhealthy environment. Coordinator, Kinnie Parker said, " It's a process that we have to go through and it's change that we're making for the future."

The focus is on four areas. A smoke free environment, physical activity, healthy food options and cardio vascular disease and stroke disparities. Parker warned,  " It's not going to happen over night. "

In some areas, Nacogdoches is well ahead in meeting Heart and Stroke Healthy City criteria. Physical education is fortunate in that many of the resources are in place. The leader is assistant police chief Mike Kelly. He's led similar active initiatives with children. Will adults be much different? Kelly said,  " Most adults are aware of what they need to be doing to stay physically fit and physically active, so it's more than just awareness . It's actually getting people out, getting to do something that they probably already know that they need to be doing. " 

The smoke free initiative is requiring lots of research, negotiation and cooperation. The city of Austin achieved the elimination of second hand smoke. Hearings are scheduled for a smoke free ordinances in Tyler. Can Nacogdoches achieve the goal as well? chair, Dr. DawnElla Rust said,  " I know where I stand as far as smoke free, but as a coalition where a group of people that represents the city of Nacogdoches, (we must ask) what does the city of Nacogdoches want as far as a smoke free ordinance."

The Texas Council on Cardio Vascular Disease and Stroke encourages communities to take ownership of their health. The process begins with eliminating health risks and adopting healthy lifestyles.

Promoters of the 'Heart and Stroke Healthy City' are already on the speakers circuit. The next opportunity to learn more about the initiative is next Friday at the Nacogdoches Chamber luncheon. The event is held at the Fredonia Hotel at noon.

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