Representatives from Public Health Solutions visited the Fairbury City Council recently to provide an update on the programs the organization offers to promote health in Fairbury.
Jennifer Hansen, of Public Health Solutions, explained their goal is to promote health and wellness in the communities they serve.
“Prevent, promote and protect is kind of our motto,” said Hansen. “We do that through assessment, development of policies and providing assurance that we have a competent workforce and programming.”
Sharon Leners, of Public Health Solutions, provided an overview of some of the programs offered in Fairbury. She began with a program designed to limit the spread of influenza.
“There are a number of programs that we provide,” said Leners. “One of them is the School Kids Immunization Program, or SKIP Flu program. It’s a very important immunization program that we provide in a school setting. It makes it easier to access that flu vaccine, and by doing that it has been shown that the more children that are immunized, it gives your community a lower rate of overall flu. We try to encourage parents to get their kids immunized while they’re at school.”
Leners explained that Public Health Solutions is also partnering with Jefferson Community Health & Life to offer the successful Smart Moves program, a program made that helps reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes through promoting healthy choices.
“One of the current programs that we’ve been working on here is the Smart Moves program, which benefits a lot of people,” Leners said. “It’s a national diabetes prevention program and Jefferson Community Health & Life has led that program here in Fairbury. Gage and Jefferson County have been the leaders in that program, which is exciting. The goal of that program is a five percent weight loss to reduce the chance of people becoming a Type 2 Diabetic. If we intervene and make lifestyle changes soon enough, the results can be positive. That’s a huge program that we’ve been working on in your area.”
Another issue that Public Health Solutions has partnered with Jefferson Community Health & Life, as well as other community organizations, is promoting walkability in the community.
“We’ve been working on the Walkable Communities Initiative, bringing the entire community together and figuring out ways to overcome barriers to making the community more walkable,” said Hansen. “You guys are doing great things here with the community members and working on the sidewalks here. We’re going to be partnering with the hospital to map out some routes to see if we can get additional routes in the community where people can easily go on a safe walk.”