A healthy community does not develop overnight or materialize because of the actions of a single person. It takes time and effort from many different sectors within the community, as well as the community itself.
At the Jackson County Health Department we strive to understand the needs of those we work for. We work to improve access to health care, control infectious disease, lower environmental threats, prepare for emergencies, provide access to records and information, and promote a healthy lifestyle for the citizens of Jackson County.
The Jackson County Health Department provides a variety of services.
We participate in statewide programs such as Show Me Healthy Women and Adult Head & Traumatic Brain Injury. Show Me Healthy Women provides services such as cancer screenings, while the TBI program assists individuals who are living with traumatic brain injuries.
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Our department also provides clinical services ranging from testing and screenings to immunization clinics. We continuously evaluate and develop our plans to make sure we can respond to public health emergencies in a timely manner to keep the community healthy and safe. We promote other programs like Baby and Me Tobacco Free, Stock Healthy Shop Healthy, and Worksite Wellness to establish healthy lifestyles. However, these services are only a piece of what it takes to maintain a healthy community.
A healthy community needs to have a strong local support system. This is why groups such as the Lee’s Summit Health Education Advisory Board are critical for the community.
They understand what the health concerns and needs are for the area. In turn they can communicate that to the Health Department, which can provide you with the necessary services and information. Establishing strong lines of communication and partnerships helps develop a culture of health.
Local support also comes in the form of Fire, Police, and Parks and Recreation departments, among others. These local members provide a base for a healthy community, but it doesn’t stop there.
The last few pieces that make a community healthy include your neighbors, family, and you. The importance of knowing how we impact one another is critical to the creation and maintenance of a culture of health. We have to create that sense of ownership; finding the importance in going for a walk in your neighborhood and giving a simple smile or wave to the neighbors.
We need to foster an appreciation for family adventure to the park or lake, or reinforce family connection with a simple game night. We have to recognize even the little things we can do to make our community and ourselves healthier.