Allegan County Health Department, MI
People with disabilities and disabled elder citizens of Allegan County face many obstacles in obtaining appropriate wellness education with an integrated approach to health. These obstacles include inadequate education of trainers, negative attitudes toward the disabled, self-limiting behaviors influenced by the environment, lack of knowledge and availability of effective health promotion activities, and inadequate avenues for personal empowerment. The Allegan County Health Department (ACHD) lacks funding to create the essential elements for healthy lifestyles for this population.
For its curriculum, ACHD selected the Healthy Lifestyles program from the Oregon Health and Science University, Center on Community Accessibility. With funding from NACCHO, ACHD is creating healthy lifestyle trainers and workshops to serve people with disabilities and disabled elder citizens of Allegan County and surrounding areas. With the network of new trainers, ACHD's health education and health promotion section coordinates seminars and monthly support groups throughout the county.
The mission of this project is to improve the health and wellness of people with disabilities through health promotion, collaborative research, dissemination, and policy development activities that address health disparities and secondary conditions.
The goal of this project is to develop integrated health promotion programs for people with disabilities and to empower them to have self-determined healthy lifestyles.
This project will address the following areas of essential services for local health departments:
Technical Assistance Project:
NACCHO is currently offering technical assistance support to local health departments to improve their capacity to develop or enhance health promotion programs for people living with disabilities through coordination of existing health department and community services.
Allegan County Health Department is providing technical assistance to Madison County-London City Health District, OH. For more information, visit: Madison County-London City Health District.
For more information about Allegan County, please contact:
Kathy Yonkers-Wright, RDH, MS
Health Education and Health Promotion Section
Allegan County Health Department
Tel: (269) 686-4523
The Allegan County Health Department trained 18 trainers in the Healthy Lifestyles curriculum. These trainers are conducting Healthy Lifestyles workshops and ongoing support meetings for older adults and people with disabilities in Allegan County. The Partnership for a Healthy Allegan County developed a task force to guide curriculum implementation, revision, and adaptation, while exploring additional funding and collaboration opportunities for 2008.