LiveWell Johnson County is an initiative of the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment. A grant from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment supports this and several projects like it across the state. The purpose is to implement population-level strategies to prevent obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke among Johnson County adults.

The vision and funding for initiatives like these in Kansas and across the country originate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the LiveWell work falls under the CDC’s State and Local Public Health Actions to Prevent Obesity, Diabetes, and Heart Disease and Stroke (DP14-1422PPHF14). The ultimate goal is to encourage local communities to approach chronic disease prevention from two directions: first, to reshape systems and environments so that healthy choices are easy choices for individuals and, second, to support health systems work in preventing chronic disease, rather than just treating it. The funding specifically requires local entities to focus on 15 grant strategies to meet these goals.

Although Johnson County ranks first among the Kansas counties in the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute’s County Health Rankings, adults in the county still struggle with chronic disease. According to the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment’s 2015 Community Health Assessment, nearly 60 percent of adults are overweight or obese and 35 percent have been told by a health professional that they have high blood pressure. Additionally, about one-quarter of adults in Johnson County report not getting any exercise or eating enough servings of fruits and vegetables. These risk factors can contribute to developing chronic diseases.

Well over half a million people call Johnson County home. In order to make a difference in the health of Kansas, Johnson County’s systems and citizens must do their part to live healthier lives and prevent chronic diseases. Join us and LiveWell!