Healthy Children Event

Educating Local Kids in Hopes of Changing Community’s Obesity Problem

What started as an idea to stop the growing rate of obesity and health problems among Ross County residents became a reality at this year's Ross County Fair. A Healthy Children event was held to draw families in to share valuable information about how eating right, drinking more water and exercising – or playing outside for 60 minutes a day - can lead to a more healthy life for the children in our community.

The idea came about several months ago when Adena CEO and President Mark Shuter, Chief Compliance Officer Pat Roam, and Chillicothe Gazette General Manager and Managing Editor Mike Throne were discussing recent data that showed Ross County ranks 83rd among Ohio’s 88 counties for poor health.  The group felt that as the community’s major health care provider, and as a major local news and information outlet, it was a great fit in spreading the word about making better choices. The Ross County YMCA was also brought to the table, and the idea flourished into a great event.

About 50 kids and their parents, grandparents and relatives gathered for the hour-long event that was held at the Ross County Fairgrounds’ band stand.  Throne served as emcee for the event, which featured a lively Zumba demonstration from Jeanne Meyer of the YMCA, who showed the crowd that exercise could be fun.

Adena Dieticians Jill Hopkins and Angela Migyanko shared information with the crowd about the Family Fit Program, co-sponsored by Adena and the YMCA.  Their exhibition included a fun round of tag that kept the kids running.  The kids were having so much fun chasing one another that they didn’t even realize they were getting exercise!  The dieticians proved that the combination of a healthy diet and moving your body can lead to a more healthy life.

The headliner was local chiropractor Brandon Hanes and his sidekick “Hans,” aka Zane Trace High School Principal Todd Holdren.  Together, they held the kids (and parents) attention for about a ½ hour, motivating them to be their best.  “Here in Ross County, we have the best teachers, best schools, best parks and the best Fair. Why aren’t we the healthiest county in our state?” Hanes asked.  “We are not average people, and we shouldn’t settle for below average health.”

Adena’s Community Health Department provided water bottles that remind the kids to “Drink More Water, Eat More Fruits and Vegetables, and Play for 60 Minutes Every Day.”  The goodie bags provided by the Gazette and Hanes nonprofit group Health Start for Kids, were distributed by Chief Medical Officer John Fortney, Roam and other Adena employees.  In addition to the water bottle, the back pack style bags also included a fresh apple from Hirsch’s Fruit Farm and information about Family Fit, Bullying and other health related issues of interest to children and their parents.