By: By Wayne Allen
July 27, 2013
PDT Staff Writer
There is no doubt that Scioto County is in need of some assistance when it comes to improving existing health factors. Being ranked the unhealthiest county in the state of Ohio comes with its own set of unique challenges and opportunities.
The 2013 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, A Healthier Nation, County by County, ranks Scioto County as Ohio’s unhealthiest county.
The annual report, released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, examines every county in the United States and ranks them on a state level based on health outcomes and factors.
According to Lisa Roberts, Public Health Nurse with the Portsmouth City Health Department, Scioto County was ranked in 2011 as the eighth unhealthiest in the United States.
One of the many groups that working to help Scioto County’s health rankings improve is the Scioto County Health Coalition and its many partners.
In an effort to inform, the coalition has released a calendar of events highlighting some of the healthy activities going on in and around the community.
One of the weekly events on the calendar is the Main Street Portsmouth Farmer’s Market that takes place each Saturday through October at 9 a.m. on the Roy Rogers Esplanade in Portsmouth.
Another upcoming event happens Monday, July 29 at 6 p.m. when Southern Ohio Medical Center will be hosting free Smoking Cessation Classes.
Also on Monday an event called Motivational Mondays will take place at the Spartan Municipal Stadium from 6 p.m. - 7 p.m.
On Wednesday, July 31 several events have been scheduled including a Miles & Munchies at Alexandria Point Park in Portsmouth starting at 6 p.m.
From 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. at the Southern Ohio Medical Center Life Center there will be a Youth Swim Team Informational Meeting.
According to Wendi Waugh, Director of Cancer Services and Community Health and Wellness, the youth swim team information meeting is, “Really going to be an organizational meeting in which parents can find out more information about what’s in store.”
She said the coach for the swim team will be Ashley Hetman.
According to an informational flyer about the event, “The swim team coach and key developers will be present to explain program structure, answer questions and discuss next steps.”
Waugh said that Southern Ohio Medical Center has donated the use of the Life Center pool for the team to use for practices.
“This is another event to get people active within the community. We know the same thing does not work for everyone, so we are trying to do lots of different things,” Waugh said.
Waugh said SOMC is also preparing for its second annual triathlon.
“On Aug. 24 we will have a kids triathlon, with the adult triathlon on Aug. 25,” Waugh said. “We are really excited about these events, we’re already got kids and adults registered and people have already started training for that.”
Waugh said last year there was an 87-year-old woman that competed and finished in the event.
“As long as you can ride a bike, walk in the pool and walk a 5k, you can complete this bucket list item,” Waugh said. “The triathlon is challenging but is achievable.”
She said another upcoming event is the annual Run For You Life event is schedule Aug. 31.
“The whole idea behind these events is for fitness not to be a one time event, so that it’s something you start to work toward,” Waugh said.
For more information about the Scioto County Health Coalition visit, sciotohealth.org.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.