City puts blueprint in action

Published 12:02 am Friday, May 15, 2015

By Mary Kathryn Carpenter

NATCHEZ — The Clinton Health Matters Initiative Natchez and Adams County Blueprint for Action was released Thursday.

During a luncheon at the Natchez Convention Center, Humana representative Gillian Sealy opened festivities with words of encouragement for the county.

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“Adams County, this is your day,” Sealy said. “This is the day the work begins.”

The work, as outlined by the blueprint, is going to take some time and effort.

Mayor Butch Brown followed Sealy with a call to action, urging the plan be followed through.

“Please keep the interest level high in this initiative,” Brown said. “Please let’s not let it wane and slow down. We have been building a base for this initiative. Now it’s time for us to implement the plan.”

Several members of Humana, who is funding the health initiative in Adams County, CHMI representatives and local health success stories, spoke at the luncheon.

Bobby Turner, owner of Natchez Total Fitness, shared his journey to health. Turner lost more than 200 pounds.

“Had I stayed on my path, going the direction I was going, I would be on a scooter today,” Turner said. “How do you tell (your kids) not to eat a donut when I’m eating a dozen?”

Shortly after Turner concluded his testimony, Natchez-Adams County Regional Director for CHMI Getty Israel explained the first step in implementing the health initiative.

Israel said one of the goals for the program is to have one health coach at each church and worksite trained in group exercise, biometric screening and nutrition.

The goal of the coaches, Israel said, is to identify people with pre-diabetes and pre-heart disease and then to get those people the help and information they need to become healthy.

Israel said she is also looking for people to help her create a committee to help organize and implement the 27 goals outlined in the Blueprint for Action.

“Each of these goals represent a project,” Israel said. “I need people who really care about this community. I need people who really care about this community. We don’t have an infrastructure here. We have to build it, people.”