Southwest Georgia public health workers are practicing what they preach.
Aukena Parker, SW Georgia District Dental Director, says, "We want to start by making ourselves healthy and energetic so that we can spread this same energy and enthusiasm. If we look healthy then we can share that with the community. As public health providers we feel it's very important to start with us."
The yearlong wellness campaign focuses on four areas to improve health: stress reduction, physical activity, proper nutrition and not smoking.
Sandra Clift with the women's health program says, "We all know that those things are very important, but it's difficult to have the discipline to take care of that, so we're banding together all 400-plus of us to give each other support."
Organizers say that promoting health starts with the employees who can then set an example and share information with people in the SW Georgia area.
Jacqueline Grant, Director of the SW Georgia Public Health District, says, "The three top killers, causes of pre-mature death in the SW Georgia area are heart disease, cancer and respiratory illness."
Grant says the Hooked on Health Campaign will target those areas and get people active and healthy starting from within and then spreading that knowledge throughout the community.
The Southwest Georgia Public Health workers will challenge themselves year round and at the end the person with the most improved lifestyle will be rewarded.