The Moving Starke County Forward organization met in a public session Thursday afternoon and Coordinator Nancy Dembowski said the focus of the meeting was to examine the issue of health in Starke County.
“The idea was just to examine the issue, which is Starke County ranks 91 out of 92 counties in health issues,” said Dembowski. “We wanted to see if we could find some achievable projects or things that could help begin to address the situation.”
The organization is looking for people and ideas to help many of the ideas that have been researched become reality. Dembowski said 35-40 people attended Thursday’s session.
Adult obesity and smoking were two of the main issues identified and now the organization is going to move forward in putting events in place to target those issues.
“We’re thinking in terms of getting people healthy like walking projects. We could see how many miles people can put together walking as a community and as an entire county,” Dembowski said.
A drug symposium is also being planned for the spring and the organization quickly noted that there is a large issue of drug abuse in Starke County.
“Surprisingly, from the statistics that we have, prescription drug abuse is higher than meth and some of the others, but they are also most certainly a problem. In Starke County with the number of meth operations that had been found and destroyed, we are in the top 10. Population-wise we may be one of the top 10 lowest, and yet here we are in the top 10 as far as meth use,” Dembowski explained.
Programs and events to combat these issues are in the works. If you would like more information or would like to be part of this group, call Sarah Hoshaw at (888) 580-1060 ext. 4752.