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Are we ready to become healthier?

It is basically a case of fully examining the symptoms as a way to best diagnose — and ultimately treat — the proverbial disease.

That is essentially the approach of the upcoming Health and Wellness Summit, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 5, at the Chamber of Commerce office in South Point.

A recent study gave Lawrence County a critical diagnosis when it comes to overall community health factors, ranking dead last among Ohio’s 88 counties in some categories.

Those eye-opening statistics prompted Ohio University Southern professor Dave Lucas to organize an effort to address the issue and make positive changes in our community.

Lucas is seeking health professionals and others who want to make a difference by getting involved and focusing on the most crucial health issues facing Lawrence Countians.

Following a general overview, the remainder of the summit will center on setting up task forces to develop tangible strategies to tackle issues such as obesity, substance abuse, tobacco use and cancer.

Hopefully, this will serve as the first step to addressing some of the bad habits and lifestyle choices that have become ingrained in the southern Ohio culture and ultimately get passed down from generation to generation.

Changes of this magnitude won’t be easy to implement and no “miracle cures” will come out of this forum.

At least Lawrence County has gotten a checkup and is developing a strategy toward a healthy community.