County support sought for health summit

Published 12:40 am Sunday, August 30, 2015

A health summit is planned by the Lawrence County Health and Wellness Initiative and its organizers want some money from the county.

About three years ago the initiative was started by Dr. Dave Lucas, Ohio University Southern professor, after Lawrence County was ranked as the unhealthiest county in the state.

“There are ups and downs of the Health and Wellness Initiative,” Lucas told the Lawrence County Commissioners at its Thursday meeting. “We were at the bottom of the list. It was our determination to move up one, which we did, but fell back down.”

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Among the factors holding Lawrence County down are a high use of tobacco and legal and illegal drugs.

“None of these are easy fixes,” Lucas said. “We are in the middle of the pipeline for drugs from Detroit.”

The goal of the summit is to increase awareness for exercising and eating healthy.

“We need to bring this awareness to the county,” he said. “We continue to plug along.”

The initiative operates on a $2,000 a year budget. Commission president Les Boggs said he would support a donation from the county. No action was taken.

“Are we making progress? Yes,” Lucas said. “Are we there yet? No.”