Health and Wellness Strategic Action Team



Chair: Jennifer Richardson, Athens Neighborhood Health Center Director of Marketing & Outreach

Staff facilitator: Tim Johnson, FC-CIS executive director

Contact: 706-369-9732,,

Meeting schedule: Fourth Wednesday each month, Clarke County Health Department

Description: Public agencies, private entities, neighborhood leaders, and others work together to promote wellness and achieve better health outcomes (physical and emotional) for children and youth in Athens related. We review data, identify gaps, research

best practices, develop and implement plans to address identified needs and initiate/expand best practices, leverage resources, and integrate services across systems so that children and youth have access and support for improved wellness.

Outcome goals: Reduce teen pregnancy, improve nutrition, increase physical activity, enroll children & youth in health insurance (including Medicaid and PeachCare), decrease use of alcohol and other drugs by youth, promote mindfulness and emotional health.

Examples of accomplishments: Annual conference (now called Youth HealthFest) for children, youth, and parents. Comprehensive sex education in Clarke County School District, two Teen Matters health clinics operated by Health Department, nearly 100% wellness checks for babies and young children in Early Head/Head Start and Healthy Families programs, dramatic increase in health insurance enrollment (Medicaid, PeachCare, Exchange), healthier foods in schools, new summer lunch sites & participation, mobile summer lunch bus, expanded nutrition classes (including Neighborhood Leaders teaching SNAP-Ed), scores of Community Health Partners (peer health educators) trained by Athens Health Network, mindfulness taught at Barrow Elementary School, 68% reduction in teen pregnancy.

Examples of new/developing initiatives: Continuation/expansion of the above, including teen pregnancy prevention, nutrition outreach, increased physical activity, and increased access to health insurance. Establish Food Policy Council or Farm to School Coalition to better integrate efforts. Increase access to (and reduce stigma of using) mental health services. Expand social/emotional wellness. Increase screening in early years to provide most effective interventions. Address PTSD for children, youth, and families. Utilize Neighborhood Leaders to connect families to needed and available services. Increase participation in summer programs. Partner with UGA’s obesity prevention initiative with a focus on community-based supports to prevent childhood obesity. Establish Freggie program (being developed by Dr. Cari Cartwright at UGA). Increase nutrition education and access to fresh fruits and vegetables in early learning programs and the community at large. Continue to develop and expand Health Brains initiative to prevent underage drinking and promote positive social norms. Expand Safe Routes to School to more schools.


Examples of solutions for needs as identified by the SAT and the current status of the solution

 Solutions                                                                           Current Status of the Solution

Take 10 Physically Active Classrooms Health District funded for CCSD classrooms. In place. National awards
Active Afterschool Being done in some schools by College of Education Kinesiology, limited
Comprehensive teen pregnancy prevention Comprehensive sex education in schools. Teen Matters clinics operating near both large high schools provide birth control & other services. How to Talk to Your Child About Sex programs for parents from Public Health
Healthcare System Navigation Athens Health Network has trained Community Health Partners (including some of our Neighborhood Leaders) who are working in the community.
Additional school-based nurses CCSD provides school nurses but more are needed
Expand mental health services in high schools College of Ed, Family Solutions and others at some schools, but much more need than service.
Fresh local produce – increase access and availability School gardens at all schools. Bishop Park Farmers Market has expanded. Athens Land Trust Market Garden, including Farmers Market. Both Farmers Markets provide doubling of SNAP. Clarke Middle program with Americorps engages students in the garden and in summer chef program. CCSD has expanded use of Georgia-grown produce.
WIC Clinic (Clarke County Health Dept) One clinic in operation, though underutilized
Children’s Medical Service Asthma Clinic Implemented, not well known 
Nutrition education Nutrition classes are held throughout the community the Cooperative Extension Service SNAP-Ed program (which employs three of our Neighborhood Leaders to present the classes). Three partners provide summer health camp. Schools increasing nutrition and other health education.
Athens Youth Leadership Academy Athens Neighborhood Health Center provides each summer.
Food Policy Council In initial discussion stage.
Implement Student Wellness Plan CCSD implementing
Prime for Life Family Counseling Service provides for those who can pay, but not widely available 
Athens Youth HealthFest Annual conference, this year’s is scheduled for Saturday, March 28.
Underage Drinking Prevention CCSD implementing through grant-funded Healthy Brain project
Safe Routes to School BikeAthens & CCSD doing at some schools
Expand participation in school breakfast program Has increased, but currently 40% District-wide (lunch is 82%). Low 30s in high school
Expand enrollment in summer lunch program (currently 20% of students who get school lunches) Worked with Grady College to develop and implement outreach strategy. Engaged with state-wide task force to expand participation and integrate learning. Mobile lunches delivered on school buses start summer 2015. New summer lunch sites will include Athens-Clarke County Library.
Enrollment in health insurance, including Medicaid, PeachCare, and through Exchange School District program enrolls in Medicaid & PeachCare. Athens Neighborhood Health Center assists with Exchange as well as Medicaid and PeachCare.
Help students, parents, and professionals address stress Mindfulness classes and other stress reduction. Samaritan providing for Clarke Middle School teachers.
Reduce childhood obesity Extension, ARMC, UGA/CCSD and others (including above) are engaged.
Promote Athens Health Network AHN continues but is not staffed.
Community Health Assessment Community Connection, Athens Health Network, and Athens Area Community Foundation are partnering with the two local hospitals to do community health assessment


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