Since its beginning in 1996, Healthy Adams County (HAC) has worked to bring together stakeholders from across the community and to unite them in efforts to better Adams County.
A high rate of overweight/obesity, a high rate of depression and the need for affordable housing are the top three priorities identified in the 2015 Community Health Needs Assessment for Adams County. These priorities and past priorities from previous assessments guide the work of Healthy Adams County's task forces.
Both Healthy Adams County Coalition and Healthy Community Network have worked with Franklin & Marshall’s Center for Opinion Research to complete health assessments for both York and Adams counties. Work will begin in early 2017 to begin the process for our next assessment slated for release in 2018.
Healthy Adams County accomplishments, Fiscal Year 2015-2016
This committee continues to meet to discuss access in our community. Access to health care, dental care, housing, transportation, behavioral health care are a few of the areas that the committee discusses.
The following is a list of highlights from Healthy Adams County task forces:
Safe Kids Coalition Adams County
Safe Kids Coalition continues to run the Cribs for Kids and the Car Seat Programs for Adams County. Almost 100 car seats and 25 cribs were distributed to qualified families who needed them. Recipients of both were asked to view a short instructional video, received instructions on how to install the car seat or use their crib and were asked to provide a donation towards the cost of the seat or crib. The donation was of their choosing and based on what they felt they could afford. Funds to purchase the car seats and cribs came from a grant from the Gettysburg Hospital Foundation.
Adams County Breast Cancer Coalition
The Adams County Breast Cancer Coalition held the following programs: an educational dinner regarding breast health and a breast cancer survivors program. They also educated the community about free mammogram funds that are available in Adams County and donated funds to support that program.
Adams County Food Policy Council
The Adams County Food Policy Council continued to partner with the Adams County Farmers Market Association to run successful food access outreach programs. The council applied for grants and received donations to support a Double Dollars program for SNAP recipients at the farmers market, a doubling program for Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers for WIC recipients and Seniors, and Healthy Options vouchers (families referred that are living in 160 to 250 percent of poverty receive $45 a month in vouchers to shop at the market). The council also piloted a Healthy Options voucher program at Kennie’s Markets in the winter months so families could purchase fruits and vegetables after the market season ended. Much of the funding for these outreach programs came from grants received from the Gettysburg Hospital Foundation.
The Council also applied for a Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Grant from USDA and were awarded almost $27,000 to provide SNAP recipients a 50 percent match for fruits and vegetables at Kennie’s Markets. Recipients purchasing up to $10 for fruits and vegetables at each visit will only be charged half of the price. Matching funds were provided from local organizations and a WellSpan Community Partnership Grant.
Behavioral Health Task Force
The Behavioral Health Task Force updated and printed its third edition of its Behavioral Health Guide for Adams County. Funds to print the directory came from a grant from the Gettysburg Hospital Foundation.
Children's Health and Nutrition Task Force
The task force began working on the creation of a Healthy Dining Guide for Adams County. Area Restaurants will be surveyed to be included in the guide if they meet the qualifications.
Domestic Violence Task Force
Local law enforcement, Adams County Courts and Victim Services continue to meet to address the local response to domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking through education, policies and enforcement.
End of Life Committee
The End of Life Committee held its third annual “Preparing Through Life for End of Life” interactive resource fair at Gettysburg Presbyterian Church. The committee also updated and reprinted its End of Life Care Information and Resource Booklet and had health care decisions information tables at area organizations.
Health Literacy Task Force
The task force regrouped after taking some time off and is planning a health literacy presentation and setting new goals for the coming year.
Latino Services Task Force
The Latino Services Task Force held a Latino Community Forum in October called “Building a better future for our families”. A total of 47 community members participated. The task force increased its number of active agencies participating by five for a total of 13. Thanks to a grant awarded by AmeriHealth Caritas, the Latino Services Task Force was able to provide Fitbits to ten low income community members and scholarships to participate in a five-week long program to lose weight and become more physical active. The group lost a total of 26 pounds and the average increase on daily steps was 15 percent. Five individuals accomplished the goal of having more than 10,000 steps a day.
Physical Fitness Task Force
The Physical Fitness Task Force organized Walking Parties in the fall and spring. The Healthy Adams Bicycle Pedestrian Action Coalition continued to work on a feasibility study of a grand history trail to come to Gettysburg, and continued to work on an inner-loop bicycle trail in Gettysburg. The task force organized and implemented their first two free 5-K’s and continued with a successful Winter Hikes program.
Tobacco Prevention Task Force
The following are accomplishments for the Tobacco Prevention Task Force: The Teens against Tobacco Program in Adams County has reached more than 72 young kids in Adams County; the Freedom from Smoking Program continues to be available in the community and in 2015 and 2016 we have helped 19 individuals quit tobacco products. This program has also been made available for Spanish speaking community members. The tobacco cessation and prevention programs are available thanks to a grant from the American Lung Association.
Housing Task Force
A Sub-committee of the housing task force worked together to plan a presentation for the Adams County Commissioners Forum on Affordable Housing on May 24th. The presenters at the forum made a case based on data drawn from many sources that housing for working families that are low income is unaffordable. The sub-committee has also held an affordable housing summit. Participants will hear about different models that have been successful in other counties and will decide which of them would be worth pursuing in Adams County to help address the issues.
Oral Health Task Force
The Oral Health Task Force distributed materials for the Zero to Four Campaign to Dental offices, human service organizations, WellSpan OB/GYN and to Gettysburg Pediatrics. Materials were for new parents and pregnant moms relating to how to care for their children’s teeth.
Wellness Arts Committee
The Wellness Arts Committee planned and presented two films with two different partners this past year. The first film was “Raising of America”, a documentary about the importance of early childhood education. It was shown at the Gettysburg Middle School Auditorium in partnership with the Birth to Five Committee in Adams County. The second film was “Beer Runners”, a documentary about the person who started the Fishtown Beer Runners. The movie encourages the social and physical benefits of the Beer Runners Club and the film was shown in partnership with the Gettysburg Beer Runners.
Community Wellness Connections
Community Wellness Connections is a partnership of many different organizations including Healthy Adams County. This year the group moved from planning a month long wellness challenge to developing a two-year wellness campaign focused on the eight dimensions of health. The dimensions include social, emotional, physical, intellectual, financial, spiritual, occupational and environmental. A website, www.adamswellness.org, has been developed and will feature one dimension every three months starting in October. The website will also display local activities for each dimension, encourage each person visiting the site to fill out a pledge form and fill out an event form for each activity they attend. Incentives will be built in for each dimension.