Priorities & Strategies for Service

NUTRITION & FITNESS

Monroe On the Move- A local component of the larger Healthier TN Initiative- We are working in conjunction the Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness, a nonprofit, 501 (c) (3), a corporation dedicated to enabling and encouraging Tennesseans to lead healthier lives. Together with our community partners, businesses and places of worship we are making Monroe County a healthier community by encouraging citizens to eat better, move more and avoid tobacco.

Monroe on the Move-Fitness Classes are free fitness classes offered at five (5) schools within Monroe County and Sweetwater City school system, taught by certified fitness instructors. Classes are either before or after school (depending on the school) and are open to any student in that school. This program impacts up to 400+ students a week.

Monroe In Motion Camp- As a part of the Monroe on the Move program, there are also three (3) weeks of free summer fitness camp in two (2) locations for youth in 2nd-6th grade. Thanks to the summer feeding program all food for the campers is free as well.

Monroe on the Move Fitness Expo- Monroe of the Move is our initiative for the Governor’s Healthier Tennessee project. The emphasis of the annual fitness expo is to highlight and share the health and fitness opportunities and businesses within the county and surrounding areas.

Water Fountains- Monroe County Health Council partnered with the Monroe County Board of Education, with sponsorship from Chota Community Health Services, and provided water bottle refill stations in the schools. 500 water bottles were also distributed to children in need as a result of this partnership.

ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE

Remote Area Medical Clinic- Free, high-quality vision, dental, and medical services are provided to children and individuals who don’t have access or can’t afford a visit to a doctor. Services are provided by local volunteer medical professionals, dentists, dental hygienists, optometrists, and other community members willing to assist with the provision of services. Monroe County Health Council coordinates and ensures this program is made possible, in conjunction with the Remote Area Medical team.

Cancer Fund for Monroe County- Monetary assistance is provided to hundreds of Monroe County residents who are receiving cancer treatments to assist with transportation and other associated expenditures. Funds are given to qualified applicants whose doctors have signed off on their application for assistance, at a maximum of one time per year. The funds for this program are generated through donations, fundraisers, and United Way funds.

Car Seat Programming- Car seats are given to parents and caregivers in need at no cost. This program is in conjunction with the Monroe County Health Department.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ADVOCACY & SUPPORT

Monroe STOPe- A federally funded program that serves victims of domestic violence through court advocacy, crisis counseling, resource accessibility, safety planning, support group, prevention education and partnerships with local victim serving and health care agencies that assist to provide the services necessary for those cases that require specialized intense services.

RAD-Rape Aggression Defense Classes are facilitated to offer women viable options of self-defense with the priority of risk avoidance. There are two certified instructors on the Monroe County Health Council’s staff that provide classes to women and girls of all ages upon request.

Drug Endangered Children Task Force- A coordinated collaborative response team composed of many community agencies who serve children in some capacity including DCS, CASA Monroe, Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, Sweetwater Hospital Association, Monroe County Juvenile Courts, and many others. Meetings are held regularly to discuss the drug trends, available resources for those affected by substance use (directly & indirectly), and community needs.

Education & Support Groups- Quarterly education and awareness programming is made available by VOCA federal funding and is facilitated by the Monroe STOPe Staff. These programs include training opportunities for service agencies and organizations, local and national community awareness campaigns, victims’ rights events, memorial tributes, and school-based programming.

Me & My Guy Dance- This event is one of the quarterly education and awareness programs that has become and event all of it’s own over the years! The dance is for little girls and their Fatherly figures; statistics show girls who have healthy relationships with a positive male role model are less likely to become victims of domestic violence later in life. This semi-formal dance includes a silent auction, professional photography, door-prizes and lifelong memories! A dress closet is made available for girls unable to afford a dress.

Paint the Town Purple- A local component to a national awareness campaign, held every year in the month of October. The goal is to unite service agencies, to encourage and empower victims, to educate and assist survivors, and to inform the local population of the effects of domestic violence and the available resources. Hundreds of purple ribbons are distributed, displays are developed and distributed, media outlets are utilized for messaging, awareness events are held, and presentations are given. 

SUBSTANCE ABUSE & CRIME PREVENTION

Prevention Coalition- Monroe County Prevention and Wellness Coalition originated as the Monroe County Alcohol and Drug Task Force and has since joined the Monroe County Health Council, forming the Prevention Coalition. Although the two coincide on many efforts, the Prevention Coalition meets separate from the Health Council on a monthly basis and is composed of a board of representatives that are individuals from various sectors of our communities and population. Board members assist with the planning and facilitation of coalition efforts to institute community change through strategic planning and the implementation of education and programming. The coalition is part of the Communities Anti-Drug Coalitions of America and has successfully completed the National Coalition Institute Academy.

SADD Clubs- Students Against Destructive Decisions is a nationally known, active organization that equips teenagers across the country with the tools they need to resist temptation as a result of their knowledge and positive peer pressure. Students meet at 6 schools in our county and unite monthly for “County Club” to discuss the issues that need to be addressed. These students are trained locally and on a state & national level, to create evidence based strategic plans for positive change in their communities. Monroe County Health Council sponsors all 6 SADD clubs, has a staff member that meets with the clubs at each school.

Celebrate Recovery- Weekly meetings are held on Monday nights at the First Baptist Church, during which the faith-based program is facilitated by volunteers from all walks of life. The meetings are open to the public, and a small meal is served before the group worship. Small groups conclude the evenings, and healing happens. Celebrate Recovery is a nationally known recovery program, locally known as Celebrate Recovery Community.

Drop Box Campaigns-Rx Drug Abuse-The Prevention Coalition was able to provide drop boxes in the local police departments and sheriff’s department for easy drug disposal. This program encourages individuals to get rid of leftover drugs (or misused prescriptions) by disposing of them properly and anonymously, in turn preventing drugs from being flushed or improperly disposed. At least twice a year, the drugs are collected and incinerated.

Count It. Lock It. Drop It.- A national initiative encouraging individuals to count their prescriptions on weekly basis, keep them locked away at all times, and dispose of any unused medication properly. We promote the initiative locally in conjunction with our Drop Box RX Campaign and national Drug Take Back Days.

Tobacco: Think Twice- A student-led SADD Club program that is a composition of three tobacco cessation and education programs. SADD Club members were educated and trained to provide accurate information about the dangers of tobacco use in all forms. The program is made available in the form of a video and is presented either by the students themselves or a SADD Club facilitator to schools and local youth-serving agencies.

Prevention Points Newsletter-A quarterly newsletter that includes local stories and local students, and is intended to educate caregivers of what’s happening locally, trends (both good and bad), and how to live healthy lives through being active and eating well.

NAS Prevention Programming- The Prevention Coalition has partnerships with the Monroe County Health Department, Sweetwater Hospital Association and other health care agencies who work with at risk mothers and/or dependent infants. This partnership encourages interagency communications and education, ensuring best practices are being implemented across the county for NAS babies.

Rodeo- In partnership with the local H & M Rodeo group, the Monroe County Championship Rodeo is presented as a safe and alternative activity for youth. During this event, SADD Club members distribute tobacco cessation and other educational materials to encourage healthy decision making and abstinence from substance use. 

DIABETES AWARENESS

Dining with Diabetes- Dining with Diabetes is a program designed for people with diabetes and their family members. This is a three-class series that includes learning how to manage diabetes and how to prepare healthy meals that help the diabetic control their blood sugar. Monroe County UT Extension educators deliver the Dining with Diabetes Program in collaboration with Monroe County Health Department professionals. Community awareness about diabetes is increased through media activities conducted by UT Extension educators. These professionals serve as health messengers who promote the educational programs and resources available to diabetics in their communities and disseminate diabetes information to persons with diabetes and their caregivers. All of UT Extension's educational activities support the goals and educational messages of the National Diabetes Education Program, and the American Diabetes Association.