New group plans new 'get healthy' initiative
By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on August 26, 2013 1:46 PM
Go, Wayne, Go.
Part cheer, part mantra, the grassroots initiative is designed to get county residents moving toward a healthier lifestyle.
And it only takes a few minor changes, Wayne County Health Director Davin Madden said.
"We talked about moving the needle in Wayne County," he said. "This is a marathon. This is not a sprint."
Madden is a member of the Healthy Wayne Taskforce, established to develop a common agenda and to plan mutually supported activities for healthier outcomes. The group is comprised of representation from the Health Department, Wayne County Public Schools, Wayne Memorial Hospital, United Way, YMCA, the city of Goldsboro and Parks and Recreation, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Cooperative Extension, Goldsboro Pediatrics, WISH school-based health centers, Chamber of Commerce and WATCH.
But the community is not left out, Madden said.
Theirs are the glaring statistics that prompted the group to launch the effort, and residents will serve as the guiding force to keep it going.
"Seventy-two percent of our adult population is overweight or obese," the health director said. "I think we're tied for 13th place in inactivity. More than 32 percent of adults 20 and older are inactive or don't exercise.
"That's not good for Wayne County. We're better than that."
He compared an inactive local community to a rocking horse -- "It moves a lot, doesn't get anywhere."
"We want to be showing results," he said.
Within the coming weeks, the group is planning to announce a "large-scale social change model" aimed at getting those results.
"There are five parts of a successful collective impact," he said. "First, we have got to have a common agenda, how we're going to measure outcomes. Then, reinforce activities, have continuous communication and establish a backbone organization."
At the outset, GOWAYNEGO will focus on physical activity, targeting the sedentary.
"It's not about short-term success; it's about multiple changes," Madden said.
He suggested that if every resident in Wayne County lost 10 pounds, that could quickly add up to a million pounds -- touted as a goal the group hopes to promote in the coming year.
A Facebook page has already been set up for Go Wayne Go and a website is set to launch Sept. 1, www.GOWAYNEGO.org, with information, resources and a chance to take the pledge to participate in the endeavor.
The group is also developing a brand and logo and T-shirts bearing the memorable "5-3-2-1-0" reminder.
The numbers represent daily goals -- five fruits and vegetables, three balanced meals, two hours of TV/electronics maximum, one hour of exercise and zero sugary drinks.