CDC Effort Jackson - Lawrence

According to 2012 County Health Rankings, Jackson and Lawrence County had the highest rates of obesity across the state of Indiana (> 40% of the adult population). Obesity is linked to many negative health outcomes like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some cancers. Regular physical activity and healthy eating can help reduce these risks but, citizens of rural areas and from low-income backgrounds are less likely to have access to recreation facilities, fresh and healthy food retail, and active transportation. The seclusion of rural cities and towns can also restrict the reach of health interventions by only meeting the needs of a few residents in particular geographic areas.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) invested in the health of Jackson and Lawrence County citizens by supporting two, homegrown coalitions. Healthy Jackson County (est. 2011) and Live Well Lawrence County, (est. 2012) are community-based coalitions focused on improving the health of their neighbors by increasing healthy food access and consumption, increasing physical activity opportunities, and offering education and promotional support to improve health. By partnering with Purdue University Extension, these coalitions have been positioned to lead sustainable, community-driven efforts that improve health across their counties.


Jackson County selected outcomes and reach included:

  • Seymour: new downtown crosswalks and bike lanes,
  • Brownstown: updated and added crosswalks near the schools and public pool, and other higher pedestrian areas,
  • purchased the comprehensive CATCH health promotion curriculum for after school and preschool nutrition and physical activity programming in Seymour, Brownstown, Medora and Crothersville.  
  • School Wellness Policy Advising: Seymour, Medora, Brownstown, and Crothersville Schools;
  • Gardening projects led at youth clubs
  • Healthy Concession stands implemented in schools and youth sport leagues
  • Healthy Concessions stands implemented at city recreation facilities 
  • Exercise Ideas signage on Refuge Trails
  • Walk your city signage in Downtown Seymour –
  • Improved crosswalks, bike lanes, and new fitness equipment in Seymour 

Lawrence County selected outcomes and reach included:

  • Mitchell passed an active routes to school initiative
  • Bedford passed a complete streets policy
  • School Wellness Policy Support
  • Healthy Concession Stands Established
  • National Walk to School Day
  • Safe routes to school in Mitchell: painted crosswalks with reflective paint,
  • Established the Blue Jacket Trail, 1.1 miles of marked, signed walking trail
  • Online map of trail system
  • Adult outdoor exercise equipment in Mitchell, Judah, Fayetteville, and Springville
  • Installation of bike racks, benches, and active transportation signage on Main Street in Mitchell 


Success Story

Jackson Infographic 2018
Lawrence Infographic 2018
Jackson County Success StoryLawrence County Success Story

 Link to local news articles