In 2019, a community collaboration including Purdue Extension, Lincolnland Economic Development Corp. (LEDC), LifeSpring Health System, Spencer County Health Department, Tobacco Free – Spencer County, Spencer County Substance Abuse Council, United Way of Southwestern Indiana, Spencer County Community Foundation, Crisis Connection, Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center and Spencer County MINDS, formed to complete the Indiana Healthy Community assessment through the Wellness Council of Indiana. After evaluation of the assessment and development of community action plans, it was determined that many groups were doing great things for the county but it was difficult for the groups to communicate their work and to collaborate with other groups to increase their collective impact.
After several discussions with current coalitions and nonprofits working on health related issues, it was determined that the Spencer County Health Coalition (SCHC) would be formed. SCHC exists to support our County’s plan to expand and sustain a culture of wellness. The primary directive of the group is to promote overall wellness and to address any related needs of the community so that services and resources are available for every person who lives, works, or visits in Spencer County. The group is being spearheaded by a four-member leadership team who has been working behind the scenes to facilitate the coordination of the SCHC and bring the idea to life.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SCHC held their first meeting in May via Zoom with 43 participants in attendance. The SCHC continues to meet every other month using a virtual platform, finding that the participation is good and virtual meetings are convenient for members. Currently the SCHC has three workgroups focusing on Nutrition and Physical Activity, Behavioral Health & Substance Abuse, and Workplace Wellness initiatives, but as the group evolves it is expected that additional health related issues will rise and be included.