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Thomas County Coalition

Thomas County Healthy Living (TCHL) seeks to improve the health of Thomas County residents by adopting policies that promote safe streets designed with pedestrians in mind; improve healthy food and beverage offerings for schools, workplaces and public facilities; and educates community members about the County’s goal to be the “healthiest county in Kansas.”

The coalition planned to do this using key strategies:

  • Assure adoption and implementation of three policies recommended in Colby’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities Plan. These recommendations are:
  1. Adopt a Complete Streets policy for new and future development
  2. Change Section 1, Subsection 3 of the current subdivision regulations to require developers to construct multi-use paths versus sidewalks when developing adjacent to a proposed multi-use path location, and
  3. Adopt a three-foot clear distance ordinance to protect cyclists.
  • Improve food/beverage environments for children in childcare and public/private schools by introducing three types of policies supporting food skills development and access to healthy food that could be considered for adoption. These policies are:
  1. School gardens that produce food for use in childcare and school food programs,
  2. Farm-to-childcare/school procurement policies and activities that incorporate fresh, local produce into childcare settings and school cafeterias, and
  3. Nutrition standards for food outside of school nutrition programs for classroom parties, celebrations, field trips, concessions, school fundraisers and faculty meetings.
  • Improve food/beverage environments at public venues in Thomas County through policies requiring that healthy foods/beverages are provided in publicly-supported vending machines, concessions and facilities.
  • Improve comprehensive worksite wellness policies addressing physical activity and healthy eating in the public and private employment sectors in Thomas County.
  • Develop and implement a communications plan that builds awareness of/support for TCC’s policy priorities and increases messaging about PSE improvements in the TCHL Project.

The TCHL project provides champions with a variety of supports and assistance that are customized to the needs they have determined and activities they are implementing to meet those needs. For example, when the TCEWC wanted to ask the Thomas County Commission to consider installing water bottle coolers in County worksites, the TCHL project developed a short survey and compiled the data to establish the need and desire of County employees to have bottled water dispensers. TCHL staff also researched and provided the language for the healthy vending policy TCEWC presented to the Commission. In the case of private small businesses, TCHL project contacted the “wellness coordinators” and provided infused water and healthy snack suggestions and recipes that they could consider providing for their employees and customers. Our job is make sure that champions are empowered and prepared to educate and advocate for policy, system and environmental changes.

Check out the resources below and visit the Thomas County Coalition website to learn more about their work!

Learn more about our impact:

Success story: April 2017                                Success story: October 2016                       Fact sheet: April 2016

ks                                         thomas-county-ss-2                                         thomas county fact sheet pic

In the News:

Coalition Members
Thomas County Coalition
Thomas County Health Department
Thomas County Extension
Citizens Medical Center & Foundation
Colby Free Press
Pioneer Memorial Library
Colby Public Schools
Kids Port Childcare
Keesa Photography
Colby / Thomas County Chamber of Commerce
Thomas County Economic Development
Thomas County Community Foundation
NW KS Juvenile Services
Active Transportation Group