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Healthy Communities Grant

North Central District Health Department

Wellness Connection

The community of O’Neill lies prominently in the north-central region of Nebraska and sits almost directly in the center of Holt County. The 3,300 people that live here come from many backgrounds and values and have settled into life here throughout many generations. Beginning through humble means in farming and ranching reminiscent of the climate and active culture of Ireland, this community has grown to support the skills and growth of the people living here today. Like many communities, the people of O’Neill have evolved from a life of physical labor to that of a more sedentary lifestyle of service and technology. Almost 80% of the people living here drive themselves to where they work, which on average takes fourteen minutes, while the remainder of people work at home. This is a community of very few walkable areas, with two major highways crossing through the center of town where most business is located and then again crossing through the west section of the community. People drive their children to school, drive to work, and drive to go have lunch, drive back to work, drive to pick up their children from school, and then drive home.

With a larger percent of the population in the work force, this leaves less time at home to be active with children and prepare nutritious meals. Convenience foods have become the norm within the workplace and at home. The Wellness Connection project will begin as a pilot project for worksite wellness designed to connect, or reconnect, our working people with the knowledge and skills to live a healthy, balanced life. The Wellness Connection project will pilot in North Central District Health Department (NCDHD), along with an additional business based in the community of O’Neill, to bring a comprehensive worksite wellness process to the working people of O’Neill. Wellness Connection is designed to decrease the risk factors of chronic disease (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer) by improving the health of community members and creating a healthy work environment provided through worksite wellness.

For more information, contact the NAFH staff at (402) 471-2101.

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