April 4, 2012—April 1 marked the beginning of National County Government Month, a time for Boone County to highlight county government programs and services for its residents and employees. This year’s theme, announced by the National Association of Counties, is “Healthy Counties, Healthy Families.”
Traditionally, National County Government Month is an opportunity to reach out to the communities in Boone County and share the work and successes of county government. With this year’s theme, Boone County is taking a different approach. In addition to reaching out to the public, Boone County government is also reaching in to its employees to start a wellness movement from within. Long has it been said that, for a true change to be sustainable, it must be embraced and committed to by leadership. Within Boone County Government, this means that for the staff to be successful in striving toward wellness, there must be commitment and dedication from supervisors, department heads and elected officials. But within Boone County as a whole, this means that there must be a commitment from the elected officials and everyone representing County Government. So, we are starting from within.
To kickoff National County Government Month and the Boone County Wellness Initiative, Boone County employees were invited to participate in the “30 Miles in 30 Days” challenge. Additionally, opportunities to attend educational lunches are available to employees throughout the month with presentations by local experts on topics such as nutrition, exercise and mental health. Boone County is also a proud supporter of the Columbia Slimdown Challenge powered by the Tiger Institute and is encouraging employees to band together and join the challenge. Employees will receive a monthly wellness newsletter with helpful websites; research findings; smart phone app reviews; a preview of healthy activities coming up in Boone County; tips on wellness specific to men, women and children; spotlights on employees striving for wellness; new exercises to try and tried-and-true healthy recipes.
Reaching out to Boone County is not falling by the wayside, though. Throughout the month, Boone County government will be striving to educate Boone County residents on the health resources available to them. Upcoming topics include Smart 911, the NACo Prescription Discount Card and services offered by the Columbia/Boone County Health Department. Boone County elected officials will also be going back to basics by reaching out to Boone County Schools to teach students about the responsibilities of county government. Schools in Boone County will have the opportunity for an elected official to speak to classes and introduce students to “Counties Work!”, an interactive online game geared toward 6th-12th graders that shows the complex and interesting world of county government.
On Thursday, March 29, 2012, County Commissioners signed an official proclamation naming April 2012 National County Government Month, “Healthy Counties, Healthy Families”.