Larry D. Jones, MPH

Independence health director

To the editor:

This past week the Independence Health Department hosted several events promoting National Public Health Week. It had a great turnout, and we wanted to thank the residents who participated. I am writing to encourage citizens to continue participating in activities that promote health and well-being for themselves and the community. Even though National Public Health Week is over, healthy living doesn’t have to stop.

Monday, the Independence Health Department hosted a gardening class. Gardening has many mental and physical health benefits. Check out the community and school gardens throughout Independence or plant in your own backyard to reap the benefits of gardening.

Tuesday, community members toured the public health emergency response trailer. The Health Department is doing all it can to be prepared for health disasters, but emergency preparedness is just as important at home. Put together an emergency kit, create a crisis communication plan, designate an emergency meeting place, hold household emergency drills and learn about disaster alerts that can be received on cell phones.

Wednesday, a mile was walked on a trail near the Health Department. Every Wednesday, May 7 through October, Health Department staff and community members walk at different parks and trails around the community as part of The Mile Starts Here walking program. Download the Get Healthy Independence App to see all the parks, trails and walking routes in Independence. Another chance to be physically active is the free Independence Park Trot 5K on Saturday, May 3.

Thursday, a healthy food demonstration was held at an Independence healthy corner store. Two more events like this are coming up in the future continuing to promote the healthy corner stores in Independence. Watch for upcoming information for those.

Through efforts like this, along with individual goals and accomplishments, we can make Independence the healthiest it can be.