Health officials using faith based initiative to improve health - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Health officials using faith based initiative to improve health ranking

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Health officials in Columbus County are trying new ways to grab people's attention and improve the county's health ranking. Health officials in Columbus County are trying new ways to grab people's attention and improve the county's health ranking.

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Health officials in Columbus County are trying new ways to grab people's attention and improve the county's health ranking.

For several years now, Columbus County has been ranked the unhealthiest in the state.

For some people living in Columbus County - church isn't just for worshipping, it's also being used for getting them healthier.

As an employee at Freeman's Grill in Bolton, Barbara Graham gives customers whatever food they order. But when it comes to improving her health, she's mindful of every bite.

"I've been drinking more water. I've probably lost maybe three or four pounds. Not a whole lot. But I have become more aware of what I should be doing," said Graham. 

Graham credits the change to a nurse and health educators who visit her church once a week. It's part of the health department's light program, which is being funded through a grant. 

"It allows people to get screenings to no cost to them. We're getting people in who may not be able to afford it. We are working with over ten churches. So we're really working with a lot of churches. Sometimes it's as many as 20," said Sarah Gray who works in health promotion at the Columbus County Health Department. 

Thursday, workers at the health department will also be airing a commercial on WECT and Fox Wilmington. 

"That was to reach pretty much everyone. In this local area. Just to tell them what we're offering," said Gray. 

This is the second year workers with the health department have had the grant. After this year, they'll have one more year left. They're still trying to figure out what to do with the money in that final year. They do plan to reapply for the grant again. 

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