Throughout Redwood County, there are a number of organizations whose work is focused on the overall health and well-being of the people who live there. Those organizations often work in their own silos doing their tasks not even realizing there are others who are doing the same thing.

If only there were a way for those groups to get together to work in concert on common themes, goals and action items.

That way does exist in a new program called LiveWell. 

Those who are involved with its development represent a variety of entities who are focused on building healthy communities across Redwood County.

According to Michelle Salfer of Southwest Health and Human Services (SWHHS), the Minnesota Department of Health requires SWHHS to conduct a community health assessment every five years.

While it is not required, Carris Health, which took over the hospital in Redwood Falls this year, is also focused on conducting an assessment that looks at the overall health of the community.

What is being done through LiveWell is to take that assessment to the next level.

Stacey Heiling of Carris Health - Redwood said what makes LiveWell different is that will take the data that is being gathered on a regular basis and develop action items based on that data that can help too make an impact on Redwood County.

The LiveWell core team, which also includes Kara Siegfried of the Lower Sioux Community, Marie Meyers of SWHHS and Maydra Maas, a citizen at large, took a look at the needs of the area and compiled a list of action items that it began to prioritize. A list of 20 items became 10, with the intent of finding a couple of those items to work on in the near future.

To determine which of those items are the priority, the LiveWell group conducted two community conversations – one in Redwood Falls and another in Walnut Grove – to receive input from the citizens of Redwood County about those areas that are most important to address.

Those who attended one of the meetings were provided some perspective about the make-up of the county in terms of demographics and trends as a way for them to see what is going on and how that impacts the priorities being addressed.

The core group will now take the input it received and come up with a plan.

Others who are interested in joining the LiveWell group are encouraged to contact Salfer via e-mail at michelle.salfer@swmhhs.com.