Live Better Live Longer Will Soon Close Their Doors
After serving over 1,000 families with help from over 7,000 volunteers, the Live Better Live Longer Group is coming to a close, as CHI-St. Gabriel’s Health can no longer fund the initiative.
“We mutually came to the agreement and realization that it was going to be very hard for us to sustain this organization on its own,” said Kate Bjorge, the Live Better Live Longer Community Outreach Director.
The organization could only be described as a blessing.
“That ability to be working out in the community working with little kids through seniors through adults, it has been a lot of fun and very rewarding,” said Mary Kenna, the Live Better Live Longer Program Coordinator.
And this was after the health movement started nearly 10 years ago.
“The mission was brought forth to our hospital to be a part of where we took health beyond the four walls, brought it out in the community where health totally needs to be,” said Linda Johnson, the Volunteer Services/Lifeline Manager.
Back then, the county health rankings were released for the first time.
“Morrison County fell at number 80 out of 85 counties in terms of their health outcomes, which was really grim,” Bjorge said.
But after the passionate community pulled together, the county is now ranked 29 in the state.
“Just eating a little better, eating some more plants, taking more steps, building a little more physical activity into your life, and then there is this whole social connection piece,” Bjorge said.
Even though the organization is coming to a close, the hope is that the community will keep its legacy alive.
“There is some concern about how that is going to happen,” Kenna said. “We don’t really know, Kate and I don’t know, but we really believe the community has embraced and made some of that culture change to look at health being inclusive.”
It’s a trend that Morrison County plans to keep alive well into the future, even though the organization will cease to exist on June 29, 2018.