Written by Toby Teeter, President at Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce
Our community is facing a health crisis. Joplin has the dubious distinction of being the “least healthy community” in Missouri. Compared to both state and national averages, Joplin has higher rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, and mental health issues.
Our unhealthy workforce is a competitive disadvantage for Joplin businesses. Insurance premiums are higher, productivity is lower, and an unhealthy Joplin makes it harder to attract and maintain talent as young professionals pour into communities that value health, wellness, and active lifestyles.
This is a call to action. The One Joplin & Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce Community Health & Wellness work group is tasked with educating, organizing, and deploying the business community into collaborative initiatives with the purpose of permanently improving health and wellness within our business community and the Joplin community at large. You can join this work group at http://joplincc.com/workgroups. Also, we encourage employers to establish a workplace wellness program that encourages physical activity and offers better nutritional options, smoking/tobacco cessation resources, and mental health education. WorkWell Missouri: A Toolkit for Worksite Wellness provides employers with professional training, needs assessments, and the sharing of best practices.
Together, we can make a healthier Joplin.