Chronic Disease Prevention

Chronic diseases and conditions—such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and arthritis—are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems.

Chronic diseases accounted for eight of the ten leading causes of death in Greene County between 2007-2011.1 In an effort to address this issue, the Division of Chronic Disease Prevention was formed in 2012 to prevent and lessen the effects of chronic diseases in our community. Chronic diseases adversely affect quality of life and can lead to premature death. Chronic Disease Prevention statisticsAdditionally, people with chronic diseases must manage the condition daily. Many chronic diseases can be prevented through lifestyle choices like improving diet decisions, exercising more and stopping tobacco use.

Our priority is to address the risk factors of heart disease —it is the number one killer of Americans and the most common disease in our community.

It is our goal is to reduce preventable cardiovascular disease mortality and morbidity through:
  • increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables
  • increasing movement
  • making a plan to quit smoking
  • increasing the use of primary healthcare. 
These are some of the community-wide efforts we are proud to be a part of:
  • Farm 2 Table Cooking Classes – We partner with the Springfield-Urban Agriculture Coalition (SUAC), Springfield-Greene County Park Board and the Springfield-Greene County Library District to provide these classes beginning at 5:30pm on the first Tuesday of the month. Locations are rotated between SUAC school gardens and the Park Board fitness centers. These classes feature healthy cooking demonstrations, tastings and are free to participants. Children are welcome. 
  • DIRT Garden Classes –We partner with the Springfield-Urban Agriculture Coalition (SUAC) to provide garden education for three Springfield Public Schools: Boyd, Pipkin and Delaware on a weekly basis. Each week, approximately 160 students participate in garden chores and care for the vegetable plants.
  • Boys and Girls Clubs – We provide gardening, cooking and healthy living classes to help empower children and their families to make healthy choices. In 2015, over 400 children and adults attended these classes.
  • Springfield Community Gardens – We partner with Springfield Community Gardens to provide technical support, evaluation, and when available, funding to expand and enhance the network of community gardens. Funding is currently provided through the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and is responsible for the development of four new community gardens. 
  • Stock Healthy, Shop Healthy – We partner with the Cash Saver grocery store, located at 2650 W. Kearney, to provide simple and seasonal cooking demonstrations. Funding was made possible by the HEAL (Healthy Eating and Active Living) grant by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. In 2015, 2,369 children and adults participated in these demonstrations.
  • Food Distributions – We work with the Ozarks Food Harvest and Springfield Community Gardens to partner with neighborhoods to bring fresh produce and volunteering to the community. Families who volunteer with Springfield Community Gardens are able to receive fresh produce each week. In 2015, the program has provided 127,503 pounds of produce and 1251.5 volunteer hours. So far the program is offered in the Grant Beach and Weller neighborhoods.
  • Let’s Move! – This national initiative is dedicated to reversing the childhood obesity epidemic within a generation. Health department staff and other local partners are continually working to provide children with a healthier start, empower parents and caregivers, provide healthy food to children and youth, improve access to healthy, affordable foods, and increase physical activity.
  • Playspace Project – Initiated through Let’s Move, we are partnering with the Childhood Obesity Action Group to improve access to playspaces (playgrounds, basketball courts and trails) throughout the community. While we have more than 200 available playspaces, there is still more than 70,000 people in Springfield that don’t have enough access to publically available playspaces.
  • Freedom from Smoking Classes - A registered nurse facilitates this 7-week curriculum developed by the American Lung Association. The curriculum is group-based and covers many aspects of the cessation process including coping skills, proper use of smoking cessation medications, building and maintaining motivation, physical activity, stress and weight management, among others. 
  • Community Health Advocate Program
  • Blood Pressure Screenings - Staff has provided approximately 960 blood pressure screenings at community events, employer health fairs and other events as requested in 2015. Clients without doctors who require follow-up care may choose to be referred to either Jordan Valley Community Health Center or Ozarks Community Hospital. 

  • Food Desert
  • Play Space Assessment

Source: 1 Springfield-Greene County Community Health Assessment, 2014