Function:  Health education works to encourage healthy lifestyles and wellness through educating individuals and communities about behaviors that promote, maintain and improve health and prevent diseases and other health problems.

Healthy Living:  Eating well balanced nutritious foods, getting regular exercise and managing stress are all necessary components to live a healthier life and reduce or prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.  Please check out the following links for more information on healthy living.

The health department has also been involved with the West Plains Community Garden since it began in 2010.  The community garden offers 4’ X 22’ ground beds and Veg Trugs (garden beds on legs)for individuals to organically garden and grow fresh, healthy produce.  Please check out the West Plains Community Garden Facebook page at:  West Plains Community Garden.

Tobacco:  Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.  On average smokers die 10 years earlier than non-smokers.  Smoking causes heart disease, cancer, stroke and lung diseases.  The Howell County health department offers smoking / tobacco cessation information and resources  free of charge.

If an individual is a Medicaid recipient they can qualify to get nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) such as nicotine patches, medication, gum and other products free for a 12 week period.  Participants will need to get a prescription from their physician for NRT.  Two lifetime quit attempts at 12 weeks each are allowed for an individual on Medicaid.

For other useful links to help individuals quit go to:

For more information and resources for health promotion please contact health educator

Dawn Hicks