Healthy Lifestyles

Develop and maintain healthy lifestyles

The Healthy Lifestyles Action Team works to increase the appropriate utilization of professional health care services through self-care education and support, especially related to healthy choices regarding nutrition and physical activity. The Healthy Lifestyles Action team is currently focused in four areas: Nutrition, Physical Activity, Tobacco Awareness & Community Health.



  • LOCAL FOOD STUDY for Bartholomew & Jackson Counties:  Using proceeds donated by Cummins, Inc. from the Cummins Marathon in 2013, Ken Meter, a consultant with Crossroads Resource Center in Minneapolis, completed a local food study of Bartholomew and Jackson Counties.  Meter also conducted a study of the state of Indiana’s food economy. His study indicates that if the region’s residents purchase $5 worth of food every week directly from the famers In Bartholomew and Jackson Counties, about $31 million of new farm income would be generated for our area. “A food system should build health, wealth, connection and capacity in a community,” Meter says.  The next step is to create asset maps of both counties to determine existing food resources and where there are gaps.
  • COMMUNITY PROGRAMMING ON NUTRITION:  The nutrition programming Includes cooking demonstrations, presentations, nutrition education in conjunction with our community partners, Purdue Extension, Food Co-op, Farmers Market. 



  • SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL (SRTS)Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs use a comprehensive approach to make school routes safe for children to walk and bicycle. The Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation (BCSC) Transportation Department, community leaders, and parents are working on improving routes and encouraging more children to walk and bike safely at the schools in our community. One element of this work included the development of the BCSC Safe Routes to School Plan.
  • THE COLUMBUS BIKE CO-OP:  The Columbus Bike Co-op is a not-for-profit community bike garage that is open to the public. Located in the basement of the United Way building (1531 13th St., Columbus, IN), the Co-op exists to provide a space for community members to learn about, repair, maintain, and adopt bicycles. Volunteer based, we are always seeking eager learners who want to help out.  Classes, tools, parts, bikes, and work space are available for free or very little cost. Bike aficionado volunteers with knowledge of bike mechanics, bike safety, various types of riding, and local routes and trails are available to help you during open hours. To see a short video abou the Bike Co-op, click here.
  • ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION OUTREACH TEAM:  The Active Transportation Outreach Team is focused on creatively engaging community members to promote and encourage the use of alternative transportation. Currently, habit leads us to utilize our automobile for the majority of our trips.  Our task is to shift the culture towards the consideration of active transportation for a portion of those trips. This will help create a more vibrant community full of healthy streets filled with happy and healthy people. The team is focused on two goals; (1) Increase non-motorized trips and the percentage of residents and visitors who choose non-motorized modes of transportation for work and school commutes, social and recreational trips. (2) Raise awareness of and encourage respect for the rights and responsibilities of all motorized and non-motorized transportation users through creative uses of education and outreach.
  • KIDS ON THE MOVE:  In December 2007 the kidscommons Children's Museum opened their "Kids on the Move" healthy lifestyles exhibit. The exhibit includes basketball, dance, biking, tug of war, jump rope, and space to learn games that can be played at home and outdoors.



  • TOBACCO AWARENESS ACTIVITIES IN SCHOOLS:  Tobacco use remains the single-most preventable cause of death in our society. Cigarette smoking is responsible for nearly one in five deaths in the United States. The Tobacco Awareness Action Team, a dedicated group of community volunteers, has initiated several programs since its inception in 1996 to reduce the use of tobacco products in Bartholomew County, especially among children.
  • SMOKE-FREE WORKPLACE:  Columbus businesses are now largely smoke-free as a result of the team's work. The Tobacco Awareness Action Team has worked with local government and employers to ensure cessation classes and information on quitting smoking is widely available and supported by the community. The team has also worked as a resource for other communities in their efforts to implement smoke-free workplaces and community spaces.  Beginning June 1, 2013 nearly all public places in Columbus, including bars/taverns and private clubs, will be smoke-free. The Tobacco Awareness Action Team is always working towards strengthen the laws that protect workers from the dangers of secondhand smoke.
  • ADULT SMOKING CESSATION:  The Tobacco Awareness Action team supports and promotes the Indiana Tobacco Quitline for adult cessation. The Indiana Tobacco Quitline is available to help. This FREE telephone-based resource is available to all Hoosiers 18 years and older. Simply call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or 1-800-784-8669 from 8 a.m. to 3a.m., 7 days a week or visit the Quit Now Website for more information.  When you call the Indiana Tobacco Quitline, you will talk with a trained Quit Coach who can help develop a customized quitting plan. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW to free yourself of tobacco.



  • HEALTHY HABITS FOR A HEALTHY COMMUNITY:  The Healthy Lifestyles Action Team has helped hundreds of Bartholomew County residents lose weight through various lifestyle challenges. Bartholomew County on the Move, Families on the Move, and the Mill Race Race events help the community take action to implement new healthy habits into their life.  The Kenko Challenge is our newest healthy lifestyle team based challenge.  For 8 weeks, teams of 2-7 members complete healthy habit tasks to improve their lifestyle.  Challenge runs January 13, 2015-March 10, 2015.  Visit to register
  • FAMILIES ON THE MOVE PROGRAM:  Sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics, this session of Families on the Move offers a free opportunity to learn about ways to get your family active.Sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics, this session of Families on the Move offers a free opportunity to learn about ways to get your family active.Sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics, this session of Families on the Move offers a free opportunity to learn about ways to get your family active.  Reach Healthy Communities is sponsoring FREE educational sessions called Families on the Move. The sessions will help families think of ways to increase their activity level and improve meal choices.  The sessions are provided by a grant that was received from the American Academy of Pediatrics through its Community Access to Child Health.  Childhood obesity is a public health concern and it takes the commitment of an entire family to successfully combat childhood obesity. 
  • SCHOOL HEALTH INDEX:  The Healthy Lifestyles Action Team has worked with several elementary schools to complete the School Health Index assessment and action planning. These sessions involve teachers, staff, administrators, parents, and children at the schools. They provide an opportunity for the entire school to identify strengths, areas for improvement, and strategies to implement and measure school health in areas of nutrition, physical activity, safety, and the school environment. Schools that complete the School Health Index receive small grants from Healthy Communities to assist with implementing action items identified during the process.



  • Brian Niedbalski, M.D., Chair
  • Kristopher Abney
  • Harriet Armstrong
  • Chris Beach
  • Carolyn Behrman
  • Amparo Caudell
  • Kate Conner
  • Harry Cooper
  • Kim Coy
  • SaraBeth Drybread
  • Cindy Felsten
  • Larry Fisher
  • Dawn Gale
  • Laura Garrett
  • Laura Grana
  • Tara Hagan
  • Jennifer Hartwell, MD
  • Zach Holt
  • Barb Hull
  • Loren Hurst
  • Vanessa Keener
  • Elizabeth Kestler
  • Tina Latta
  • Molly Marshall
  • Caroline Martinez
  • Katrina McGillivary, MD
  • Nancy Millspaugh
  • Beth Morris
  • Jennifer Nulph
  • Karen O'Brien
  • Alise Pate
  • Carmen Parker
  • Larry Perkinson
  • Debra Richard
  • Jen Shaver
  • Rich Stenner
  • Dana Stidham
  • David Stidham
  • Tom Talbert
  • Sheila Taulman
  • Annie Tennis
  • Kelli Thompson
  • Amanda Virostko
  • Peggy Voelz
  • Patti Wade
  • Jeremy Wells
  • Maria Westbrook
  • April Williams
  • Carla Wolff
  • Stephanie Womack
  • Greg Wright


Healthy Tools

Body Mass Index (BMI) Calculator

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) Calculator

Fruit & Vegetable Calculator



  • Bartholomew County Walking Route Booklet
    The Walking Maps of Bartholomew County booklet contains 30 walking routes throughout Bartholomew County. Whether you work downtown and have 30 minutes to get exercise at lunch, want to get in your own exercise while your child is at soccer practice or would like to try a new route one evening, this booklet is for you! Printed books are available at the Columbus Visitors Center and the Healthy Communities Office. Email Laura at if you would like a higher resolution digital copy.

  • Healthy Me Catering Guide
    Are you ordering food for people and looking for the healthy options in Columbus? Take a look!

Contact Us!

Here are some ways you can REACH us.

(812) 376 - 5452


2400 E. 17th Street
Columbus, IN 47201


Help us change lives all over southern Indiana.