Community Health "#1 for Life”

Hartsville/Trousdale County, Tennessee
Trousdale County6

Trousdale County is located along the Cumberland River in Northern Middle Tennessee and adjoins the Nashville MSA region. Its county seat is Hartsville with which it shares a consolidated city-county government. With an area of just 117 square miles, it is Tennessee's smallest county. Trousdale County has a history of involvement with its local school system’s academic, athletic and community programs. However due to its size and population, the community is often limited by a lack of community facilities. Sometimes small counties can offset limited resources through innovative partnerships, and Trousdale County can attest to this strategy that was used to address their need for health-related student and family programming.

In the summer of 2014, the Office of Coordinated School Health and Trousdale County Health Council leaders began discussions for a joint community health and active living initiative that they named “#1 for Life.” Their first step was to complete a community health assessment that identified the current status of residents along with needed programming and facilities to support a healthy lifestyle for children and families. The County Health Ranking data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation gave a picture of the health status of Trousdale County residents along with Coordinated School Health data related to students. In addition to ideas for classes and services, this research found that the county had no public exercise facilities or health-related businesses available for residents.

Armed with that data, community health leaders and school officials saw the opportunity to use the county’s TNECD ThreeStar funding opportunity to create new programming and services. This aligned with the county’s top priority of creating more opportunities for healthy and active living and the health and workforce development pillars of the ThreeStar Program.  

The #1 for Life Community Health Initiative provided various means to increase physical activity as well as new educational classes, incentives, nutritional counseling, and support for parents and other adults in the county. Goals of the program included

  • Teaching adults the skills necessary to make good choices when it comes to food, activity and health
  • Providing a means of increased physical activity to community members who do not have a place to exercise
  • Educating adults about various weight-related diseases and how to monitor their own health and well-being

In keeping with their history of cooperation, #1 for Life leaders arranged for the free use of school and community facilities including the Trousdale County High School, Jim Satterfield Middle School, Trousdale County Elementary School, Hartsville First United Methodist Church, and Trousdale County Senior Center at various times. Project leaders also identified instructors in the county with the expertise to lead the new eight-week classes and used grant funds to compensate them. The program had an eager response of 400+ adults signing up for Yoga, Weight Training, Latin Cardio Dance, Line Dancing, Meditation, Couch to 5K, and Nutritional classes.  In addition, end of course #1 for Life Celebrations were held that included motivational speakers and awards, healthy foods, educational materials, and health-related door prizes.

Trousdale County School System and Health Council leaders continued and expanded program offerings over a four-year period. In the first year, they learned that scheduling was an issue and found ways to offer new courses at additional community facilities. Additional grant projects have continued the health emphasis by adding new exercise equipment to the walking/running track at Hartsville City Park, installing a free cold water refill station on the park grounds, and hosting a #1 for Life Family Fun Day, where citizens of all ages come together to play a variety of games at Hartsville City Park and enjoy the updated facilities.


Community and Economic Impact

Between July 1st 2014 and June 30th 2017, the project has met all program outcomes. Over 425 persons participated in various activities. Many reported positive changes, and some have achieved extraordinary results, such as one young adult losing over 100 pounds through the program. Many of the participants achieved their goals, all learned new skills that they can continue to use, and approximately 110 participants have joined exercise facilities to continue their journey.

Trousdale County has also seen a significant change in the Robert Wood Johnson County Health Rankings during the period from 2013 to 2018. In 2013 the county Ranking was 71st for Health Outcomes and 87th for Quality of Life. The 2018 rankings show Trousdale County at 54th for Health Outcomes, a 17 point decrease, and 61st for Quality of Life, a 26 point decrease. The Trousdale County Health Council believes the change in rankings is a direct reflection of their work. Another positive program outcome is the creation of two new fitness-related businesses in the community that provide local residents new choices to continue their journeys to better health. Over the four year project, results include:

Adults Served 425+
Students Served  625+
Community Classes Offered  48
Community Events 8
Community Facilities Utilized 6
Community Leaders Engaged  32
Community Organizations Served    6
New Fitness Related Businesses Created 2

Program Funding 

TNECD ThreeStar Grant (3 years @ $10,000 per year) $30,000
Trousdale County Schools In-kind Contribution (facilities and equipment)   $19,800
Trousdale County Senior Center In-kind Contribution  (facilities and equipment)   $2,400
Trousdale County Health Council Cash and In-kind Contributions (volunteer hours provided by community partners, items donated by council members, and publicity, design, and printing of program materials)   $64,000
Trousdale Medical Center and Local Corporate Sponsor Cash Contributions (incentives including T-Shirts, goody bag items, and health related door prizes, along with program food/snacks, and event purchases such as speakers, and a climbing wall) $5,800
Health Related Grants (Center for Disease Control (CDC) Innovations Grant, Sharing Change Grant from Middle Tennessee Electric Cooperative, Tennessee Tobacco Grant Healthy Related Programs) $5,200
TOTAL #1 for Life FUNDING  (Includes local contributions, In-Kind services, and state grant funding) $127,200

Program Leadership and Partners

Trousdale County Schools – Supervisor Office of Coordinated School Health – Project Contact
Trousdale County Health Department - Health Educator – Project Contact
Trousdale County/Hartsville Metropolitan Government
Trousdale County Health Council
Trousdale County Senior Citizens Center
Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
Trousdale Medical Center
Center for Disease Control Health Innovations Grant
State of Tennessee Tobacco Grant Program

For more project information contact the Trousdale County Schools Office of Coordinated School Health.

TNECD ThreeStar Program

The ThreeStar Program is designed to focus on the Governor’s Five Pillars of Jobs & Economic Development, Fiscal Strength & Efficient Government, Public Safety, Education & Workforce Development, and Health & Welfare, all identified as critical to ensuring the success of Tennessee communities. ThreeStar grants help communities increase their economic and community development impact.   

For more information visit TNECD Community and Rural Development.