Obesity causes or exacerbates numerous chronic diseases and conditions that can lead to death, including diabetes and hypertension. In an effort to address the obesity epidemic in Arkansas, the governor-led Healthy Active Arkansas (HAA) initiative was launched to provide a 10-year framework with phased goals to increase the percentage of Arkansans who are at a healthy weight. As part of this initiative and support by funding from the Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas, the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement convened five statewide learning network meetings to engage, recruit, and activate a network of local champions to assist in meeting these goals. This study, featuring Lafayette County Leadership Council’s work to advance the welfare and interest of Lafayette County residents through individual and collective efforts, is part of a series of case studies highlighting success stories from the HAA Statewide Learning Network.
Since its inception, the Lafayette County Leadership Council has made a significant impact in Lafayette County by increasing community engagement, such as orchestrating a community trash collection event, acquiring the former Stamps elementary school campus to open a community gym, quarterly 5k walk/runs, and hosting three-on-three basketball tournaments that incorporate a health fair and blood drive.