Craig Wilson, JD, MPA
Director, Health Policy
Healthy Active Arkansas
Roger Hooper, Van Buren County Judge
Van Buren County Committee for Health Improvement
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 the development of the Van Buren County Committee for Health Improvement by County Judge Roger Hooper, is part of a series of case studies highlighting success stories from the HAA Statewide Learning Network.
During the Statewide Learning Network meeting in Clarksville, Judge Roger Hooper, Van Buren County Judge, developed an action plan to engage and educate local leaders on the HAA framework. Following the meeting, Judge Hooper contacted several community leaders to form the Van Buren County Committee for Health Improvement to improve the health and well-being of Van Buren county residents. The committee remains active and membership includes representatives from the Van Buren County Judge’s office, Arkansas Association of Counties, Arkansas Department of Health, Ozark Health, Scarberry Insurance Agency, and the Clinton School District Superintendent and School Wellness Chair.