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County Manager's Office

Phone: 913-715-0725

111 S. Cherry St., Suite 3300, Olathe, KS 66061

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county manager's office

The County Manager's Office is responsible to the Board of County Commissioners and the residents of Johnson County for the effective and efficient delivery of programs and services, using sound management and financial principles while emphasizing high ethical values, innovation, and continuous improvement.

Department News

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Johnson County upholds its rank as the healthiest in Kansas
March 19, 2019

Johnson County is the healthiest county in Kansas according to the 10th annual County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI). 

“Our high ranking reflects the priority this county has placed on improving the factors that affect residents’ health, and it also shows how important it will be for us to sustain those programs if we want to stay healthy,” sayid Lougene Marsh, director of the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment.

Johnson County ranked first in the state for health outcomes, such as a low number of premature deaths (life lost before age 75). The county also ranked number one for health factors such as access to medical and dental care, exercise opportunities, and a healthy food environment. The county also has a high percentage of adults with some post-secondary education and a low number of uninsured adults and children.

The rankings make it clear that good health is influenced by many factors beyond medical care, such as housing, education, jobs, access to healthy foods and more. Marsh says our homes, and those of our neighbors, play a critical role in shaping our health and the health of the whole community.

“When our homes are near quality schools and good jobs, it’s easier to get a quality education and earn living wages. When people live near grocery stores where nutritious food is available and affordable, eating healthy is easier. Green spaces and parks encourage active lifestyles,” said Marsh. By contrast, when families spend more than 50 percent of their income on housing—it leaves them with little money to pay for other essentials that contribute to good health, such as healthy food, medicine, or transportation to work and school, she adds.

This year’s rankings indicate that Johnson County is at-risk for poor health when it comes to obesity, excessive drinking and smoking in adults. The report also finds that 85 percent of the Johnson County work force usually drives alone to work – reducing this number could positively impact active living and air quality and reduce traffic crashes.

Marsh says Johnson County has a number of initiatives underway to address these issues: the Diabetes Prevention Program, an evidence-based program that meets weekly to support participants in making healthy habits a priority; support of Tobacco 21, a policy strategy of increasing the minimum age of sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21; and RideKC’s new Micro Transit pilot which allows anyone within the service boundaries (63rd Street and Shawnee Mission Parkway on the north, Metcalf Avenue on the east, Renner Road on the west and 119th Street on the south and Mission Transit Center and KU Edwards Campus) to summon a ride for $1.50 using a mobile app or by calling 816-512-5510.

You’re invited! Consider joining a diabetes prevention program
March 15, 2019

Making lifestyle changes is hard! Consider joining a diabetes prevention program that meets weekly to support participants in making healthy habits a priority.

Attend a free informational session about the program from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, at 6000 Lamar Ave., in Mission, Kansas.

“Eighty-six million American adults are living with prediabetes, but 90% of them don't realize that they have prediabetes,” said Karen Hanson, a health educator with the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment.

A trained lifestyle coach will discuss nutrition, incorporating daily physical activity, meal planning and how to cope with the inevitable challenges that arise.

“(They’ll learn) everything that needs to be taught or understood better to improve their health condition,” Hanson said.

Program goals include losing 5 to 7 percent of starting body weight and increasing physical activity minutes to 150 per week. Reaching these goals in a diabetes prevention program has been proven to lower one’s risk for developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 58 percent (71 percent if you’re over age 70).

The session is hosted by LiveWell Johnson County and Johnson County Department of Health and Environment.

To RSVP or ask questions, email Karen or call 913-477-8114.

Johnson County shares re-blended paint with Ghana
March 15, 2019

For nearly 25 years, the Johnson County Household Hazardous Waste facility has collected unwanted latex paint and other household chemicals from Johnson County homes; providing a safe and environmentally friendly option for disposal of these items. In 2018 alone, the facility collected thousands of gallons of latex paint.

To process all of this paint, Johnson County Department of Health and Environment staff verify the paint is still usable, separate it into several different colors, re-blend it, and send it back into the world. A majority of this paint ends up back in the hands of Johnson County residents and organizations, however, some of the paint finds a new home much farther away.

For the past decade, the Johnson County Household Hazardous Waste facility has partnered with a group of passionate residents to send re-blended paint to several communities in Ghana, West Africa. The paint is loaded into shipping containers along with other donations such as school supplies, medical equipment and toothbrushes, and is sent to Ghana, where the paint is used to spruce up houses, community centers and even a school. The Ghana connection for Johnson County was made possible by one of the paint volunteers, George Nkrumah, who is from Ghana as well. George also purchases paint for non-profit use for churches in Ghana.

"It's amazing to think that paint that started out in the basement or garage of a Johnson County, Kansas home has made the 6,000 mile trip to be used again," said Brandon Hearn who oversees the program. "Just this past week, we provided another 500 gallons of paint; from Johnson County to Ghana."

At bargain prices, the regular rate for brown paint is $10, beige and colors are $15, grey and black are $20 and white is $25. The non-profit rate is $5 off those prices except brown and white paint.

 

Courthouse tunnel project progress
March 14, 2019

Those who drive in downtown Olathe will be happy to know that crews have passed the halfway mark with the courthouse tunnel project.  

You can learn more about the courthouse at this link.

WIC program prepares for community garden kickoff
March 13, 2019

The WIC program is a supplemental food and nutrition education program that provides services to Johnson County families who qualify. The goal is to promote healthy living among pregnant and breastfeeding women, new moms and children under five. WIC is a federally-funded program that is offered nationwide. And, it’s celebrating its 45th birthday this month.

Next week, Johnson County’s WIC program will celebrate its birthday by kicking-off its community garden growing season. The WIC community garden serves to educate, empower and feed the clients in the program to create a healthier community. The kickoff event is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, March 26. Volunteers are needed at the event. Children and adults are welcome. Tools, gloves and gardening education are provided to volunteers.

“We’re committed to improving the health of all Johnson County residents by improving access to healthy foods in our community,” said Laura Grimmett, WIC Program Manager. “The WIC garden is all about offering clients the chance to learn about and prepare healthier foods for their families through better access to fresh produce. The project relies heavily on volunteers, so we encourage anyone interested to join us as we grow food for those in need.”

Volunteers are also are needed every Tuesday morning, from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. All produce harvested from the garden goes to WIC client families in Johnson County. The garden is located at 11875 S. Sunset Dr., in Olathe, on the north side of the Health Services Building.

Sign up to volunteer. Registration is not necessary for the kickoff event.

Register now for nationally recognized mental health training
March 12, 2019

Residents who want some basic training on how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis should register today for this week’s Mental Health First Aid training. This evidence-based program builds mental health literacy and helps the public identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness.

Johnson County Mental Health Center is offering a session on Thursday, March 14 from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Olathe office, located at 1125 W. Spruce St. The Mental Health Center was recently named a Mental Health First Aid Champion by the National Council for Behavioral Health for this program.

To register, call Kristen Reese at 913-715-7880 or email jcmhcevents@jocogov.org today. Thanks to funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and in partnership with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and Johnson County Department of Health and Environment, the cost for this full-day training is only $10 per person. 

Participants will be introduced to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, gain an understanding of their impact and explore common interventions and treatment. Any individuals who interact regularly with groups within their community would benefit from Mental Health First Aid.

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