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Health Education


Public Health Education offers information on a variety of health topics and can help you locate reliable sources of health information.  We can assist you in locating certain health statistics.  We also collaborate with other agencies on grant applications related to public health.


Display items are available for loan to community groups, churches, businesses, and health fairs.  We can help you start a wellness policy or program for your business.  We are happy to partner with others in the community on projects and events that will improve the health of our citizens.


For more information about public health, visit these websites:

Center for Disease Control

Kansas Department of Health and Environment

National Association of County & City Health Officials

Healthy People 2010

United States Department of Health & Human Services


Emergency Preparadness

Emergency Preparedness works with Saline County Emergency Management and other public and private organizations to coordinate and plan for community response to public health emergencies such as pandemic flu, bioterrorism, disease outbreaks, and other natural disasters.  We set up training, drills, and community-wide disease surveillance systems.


For more information on individual and workplace pandemic flu preparedness, go to:

Chronic Disease Prevention

Health Promotion & Wellness places an emphasis on preventing chronic disease through increased physical activity, healthy diet, and tobacco avoidance.  We partner with many community coalitions, schools, and wellness programs, including the Saline County Tobacco Use Prevention Program, Pound Plunge, Go Red for Women, Salina Senior Games, Back to School Fair, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, and others to reduce the incidence of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and other chronic illnesses.


We all need to work together to create healthy environments that support healthy behavior choices.  This can happen through a variety of activities: personal initiative at home, organized sports, and even policy developments and programs in the community and workplace.


Changing from unhealthy habits to healthy ones is sometimes difficult, but the benefits of good health are worth it.  Eating better, moving more and quitting tobacco use can help to prevent the leading cause of death, suffering, and health care costs.  Take charge of your health!


Start improving your health today with your free copy of Checkup: The Complete Personal Health Manager.  Checkup is a software program that helps track your health information securely on your personal computer.  Try it – it’s free to all Kansans!


Five Minutes or Less for Health


For more information on chronic disease prevention, visit these websites:

American Heart Association

American Cancer Society Workplace Solutions

Why Wellness

Health care costs are rising.

In 2007, health care spending in the United States (US) reached $2.3 trillion, and is projected to reach $3 trillion in 2011.  Health care spending is projected to reach $4.2 trillion by 2016.  (Source: The National Coalition on Health Care)

Children and adults are overweight and obese

61% of Kansans are overweight or obese and 24% of Kansans are obese

Preventable diseases are rising

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports preventable lifestyles-related illnesses account for 70-90% of all health care costs.


The Reality and Cost of Obesity


Only about ¼ of adults in the US eat the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

Obesity rates have increased by more than 60% among adults in the last 10 years – 25% of the adult population is obese.

More than 60% of adults do not get enough physical activity.

In Kansas in 1995, 15% to 19% were obese; in 2001, this number climbed to 20% to 24%.


Children & Young Adults:

More than 60% of young people eat too much fat, and less than 20% eat the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

Children and young adults who are overweight are more likely to be overweight or obese as adults.

Almost 16% of our children and young adults are overweight.  The CDC have estimated that 1 in 3 children will develop diabetes in their lifetime.



In 2000, the total cost of obesity in the US was estimated to be $117 billion (Source: US Department of Health and Human Services).

The lifetime medical costs of heart-related diseases (hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol) are approximately $10,000 higher for those moderately obese (than among people at healthy weight).

Increased physical activity reduces illnesses associated with obesity, which helps reduce long-term medical costs. 

Preventable illness accounts for 70% of the burden of illness and its associated costs.


For more information about obesity, visit these websites:

WE CAN, Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity & Nutrition

National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Obesity Education Initiative

Kansas Department of Health and Environment Office of Health Promotion


Physical activity and nutrition guidelines:

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has developed the “My Pyramid” program to help you choose the foods, amounts and physical exercise that are right for you. 


The 3 goals through the pyramid system help you:

Make smart choices from every food group; and

Find your balance between food and physical activity; and

Get the most nutrition out of your calories.


Healthy Eating:

Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk, and milk products.

Includes lean meats, poultry fish, beans, eggs, and nuts.

Is low in saturated fats, trans fats cholesterol, salt, and added sugars.



Consume 3 cups per day of fat-free or low-fat milk or milk products.

Choose low-fat or lean meats and poultry.  Consume 5.5 ounces of meats and beans per day (based on 2,000 calorie intake).

At least half of your daily “grains” should come from whole grains.

Eat the recommended level of fruits and vegetables each day (for 2,000 calorie intake, this is 2 cups of fruits and 2.5 cups of vegetables per day).


Eat 5 to 9 servings of fruits and veggies a day:

What is a serving?  A typical portion is often more than one serving.  A large salad, for example, can add up to 2 to 3 servings.  One serving of fruits and vegetables should fit within the palm of your hand.  It’s a lot smaller than most people think.


Why do we need to eat more fruits and vegetables?  Research proves that fruits and vegetables are critical to promoting good health.  In fact, fruits and vegetables should be the foundation of a healthy diet.  Most people need to double the amount of fruits and vegetables they eat every day.


How do fruits and vegetables fight to protect your health?  Fruits and vegetables are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and disease-fighting phytochemicals.  Because of this, eating variety of fruits and veggies everyday can help reduce your risk of: heart disease, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, and certain cancers. 


Does an apple a day keep the doctor away?  Not necessarily, but there are many benefits from eating apples:  One apple supplies about 20% of the daily fiber recommendations.  The fiber in an apple helps reduce cravings for sweet and salty snacks.  Apples are high in Vitamin C and Potassium.  One medium apple is about 80 calories.  Eating an apple promotes good oral health by decreasing plaque on your teeth.


For healthy recipes, check out these sites:

Food Fit

Fruits and Veggies – More Matters!

Delicious Decisions

Stay Young at Heart

Heart-Healthy Home Cooking African American Style


Don’t forget the water!

Water is essential to daily living.  It helps with body-temperature maintenance, is needed for your body to function properly and is vital to electrolyte balance.  There are recommended amounts for normal activity:

Women – 8 glasses (64 oz.) daily     Men – 12 glasses (96 oz.) daily

Of course, with physical exercise, you need to replace the water you lose.  Be sure to drink before, during and after exercise to avoid dehydration!


Physical activity:  Engage in moderate-intensity physical activities for at least 30 minutes on 5 or more days of the week (source: CDC).  Make sure to do at least 10 minutes of activity at a time.  For example, you can take three 10-minute brisk walks.


Vigorous exercise includes activities like jogging, running, fast cycling, aerobic classes, swimming laps, singles tennis, and racquetball.  These activities usually increase your heart rate, make you sweat and may cause you to breathe faster or with more effort.  Moderate exercise includes activities such as brisk walking, gardening, slow cycling, dancing, doubles tennis, or hard work around the house.


For more information about wellness and exercise, visit these websites:

Walk Kansas: A Fitness Challenge

Healthy Kansans 2020

Choose to Move Program for Women


Body mass index:  One first step to taking charge of your health is knowing your Body Mass Index.  The term BMI is often used when discussing the obesity epidemic, but what is BMI?


Body Mass Index is a number that shows body weight adjusted for height.  BMI can be calculated with simple math using inches and pounds, or meters and kilograms.  For adults aged 20 years or older, BMI falls into one of these categories: underweight, normal, overweight, or obese.  BMI is not the only indicator of health risk.


BMI is just one of many factors related to developing a chronic disease (such as heart disease, cancer, and/or diabetes).  Other factors that may be important to look at when assessing your risk for chronic disease include:  Eating habits, Physical activity, Waist circumference, Blood pressure, Blood sugar level, Cholesterol level, and Family history of disease.


BMI calculator

All person who are obese or overweight should try not to gain additional weight.  In addition, those who are obese or who are overweight with other risk factors should consider losing weight.  A complete health assessment by a physician is the best way to decide the right steps for you.  Whatever your BMI, talk to your doctor to see if you are at an increased risk of disease and if you should lose weight.  Even a small weight loss (just 10% of your current weight) may help lower the risk of disease.  Physical activity and good nutrition are key factors in leading a healthy lifestyle and reducing risk for disease.


Worksite Wellness Investing in the health of employees is one of the best decisions a company can make.  At least 25% of the healthcare costs incurred by working adults are attributed to modifiable health risks such as poor diet and lack of exercise.


Challenges corporations face today…With more pressures today than ever before, Corporate America is struggling to be profitable while healthcare costs continue to rise and attack their most important resource – employees.


Most executives know that creating a wellness environment is the only way to have healthier employees and ultimately lower healthcare costs.  Worksites are crucial to improving the health of their workers.  Most adults spend more of their waking hours at work than anywhere else, making it a great place for promoting healthful habits.  The worksite organizational culture and environment are powerful influences on behavior and can influence employees to adopt a healthier lifestyle.


Employee Benefits of Wellness Policies

Weight reduction

Improved physical fitness

Increased stamina

Lower levels of stress

Increased well-being, self-image, and self-esteem


Employer Benefits of Wellness Policies

Enhanced recruitment and retention of healthy employees

Reduced healthcare costs

Decreased rates of illness and injuries

Reduced employee absenteeism

Improved employee relations and morale

Increased productivity


A US Department of Health and Human Services report in 2002 revealed that at worksites with physical activity programs. Employers have:

Reduced healthcare costs by 20-55%

Reduced short-term sick leave by 6-32%

Increased productivity by 2-52%


Studies show:

Fitness programs have reduced employer healthcare costs by 20-55%

Preventable illnesses make up 70% of illness costs in the United States

Reducing just one health risk increases a person’s productivity on the job by 9% and reduces absenteeism by 2%.

For every $1 the average company spends on its worksite wellness program, it receives an average net benefit of $3.40 to $7.88.


“Meeting Well”

Using these suggestions can help you have a healthy meeting, training and/or event.


  • Have a morning meeting? Try these suggestions:

Fresh Fruit

Low-fat breakfast burrito

Low or non-fat yogurt along with low-fat granola

Hard boiled eggs

Whole wheat or multi-grain mini bagels (3.5 inches in diameter or less, or cut regular bagels in half)

Small muffins (2 – 2.5 or smaller) bran, oatmeal, or multi-grain (large muffins can be cut into smaller portion sizes)

Fruit breads (i.e., oatmeal, banana, pumpkin) – cut into small pieces

Whole grain toast or English muffins

Offer low fat cheese, low fat cream cheese, peanut butter, jam or jelly

Granola bars – low fat (5 grams of fat or less per bar)


  • What about lunch/ dinner?  Try these suggestions:

Salad with low-fat or fat-free dressing on the side

Soups – vegetarian broth based or skim milk based (not cream)

Pasta salad with low-fat dressing

Sandwiches made with whole grain breads or wraps made with lean meats, low-fats cheese, low-fat condiments

2-3 ounce serving - lean meats, poultry, fish, tofu (3 grams fat/oz.)

Steamed vegetables with herbs/lemon

Whole grain rolls

Fresh fruit, canned fruit in fruit juice or light syrup

Include at least one vegetable – fresh or cooked (avoid cream sauces)

Baked potatoes with low-fat toppings (sour cream, plain yogurt, and/or salsa)

Boxed lunches/dinners – whole grain or pita bread or wraps prepared with low-fat mayonnaise lettuce, sprouts, tomatoes, onions, pickles, mustard, ketchup; meats poultry or marinated tofu (low-fat = 3 grams fat/oz.); cheese, request fruit or veggies instead of chips; or if including chips request pretzels or baked chips (7 grams fat or less/oz.)


When serving desserts, offer small serving sizes:

Angel food cake (2 inch squares) with fresh fruit topping

Low-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt


  • Ask if it’s really necessary to provide food at the meetings?  If so, here are more suggestions:

Fresh fruit – cut up and offer with low-fat yogurt dip

Tortilla chips – baked and offer with salsa

Raw vegetables – cut up and offer with fat-free or low-fat dressing

Pretzels, hot pretzels – cut in pieces

Low-fat cheese, string cheese

Granola bars – low fat (5 grams of fat or less per bar)

“Lite” popcorn (air popped, or low-fat and lightly salted)

Whole grain crackers

Dried fruit or trail mix

Roasted nuts


  • Having a catered event but still want to keep it healthy?

Select an entrée with no more than 12-15 gram of fat

Always offer a vegetarian entrée

Avoid fried foods or cream sauces

Fresh fruit - cut up and offer with low-fat yogurt dip

Include at least one vegetable - fresh or cooked, with no butter or cream sauces added

Choose lower fat/lower calorie desserts: low-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt, sherbet or sorbet, angel food cake with fruit topping


  • Having a reception but still want to keep it healthy?

Raw vegetables salads marinated in fat-free or low-fat Italian dressing

Raw vegetables - cut up and offer with fat-free or low-fat dressing, salsa or tofu dip

Pasta, tofu, and vegetable salad with fat-free or low-fat dressing

Fresh fruit - cup up and offer with low-fat yogurt dip

Vegetable sushi rolls

Vegetable spring rolls - fresh, not fried

Low-fat cheese slice or small cubes

Reduced or low-fat whole grain crackers

Salmon (poached or steamed, no breading)

Lean beef or turkey - 1 ounce slices

Miniature meatballs made with lean meat

Mushroom caps with low-fat cheese stuffing

Miniature pizzas made with English muffins, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and mushrooms

Roasted nuts

Cake - cut into small 2 inch squares


  • Beverages

Ice water

Water - bottled, plain, sparkling or flavored sparkling with no added sugar

100% fruit or vegetable juice, avoid large-size bottles

Skim or 1% milk

Coffee and flavored coffees - regular and decaffeinated

Tea - regular and herb teas - hot and cold

Coffee/tea creamer of skim milk, 1% milk or fat-free half & half


And don’t forget to add a walking break, if possible.


For more information about creating a healthy worksite, visit these websites:

American Cancer Society Workplace Solutions

Healthy Workforce 2010 Sourcebook for Employers


Resources for Wellness:

American Heart Association

Fruits and Veggies

Healthy Heart Quizzes

Heart Attack/ Coronary Heart Disease Risk Assessment

High Blood Pressure Health Risk Calculator 

My Fat Translator

Stroke Risk Assessment Tool (SRAT)

The Living to 100 Life Expectancy Calculator

My Pyramid Food Plan   

Healthy People 2020

National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Diseases and Conditions Index

Cancer Facts & Figures 2017  

Tobacco Use Prevention

The Health Department is a member of the Salina Area Tobacco Use Prevention Coalition at Central Kansas Foundation.  For information about quitting smoking, Call CKF at 785-825-6224.  You can also call the free Kansas Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.  A trained quit counselor will help you make a plan to quit smoking for good!  The Quitline is answered in English and Spanish by trained stop smoking specialists 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it’s FREE!!


NEW! Website for quitting tobacco, Web Coach offers cessation counseling by live chat or e-mail.  You will also have access to a private, online community where you can complete activities, watch videos, and join discussions with others.  A quit coach will help you create you plan to quit tobacco use, find strategies to fight cravings, and keep you on track to becoming tobacco free!  Web Coach can be used alone or in addition to the Quitline phone support.


What about secondhand smoke?

National Cancer Institute Secondhand Smoke Questions and Answers

Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke Report from the US Department of Health & Human Services


Salina passed an ordinance in 2009 banning smoking in all enclosed public areas, including workplaces, restaurants, hotels, and bars.  The purpose is to protect you and all citizens from exposure to the poisons in secondhand smoke.  The Kansas Legislature passed a Clean Indoor Ordinance in 2010 for the entire state.  However, local ordinances that are stricter than the state law, such as Salina’s, must be followed in addition to the state law.


Tobacco-free workplace policies

The costs of employee tobacco use to the employer are significant.  Direct costs to the employer include healthcare costs associated with tobacco use.  Indirect costs include lost productivity, absenteeism and recruitment and retraining costs resulting from death and disability related to tobacco use.


Tobacco-free workplaces can enhance productivity in two ways.  The effects of secondhand smoke on nonsmokers is reduced.  Additionally, smokers who are motivated to quit as a result of the tobacco-free policy will have reduced absenteeism.  Especially for small businesses that have employees who handle a variety of tasks, productivity can be greatly increased by reduced absenteeism. 


A smoker who quits could save his/her employer an estimated $960 in excess illness costs each year.  Persons who quit smoking before age 65 are estimated to save from 40-67% of the lifetime excess medical costs of a persons who continues to smoke.  Smokers are absent from work 50% more often than nonsmokers, have twice as many on-the-job accidents, and are 50% more likely to be hospitalized than workers who do not smoke.  Recognizing that employees of smoke-free companies may be healthier year-round, many insurers are inclined to give those companies a break on premiums. 


Finally, managers in tobacco-free workplaces are relieved to have a clear process for dealing with tobacco use in the workplace.  Maintenance costs go down when smoke, matches and cigarette butts are eliminated from facilities.  Office equipment, carpets, and furniture last longer.  Besides being wise for health-related reasons, being a tobacco-free workplace just makes good business sense!


From more information on smoke-free policies in your workplace, visit:

World Health Organization Tobacco Free Initiative

American Lung Association

Clean Air Kansas City

Tobacco Free Kansas Coalition

Healthy Workforce 2010 Sourcebook for employers


Smoking calculators

In this country, lung disease is responsible for 1 in 7 deaths.  Quitting smoking not only greatly reduces serious risks to your health but it also can greatly increase your disposable income.  Smokers in the US spend nearly $50 million annually on cigarettes.


How much of that money did you kick in?

American Heart Association Cost of Smoking Calculator

Bed Bugs

What are Bed Bugs?

Reddish-brown in color, wingless, feed on blood of people and animals, and can live for several months without a blood meal.

Bed Bugs Facts:

  • Classified as a Public Health Pest
  • Not known to spread disease
    • -can cause allergic reactions or;
    • -secondary infections from scratching
  • Can be found anywhere across the globe


Transported usually through people as they travel, on the seams of luggage, furniture, bedding, etc. They are experts at hiding so they are difficult to detect.



  • Inspect for signs of infestation.
    • -Rusty reddish stains
    • -Dark spots
    • -Eggs or egg shells
    • -Sweet musty smell
  • Take precautions when traveling, with used furniture and/or moving.  When you get home throw your bags in the dryer.

Getting rid of them:

  • CDC, EPA & KDHE - Similar Guidelines
  • Getting Rid of Bed Bugs
  • Do- IT- Yourself or Professional
  • Chemical, non-chemical means
  • Heat
  • Bottom line:
    • -Make sure it is bed bugs
    • -choose your treatment options

Since they are a pest:

  • No City Ordinances
  • No County Ordinances
  • No State Ordinances except for
    • -K.A.R. 4-27-5
    • -K.A.R. 4-27-9
    • -Both cover Lodging Establishments with reporting to Kansas Department of Agriculture.
  • No grant funds or other outside sources to help with eradication


Websites with more information

What landlords need to know

Stop Pests

Our Staff

Give us a call - 785-826-6600

Fax - 785-826-6605

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