Dr. Manny Sethi and his wife Maya founded Healthy Tennessee in 2011 and are implementing a plan to help make Tennessee an even better place to live. Over the last seven years our organization has traveled across Tennessee, one community at a time, hosting preventative health screening events and statewide health symposiums in partnership with other organizations and local officials in order to enhance awareness and promote a healthier Tennessee.
Throughout the last decade, Tennessee has consistently found itself ranking in the bottom third of all states in terms of the health of its citizens. This is not an enviable position to hold, and certainly not an achievement to be proud of. Recent statistics show that 13% of the adults in Tennessee have diabetes, 34% are obese, and almost 39% of the adult population in Tennessee has high blood pressure. Surely we can do better, and the statistics speak for themselves. The people of Tennessee face daunting threats to health and wellness. This in turn also creates problems in educating our children, leading to a potential economic crisis in the future.
For decades, healthcare experts have weighed in on the multitude of challenges in obtaining healthcare encountered by people across the state. One thing is for certain: Tennesseans who live in rural communities face overwhelming obstacles to receiving healthcare. Most citizens in the rural towns of Tennessee do not have health insurance, and even those that have coverage must often travel long distances to receive care. So, what is the answer? Preventive healthcare access.
Healthy Tennessee is a non-profit organization that seeks to improve access to preventative healthcare across Tennessee. Our mission has been to improve the lives of Tennesseans through preventative care by way of education, statewide symposiums, and free health fairs for those in need.
Our active social media presence and interactive website offer opportunities to study current healthcare prevention tips and to review state and national articles concerning in-depth research on nutrition and wellness. Our online platform provides an easily accessible model for healthy lifestyle choices and behavior modifications that can prevent chronic disease from developing, leading to an overall healthier state.
In each of the last three years, Healthy Tennessee has hosted statewide symposiums to facilitate an ongoing discussion focused on the top health-related issues in Tennessee, including heart disease, diabetes, smoking, obesity, and hypertension. Our first two symposiums, in partnership with Belmont University and The University of Tennessee, were designed to bring large employers to the table with the community to determine possible solutions to these issues. Our most recent summit, in partnership with the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, was focused on bringing together nonprofit organizations from across the state to enhance awareness and communication among the groups, thereby improving their efficiency and impact.
Healthy Tennessee provides free health screenings for all patients performed by physicians and nurses at our health fairs, which is not common at these types of events. We provide opportunities for patients to learn the long-term physical and financial benefits of adopting healthy lifestyle choices through one-on-one conversations with health professionals and representatives from local community health organizations. By utilizing patients’ own information, such as blood pressure and body mass index measurements, we are able to educate them about their health and offer patient-specific suggestions for modifications to be made. Our efforts are powered by local communities across Tennessee; an all-volunteer army of local nurses and doctors with boots on the ground who give of their time to help a neighbor.
Over the last few years, our organization has captured national attention. We were invited to the White House to discuss with the President the need for prevention, the Secretary of Health and Human Services attended our health summit in June 2017, and most recently we were invited to testify before the United States Senate to share our patients’ experiences.
The primary goal of Healthy Tennessee is to make Tennessee the top-rated state in the South for health. Tennessee is currently ranked 45th nationally, and we have miles to travel in order to reach this goal. Healthy Tennessee intends to focus all of its efforts on healthcare prevention to achieve better results for generations to come.
Nothing can be more important than improving the health of Tennesseans. Join Healthy Tennessee in this cause and help create a future full of success for generations to come.