Healthy Tennessee hosts summit in Jackson to tackle preventable diseases

JACKSON, Tenn. — Healthy Tennessee, a Nashville-based nonprofit, held a summit Wednesday in Jackson to bring other nonprofit organizations and health care providers together.

“There are people who are doing great work in community health, trying to solve the problems of obesity, smoking and high blood pressure,” Dr. Manny Sethi said.

He says combining the efforts of the two groups would make changing lifestyles easier.

“This cannot be solved unless we as local communities come together to solve them. That’s what we’re doing right here today in Jackson,” Sethi said. “The problem is that one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing, meaning we’re all siloed. Our nonprofit, Healthy Tennessee, is doing one thing, and other folks are doing another.”

Dr. Sethi says they are wanting to start young to build a better community in West Tennessee. Students even attended the forum.

“I believe we all should do something to help each other, and I feel called to do it in the health care profession,” Grant Hensley, one of the dozens of students at the forum, said.

“The future of this problem really depends on the youth across the state and bringing them into the conversation,” Dr. Sethi said.

Hensley wants to be a part of that change.

“How many ways that West Tennessee could use the help of this fine hospital, and I of course want to be a part of that in the future,” Hensley said.

Dr. Sethi says this is the first time youth in West Tennessee have been a part of this conversation.

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