Healthy Kingsport recognizes organizations making a healthy difference

Matthew Lane • Updated Jul 29, 2019 at 2:21 PM

KINGSPORT — Attaining the status of Platinum or Platinum Plus with Healthy Kingsport is no easy task. A business, church or other organization has to — among other things — encourage water consumption, discourage sugary drinks, and restrict tobacco use on its campus.

And it’s not just a one-time goal. It takes an ongoing effort that involves buy-in from both management and employees.

In our area, 44 local and regional organizations have achieved this status and Healthy Kingsport wants to recognize them for their efforts and leadership in making the region a healthier place to live and work.


Healthy Kingsport is hosting a special event in the lobby of City Hall on Aug. 6 to recognize these organizations. Kandy Childress, executive director of Healthy Kingsport, said the organizations have worked to create infrastructure and policy aimed at educating, empowering, and activating their employees to change attitudes and behaviors in order to adopt healthier choices.

These are choices that are significantly improving our regional health and well-being profile, Childress added.

“They’re taking extra steps within their organizations ... to make sure they have a really healthy environment,” Childress said.

The event will begin with a reception and light meal beginning at 5:30 p.m., a proclamation declaring the week of Aug. 5 as Healthy Kingsport Platinum Partner Week, then continuing with testimonials from the organizations and closing comments shortly before 7 p.m.


To reach Platinum status, organizations have to do three things, Childress explained:

— First, achieve Silver or Gold status in the Live Sugar Freed campaign. Silver means you encourage water consumption and discourage sugary drinks, while Gold means you do not sell any sugary drinks on your campus.

— Second, be a certified Healthier Tennessee Workplace. You do this by accomplishing 10 small starts from a menu of 30 choices, involving nutrition, exercise and tobacco use, Childress said. An organization could prohibit tobacco products from all of its campuses or restrict their use to a small number of designated spaces.

— Third, erect signage that you are a tobacco free organization.

And for those organizations that go above and beyond, there’s a Platinum Plus level they can achieve. In addition to meeting the first three criteria, organizations that donate money for water bottle refill stations in local schools or provide refillable water bottles to students can reach this Plus recognition.