Hardy County Health and Wellness Center gets $30K in federal funding

Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 5:37 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 20, 2023 at 6:19 PM EDT
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MOOREFIELD, Wv. (WHSV) - On Tuesday West Virginia U.S. Senator Joe Manchin announced that nine organizations from the Mountain State would be receiving funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. One of the recipients is the Hardy County Health and Wellness Center in Moorefield.

The center is receiving $30,000 to go towards its Creating Healthy Informed Lasting Lifestyles or CHILL program. The money will be used to purchase new exercise equipment, something the center hasn’t had since 1998.

“We have a full-fledged cardio room, we have 19 pieces of equipment. I would love to see the mileage on some of these pieces of equipment that we’ve had. We have a weight room, we have an aerobics room where we offer all of our classes, we have a shock absorbent floor, and we also have an indoor pool,” said Morgan Hill-See, Executive Director of the Hardy County Health and Wellness Center. “We are very blessed in our area for what we have and now it’s just getting individuals in here to make that lifestyle change.”

West Virginia ranks highly among U.S. states when it comes to rates of obesity, cancer, and diabetes and the center hopes that the new equipment and the CHILL program will get more people on the track to a healthy life.

“We want to make our community a healthy community. We want to get those numbers that we see West Virginia being at the bottom of every rank you can possibly think of, and it’s not going to happen overnight, it’s not going to happen probably in the next three years. But we slowly want to chisel away and get to the top and let people know that it can be done, healthy lives can be lived,” said Hill-See.

Morgan Hill-See said the key to more people living healthy lives is through exercise and preventative care.

”Preventive care of your body, you know, just trying to prevent what might come and to help individuals that thought ‘maybe it may not be for me’. But to help them realize that it’s something that needs to be done and we only have one body and we have to do the best that we can at protecting it,” she said.

As part of the CHILL program the health and wellness center also helps individuals chart their progress.

“We’re going to be able to do monthly measurements for the individual. So we’ll have their pre-numbers, we’ll have a mid-number, and a post-number to help them because as we all know it takes about three months to see a difference in your body when you’re working out. A lot of people, I think we all can say, we want that quick fix, well sometimes that quick fix doesn’t come. It’s about creating that big lifestyle change and that’s what we want to help them do,” said Hill-See.

The Hardy County Health and Wellness Center has undergone a lot of changes in recent years. After closing down for 62 days during the COVID pandemic it reopened as a non-profit and began searching for grant funding and partnerships. It also began operating 24/7.

“Moorefield is mainly a factory town so we made the big change, fingers crossed, that we would receive this funding and we switched our center to 24/7,” said Hill-See. “We were missing so many different people because we are a factory town and there are different shift hours and we were only able to be staffed from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. but with this, if you’re getting off at 2 o’clock in the morning all you do is come swipe your key card and enter. So it’s been a really big game changer for us.”

Hill-See said that the center has made an effort to get out into the community and has something to offer everyone.

“We aren’t a normal gym, our youngest little member is 18 months and they come to a wiggle jiggle class on Tuesdays that goes from 18 months to four years old. With that, we go to our oldest member who is now 94, so we’re serving all different walks of life,” she said.

The center offers services like dieticians and is able to offer Bonnie’s Bus and the Lucas Bus, mammogram, and lung screening buses that will come to the center in November. It also houses the Hardy County Cancer Coalition.

You can learn more about the center here.