COLUMBIA CITY — The Whitley County Health Department has brought in a new tool to address community health needs.

In January, a part-time health educator position was filled to teach Whitley County residents healthy behaviors and promote wellness. The position is designed to address current health needs by implementing evidence-based programs.


While there are focus issues based on the community health assessment, the health educator can provide various forms of education on a variety of topics and to a variety of populations. Some of the focus issues are obesity, substance use, maternal/infant health and mental health.

The position is currently being held by Whitley County native Carlee LaRue. For this position, LaRue can host lunch and learns, guest speaker presentations, connect residents to community resources and organize exercise clubs, wellness programs, health fairs and more. Programs/presentations include all aspects of health, including but not limited to physical activity, nutrition, hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, weight management, hygiene, coping skills, communication, stress management, tobacco cessation, substance use, HIV/STI, safety and injury prevention.

These services may be provided in schools, businesses, churches, senior citizen centers and other locations in Whitley County. To contact LaRue with questions or to set up a program, email her at or call 260-248-3121, ext. 6.