Start Your Simple Steps

Over 100 community members already have signed up to start taking Simple Steps to Better Health at Stillwater Public Library.

“Simple Steps” was designed to address some health issues for which Payne County received a D or F grade in the 2014 State of the State Health Report. We received a D in Heart Disease, which is Payne County’s second leading cause of death, after cancer.

So, for February’s American Heart Month, our steps will be devoted to improving community members’ Heart Health. On Feb. 7 at 5:30 p.m. and Feb. 10 at 10 a.m., Dawn Kukuk with the Payne County Health Department will teach participants how to take care of their heart.

Each participant will receive a “Taking Control of Your Cholesterol” workbook, as well as a sturdy reusable water bottle to help keep up with proper water intake. According to the American Heart Association, keeping hydrated helps the heart more easily pump blood and helps muscles work more efficiently.

Dawn earned her Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences from OSU and presently serves as the Oklahoma State Department of Health Special Supplementation Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children Services Nutrition Therapist for Payne, Kay and Noble counties. She received the Oklahoma Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics HANDS Award and has served on countless nutrition and wellness committees in both leadership and consultancy roles.

Why do we need to know Dawn’s many qualifications? Because knowledge and expertise matter, especially when it comes to your health. And, just as you deserve quality information from health professionals, you deserve quality information when you go to health websites.

Recently, all of our adult services librarians qualified as Health Information Specialists through the Medical Library Association. Does that mean we can diagnosis your illnesses? Absolutely not! But it does mean we can help you find credible and reliable health information. Each librarian created a website resource list on our five “Simple Steps” health topics. You can see those lists, containing links to sources from the Mayo Clinic, MedlinePlus and other trusted medical authorities at We hope you will use these lists, as well as our free research services, when you are seeking health information.

You can also use that site to find details about our healthy cooking class on Thursday, Feb. 16, at 6 p.m. or to register for any of the upcoming “Simple Steps” classes. Stop by or call us at (405) 372-3633 x8106 for more information.

“Simple Steps to Better Health” is made possible with Federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services administered through the Oklahoma Department of Libraries. Program partners include Payne County Health Department, Payne County OSU Extension, Payne County TSET Healthy Living Program and Stillwater Medical Center.