Health and Human Sciences

It's as simple as

Food, Family, Money, & Health

The Health and Human Sciences (HHS) Educator delivers educational programs in Vigo County that are evidence and research based, to all community members.  HHS Purdue Extension focuses on issues related to families and parenting through programs like our "Strengthening Families Program". HHS Extension delivers health and wellness and food and nutrition programs to help with chronic diseases, like "Dining with Diabetes" and "Be Heart Smart". Through HHS you can also learn about food safety and home food preservation. Where Does Your Money Go helps those who struggle financially get back to basics by learning budgeting.



Contact Us

Purdue Extension Vigo County
275 Ohio St.
Terre Haute, IN 47807
(812) 462-3371



Purdue Extension Vigo County
Health and Human Sciences Educator

Examples of Programming

The Strengthening Families Program: For Parent and Youth 10-14 is an evidence-based program that can help prevent teen substance abuse and other behavior problems, strengthen parent/youth communication skills, increase academic success in youth, help teach youth skills for dealing with stress and peer pressure, prevent violence, and aggressive behavior at home and at school. Ranked as the #1 prevention program out of 6,000 analyzed by the World Health Organization, the Strengthening Families Program consists of 7, 2-hr. long classes comprising of youth, parent, and family sessions.

Session topics included:

  • Love & Limits
  • Dreams & Goals
  • House Rules
  • Appreciating Parents
  • Encouraging Positive Behavior
  • Dealing with Stress
  • Following Rules & Using Consequences
  • Peer Pressure

For more information, visit


Each year, about 659,000 people in the United States die from heart disease, that’s 1 of every 4 deaths (CDC)! Purdue Extension’s Be Heart Smart Program helps individuals learn information to prevent and reduce their risk of developing heart disease. Over the course of four lessons, participants will learn about the risk factors associated with heart disease, important numbers to know, heart-healthy eating, and how to make sustainable heart-healthy lifestyle changes.

Be Heart Smart cost $15 to attend. For more information, visit:

According to Gallup, only 1 in 3 Americans use a budget and 30% have a long-term financial plan involving savings and investments for the future. Where Does Your Money Go? Program is designed to help consumers better understand how to spend their money. Taught over two, one-hour sessions, participants learn about financial management practices such as needs vs wants, writing goals, tracking expenses, identifying spending leaks, and how to develop a spending-savings plan. Furthermore, program activities help participants increase their knowledge of money management practices that promote financial stability and adoption of new habits that can lead to financial control.

For more information, visit:

According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report 2020, 34.2 million Americans have diabetes and another 88 million have prediabetes (CDC). Furthermore, people who have diabetes are 2.3 more likely to have greater healthcare cost than people who don’t have diabetes.

The Dining with Diabetes Program is a designed to assist and support individuals who have diabetes as well as their families to help reduce the burden of diabetes by increasing knowledge of healthy foods, tips to prepare quick, healthy, and tasty foods, demonstrating proper cooking techniques, promoting physical activity, building confidence, and providing opportunities for participants to learn from one another.


The cost to attend Dining with Diabetes is $40 per individual or $65 per couple. To learn more about Dining with Diabetes, visit:

Extension Homemakers


Vigo County Extension Homemakers

December 2023 Newsletter

Important Dates to Remember

Dec 11 (Mon)                           Past Presidents

Dec 25-26 (Mon-Tues)           Extension Office Closed—Christmas

Jan 1 (Mon)                             Extension Office Closed—New Year’s



Thank you to those who get their info to me in time for the next newsletter. It helps a lot.



Monday, December 11, 2023 Past  President meeting at West Minster at 10AM-2PM.



Please be thinking about going to the Spring District in March in Owen County. Still no new info on that. I’ll let you know when I do.



Jacqui Stanley, President of Burnett Club, said their club gifted a Fireman a gift certificate to Applebees for $25 for “Make a  Difference Day”. They meet at Sandcut Fire Station and this fireman helps get things set up for their meetings. Great job and a big thanks to them and to him for helping but also for being a fireman.



The next meeting will be on Monday, December 11, 2023, at West Minster at 10 AM-2PM.  The hostesses will be Jo Cochran, Darlene Lowe, Julia Reed, Barbara Mericle and Sandy Keaton. Park where ever you can find a spot and come in the doors under the second awning. That will take you straight in to where you need to be. There will be a buffet meal of chicken cordon bleu, beef roast, roasted potatoes, green beans, salad, and cheese cake. It will cost $15 (that includes tax). A tip jar will be provided. Please have the exact change ready to pay for your meal. You will need to call Jo Cochran at 812-870-1585 to RSVP by Dec. 4, 2023, so they can have a count of how many are attending. PLEASE NOTE, if you sign up to attend and for some reason you cannot make it you will still have to pay for your meal, unless you call to cancel by Dec. 10, 2023.  There will be a $5.00 Grab Bag gift exchange if you wish to participate. Don’t forget to wear your ugly “Christmas” sweater for the Ugliest Christmas Sweater Contest.

 The Past Presidents Club is an honorary club to pay tribute to those who have served their club as president.



The Vigo County Vocal Chords are rehearsing Christmas songs and getting ready to perform! Our “Sounds of the  Season” show is a fun mix of Christmas favorites, oldies, and contemporary songs celebrating both the traditional and lighter side of Christmas. We will be singing at the MCL Cafeteria on December 1 and December 15 at 5:30pm. Sing along with us and together we’ll make the season bright!



I think this time of year we can find all kinds of places to help and donate our time. Let me know if you do. Be sure to keep your hours. I am helping CASA by buying Christmas gifts for the children they care for. The Christmas trees with the children’s info on them can be found all over town if you want to help. Call me if you have any questions.



Club presidents check with your members to see if they attended Int./Craft Day to get their certificates for attending. The certificates can be picked up at the Purdue Office on Ohio Street. Thanks to Ruth for getting them ready for pick up.



Our new State President wants to continue on with the Scatter Kindness Hearts. Has anyone made any more?






Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and you didn’t eat too much turkey. Are you still eating left overs? Get ready for your next big meal for Christmas.

My family and I would like to wish you and your families a very MERRY CHRISTMAS & A SAFE AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!

   Janet Kleptz

Vigo County Extension Homemaker President



December Marks Seasonal Affective Disorder Month

 Shorter days, cold weather, time change – always make me a little sad. Many people report feeling a little down or having the “winter blues” starting in the late fall or start of winter and we find ways to manage until Spring. For some though, the symptoms are quite serious and they are diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder.

 According to the American Psychiatric Association, about 5% of Americans (10 million) are diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder. It is more common in women then men. In most cases, symptoms begin in young adulthood. It is also more common in people living in colder climates as we travel farther north. Nearly 9% of those living in Alaska and New England are diagnosed with SAD – compared to 1% of those in Florida.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is difficult to recognize. Symptoms can include persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood most of the day nearly every day, hopelessness, irritability, feeling of helplessness, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, decreased energy, difficulty concentrating, changes in sleep or appetite, overeating leading to weight gain or unplanned weight changes, and social withdrawal.

 According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the following criteria must also be met for a diagnosis.

  •  They have the symptoms of depression or the more specific symptoms of winter-SAD      listed above.
  • Their depressive episodes occur during specific season for at least 2 consecutive years.  However, not all people with SAD experience symptoms every year. 
  • Their depressive episodes during the specific season are more frequent than depressive episodes experienced at other times of the year.

 The causes of Seasonal Affective Disorder are still being investigated. SAD is most common is individuals with a diagnosis of depression or bipolar disorder. Research suggests that low levels of serotonin, melatonin and Vitamin D may contribute. 

 There is hope for those with even mild symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Treatments are available in four categories and can be used independently or in a combination. They include:

  •  Light therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Antidepressant medication
  • Vitamin D

Talk to your healthcare provider if you feel you might be experiencing even mild symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms and find a treatment that might help.

 For more information, go to the National Institute of Mental Health

 Gail Wright

Extension Educator

Health & Human Sciences