Washington County HHS


Purdue Extension Health and Human Sciences provides education to individuals and communities in each of Indiana's diverse counties.  We bring university information to the local level - both in person and online - to help people strengthen relationships, eat smart, improve health, and achieve financial wellness.

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Strengthen Relationships - Strong individuals and families build a foundation for healthy communities and a productive society.  HHS Extension programs and resources address issues across the lifespan.

Financial Wellness - Everyone benefits from learning how to make smart choices that maximize their finances and household resources.  HHS Extension delivers best practices for your money management needs.

Eat Smart - What we eat impacts our health and well-being.  To help prevent and manage chronic diseases, HHS Extension offers guidance on healthy food choices and meal preparation.

Improve Health - Many risk factors for disability or death are preventable.  HHS Extension is dedicated to helping individuals and families improve their quality of life.


Contact Us

Sonya Mitchell
Purdue Extension - Washington County
Health and Human Sciences Educator



Sonya Mitchell

Sonya Mitchell


Although she moved from Louisville, Kentucky to Washington County in 2017, Sonya Mitchell is no stranger to life in rural America.  Growing up in rural parts of Arkansas and Tennessee made moving to Washington County feel more like returning home - a welcomed reprieve from life in the city.

Sonya attended the University of Louisville, earning Master's Degrees in Learning and Behavior Disorders and Mental Health Counseling.  She maintains licensure as a mental health professional in Indiana and Kentucky.  Previous work experience includes teaching in the public school system and providing mental health services to the community.  As a Health and Human Sciences Educator, Sonya's focus is on the well-being of others through education in nutrition, relationships, finances and health.

HHS Programs Offered

The following categorically listed programs are examples and not reflective of the many available.  Contact your HHS Educator regarding programming available per the topic of your choice.

Dining With Diabetes

Nutrition and physical activity are keys to managing your type 2 diabetes, but where do you start?  The Dining with Diabetes program can help!  Dining with Diabetes (DWD) is a cooking school for people with diabetes, those at risk for diabetes, and caregivers of those with diabetes.
DWD consists of four weekly sessions and a three-month reunion session.
Week 1 - What is diabetes?/Snacks & appetizers
Week 2 - Carbs & sweeteners/Desserts
Week 3 - Fats & sodium/Main dishes
Week 4 - Putting it all together/Side dishes

Food Budgeting and Meal Planning

Food Budgeting and Meal Planning is a 1-hour program about how to get the most nutritious food for your dollar.  This program teaches participants how to save time and money while eating well.

Food Labeling:  What's in there anyway?

Food Labeling is a 1-hour program about how to identify primary components of food labels, marketing claims, and understanding how to make informed food decisions.

Captain Cash

Captain Cash is an interactive educational program designed to teach basic financial management skills to third grade students.  Captain Cash includes four classroom enrichment sessions of approximately 45 minutes each that focus on earning, saving, spending, and borrowing money.  Each session also includes a game or activity and a take-home handout.  All lessons meet Indiana Academic Standards for math and social studies.

Where Does Your Money Go?

Where Does Your Money Go? (WDYMG) is a program designed to help consumers better understand how they spend their money.  The program can be taught over the course of a few days, weeks or even 30 days in between lessons to allow consumers to track their expenses over time.

Staying Scam Safe

People all around the world are affected by scams every single day.  This program will cover some common types of scams, provide you with proactive steps you can take to protect yourself and your information, and show you where you can go to report scams or frauds that have taken place.  This program lasts between 45 minutes to 1 hour in duration.


Block Party

A Block Party Event consists of five stations with different types of blocks, in which children and their parents rotate through the different stations that focus on different areas of development.  Blocks use a child's own action for learning skills, with adult support, in the areas of:

  • math
  • science
  • literacy (pre-reading and language)
  • social
  • physical (gross and fine motor development)

Parenting skills are further developed at a block party through demonstrations and guided practice.  The goal is for families to continue block play at home.  Block play is fun!  Both for children and adults!

Train Your Brain:  Nutrition, Neurobics, and Notable Ways to Keep Your Brain Healthy

The focus of this program is to understand dementia - the warning signs, benefits of early detection and diagnosis, and steps to better overall brain health.

Parenting the Second Time Around (PASTA)

This program is designed for those caring for relative children, primarily, but not limited to, grandparents.  PASTA gives grandparents the tools and resources they need to become confident, competent, caregivers in an everchanging world.  Grandparents often feel overwhelmed, stricken with grief about their own children's inability to parent, and experience many mixed emotions about this changing role.  PASTA assists grandparents in gaining greater knowledge about child development (including impact of childhood trauma), skills for managing child behavior and support for attending to their own needs.

Strengthening Families Program:  For Parents and Youth 10-14

The Strengthening Families Program is an evidence-based parent, youth, and family skills-building curriculum that:

  • Reduces teen substance abuse and other behavior problems
  • Strengthens parent/youth communication skills
  • Increases academic success in youth
  • Reduces violence and aggressive behavior at home and at school

Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14 is for families with youth in that age range.  The program consists of 7 classes for two hours each time.

Be Heart Smart

Be Heart Smart is designed to help you lower your risk for heart disease.  This program consists of four weekly sessions containing the following topics:

Week 1 - Know Your Risks:  Identify risk factors and which ones are controllable and uncontrollable.
Week 2 - Know Your Numbers:  Learn what those numbers (LDL, HDL, A1C, etc.) mean and what they say about your heart health.
Week 3 - Heart Healthy Cooking:  Learn how to make healthy substitutions and enjoy a food demonstration with taste test.
Week 4 - Taking Action:  Learn steps you can take to better your heart health!

Physical Activity Across the Lifespan

This 45-minute presentation reviews terms, recommendations, and benefits of physical activity, along with information on creative forms of physical activity.  There is also a movement break included for participants and an opportunity for them to set a personal movement goal.

Sleep On It:  Why Sleep Matters

This 45-50 minute presentation covers the benefits of sleep, risks of poor sleep, stages of sleep, when to contact a healthcare provider, barriers to quality sleep and ways to improve sleep quality.  Supplemental handouts are provided for additional information and resources.

Understanding the Opioid Crisis

This 1-hour presentation reviews terms and concepts related to opioid misuse, stigma, and recovery, as well as outlines actionable steps individuals can take to respond to the crisis in their communities.

Food Safety Management Certification

ServSafe is a food safety program providing high-quality food safety management certification, education and training materials for the restaurant and food service industry.  When offered through Purdue Extension, this program is typically an all-day, in-person training with the examination immediately following the training.  It is recommended that participants read the pre-ordered workbook and complete practice questions prior to attending this training.

Pressure Canner Testing

For a small fee of just $5.00 your HHS educator can test your dial gauge* and inspect your canner.  Improper pressure canning can result in severe illness or death.  Have your gauge and canner checked annually to ensure the health and safety of your home canning experience.

*Our testing unit can be used to test dial gauges for National (those made by the National Pressure Cooker Company), Magic Seal (previously sold at Montgomery Ward), Maid of Honor (previously sold at Sears), and Presto pressure canners.

Community Health Action Team (CHAT)

As an HHS educator, it's important to connect and collaborate with community organizations and community members to gain insight into community needs and collectively develop plans of action.  The Community Health Action Team is comprised of health professionals, health coalitions, and various other community organizations and members who come together to volunteer their time towards promoting healthy living in Washington County.  Many are familiar with two of CHAT's annual events - Park Hop and WALKtober.  If you are interested in joining, or have an idea to encourage healthy living in Washington County, contact your HHS educator who currently co-chairs CHAT.


Full Circle  - Every first Monday of the month at 6:00 pm