Graham County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of 2000, the population was 7,993. Its county seat is Robbinsville. Robbinsville is located at the coordinates of 35°19’24.06″N latitude and 83°48’3.98″W longitude. The county was formed January 30, 1872, from the northeastern part of Cherokee County. It was named for William A. Graham, United States Senator from North Carolina (1840–1843) and Governor of North Carolina (1845–1849).
The STEP UP Diabetes Coalition for Graham County was formed in 2004 after obesity was identified as one of the top health disparities in the 2004 community health assessment. The main goal of this Coalition is to continue promoting healthy lifestyles of families in Graham County through environmental/policy changes and education for diabetes prevention and management.
STEP UP is a very diverse coalition made up of representatives from Graham County Schools, Graham County Health Department, Graham County Extension Office, Graham Revitalization Economic Action Team – GREAT, US Forest Service, Graham County Recreation Department, Town of Robbinsville, Stanley Furniture, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Tallulah Health Center, and Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center.
Since the Coalition formed in 2004, it has been able to offer citizens numerous opportunities to do more in the way of diabetes prevention through proper nutrition and being more physically active. Examples of these activities include Walk to Bethlehem and Walk to Jerusalem programs with a total of 998 participants. Most of the participants indicated a sedentary lifestyle prior to starting the programs. Cache in on Fitness had 100 participants and surveys indicated that all participants who completed the challenge became aware of a community physical activity resource that they did not previously know about, were more physically active, and planned on continuing to be more physically active.