Friday, October 22, 2010
sponsored by

Healthy Communities Partnership discusses progress

Part 1

Send a link to a friend

[October 22, 2010]  Thursday evening the Healthy Communities Partnership hosted a get-together at Chad's Blind for the purpose of updating the public on current events going on inside the individual task forces that make up the partnership.

HardwareThe meeting was hosted by Kristin Lessen, partnership director, and each task force offered speakers who outlined the activities of their group over the last year.

The Healthy Communities Partnership has brought together 56 organizations and 14 churches along with several community volunteers who are working together with the vision of making Logan County the healthiest community in America.

Their primary goals are to provide education, support and alternative activities that promote healthy lifestyles and increase preventive health care and primary care to those who are otherwise unable to obtain these services.

Education Task Force

First up for the evening were Heidi Browne and Wade Kaesebier, who serve on the Education Task Force.

The objectives of this task force are to reduce the number of high school dropouts in Logan County. As mentioned in previous articles published in LDN, this issue is not directly related to health, but statistics show that those who do not graduate from high school are more likely to end up in situations of teen pregnancy, substance abuse, violence and child abuse.

The task force, which has been up and running for about 18 months, has established three programs directed at keeping kids in school.

Connections Count is a mentorship program that brings adult volunteers together with at-risk youth on a junior high school level.

Browne said that mentors are not replacements for parents or teachers, but rather they are additional members of the child's support group. Their role is to provide support, counsel and friendship that will help young people realize their own potential and grow with it.

Miss School…Miss Out is another program that is being put into place. Browne said the goal of this program is to raise public awareness of the dropout and truancy problems in Logan County.

Part of the concept is that community and business partners and leaders will engage in the program by deterring the activities of young people during the hours when they should be in school.

For example, business owners would pledge that they would not do business with a student during school hours and that they would not employ a student during school hours unless that student is enrolled in a school work experience program.

The task force's third ongoing project is called Joint Opportunities for Building Skills, or JOBS.

This project will place at-risk students with business mentors on the work front. Students will receive training and guidance from their business mentors that will help them understand the importance of continuing their education.

They will gain experience in a real job and develop skills that will help them determine their future goals.

Parish Nurse Task Force

Judy Horn spoke on the activities of the Parish Nurse Task Force. This task force works directly in church congregations, offering their knowledge and experience to the congregations.

They share information about the Healthy Communities Partnership and its other task forces and assist parish members in getting the services they need.

Horn said that they are always seeking more parish nurses and will offer paid training to anyone who is interested in being a part of this program.

This year the group has participated in the Logan County Health Fair and promoted the Vial of Life program.

The Vial of Life is particularly useful for seniors or those with severe medical problems. The objective is for these people to have a vial that contains a written record of current medications and other pertinent information that would be useful to emergency services or anyone who would be with that person at a point when they fell ill and could not speak for themselves.

Senior Issues Task Force

Marcia Cook spoke for the Senior Issues Task Force, saying that there are currently two main focuses the group is working on: obtaining assistance for seniors who are going without their medications due to cost, and preventing crimes against seniors through education and awareness programs.

The task force participated in this year's Senior Resource Fair and had their first food drive.

Cook said the food drive was very successful, bringing in $600 in cash and six pallets of food that was distributed to four local food pantries.

[to top of second column]

The group is also working with the Logan County Triad, which brings together local law enforcement, senior service agencies and senior citizens in an effort to prevent crimes against seniors through education.

The group has also put together a program that gives seniors cell phones free of charge. The concept of the program is to be assured that in emergency situations, seniors have access to the services they need. The phones are restricted to dialing 911 only.

Cook said the task force also works to provide fun social events for the seniors and pointed out a special event they will have on Veterans Day. There will be a USO dance on Nov. 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the American Legion with music by the Jim Markham Swing Band.

The task force has also put together a Senior Resource Manual that lists dozens of services available to the elderly. The manual, which is available in hard copy from the task force, is also published online at

Domestic Abuse and Violence Task Force

Tiffany Carvalho spoke about the Domestic Abuse and Violence Task Force, which is often referred to as the DAV.

The task force is working on an education program for school-age children in kindergarten through eighth grade. The program is designed to help children understand domestic abuse and give them the courage to report acts of violence against themselves or their family members. The group works with this young age group using a theme of "Hands are not for hitting, words are not for hurting."

Carvalho said that one of the biggest challenges the DAV is facing is in encouraging victims of domestic abuse and violence to follow through with orders of protection.

In 2010 there have been 196 cases of domestic abuse or violence filed in Logan County. Of those, 164 warranted an emergency order of protection.

Emergency orders, though, are only temporary, and the problem lies in that too many victims will not follow through with plenary orders that would protect them from their assailant on a long-term basis. In 2010, of the 164 temporary orders filed, only 54 victims went on to seek plenary orders.


This concludes Part 1 of a two-part series on the 2010 report from the Healthy Communities Partnership.

In Part 2, Kristin Lessen, Marsha Greenslate, Roy Logan, Margie Harris and Kat Young report about the task forces they are involved with.


Past related articles

The story of Healthy Communities Partnership

Related links

< Top Stories index

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching and Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law and Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health and Fitness | Teen Scene
Calendar | Letters to the Editor