The UK College of Public Health sent four participants to a Cumberland Valley Area Development District coalition meeting on June 25, 2014. Dr. Angela Carman, Clinical Assistant Professor in Health Management and Policy; Margaret McGladrey, Assistant Dean for Research; and College of Public Health students, Justine Maxwell and Olivia Whitman, attended the event, which highlighted the power of collective impact in the improvement of community health.
Dr. Carman participated in the opening roundtable discussion of the event, discussing the importance of working together to create meaningful and lasting solutions to complex community health problems. “You need a backbone,” Carman said. “You need reinforcement – you need a team for collective impact.”
The meeting, attended by health coalition leaders, public health experts, and practitioners, highlighted the efforts of eight Southeastern Kentucky counties to improve the health of their communities. Efforts to create Farm to School programs, community gardens, substance abuse prevention strategies, and physical activity initiatives are especially important in the Cumberland Valley Region, where the environment can create challenges for individual’s health.
“People are healthier when their communities provide access to healthy foods, opportunities for safe physical activity, and access to health care,” stated event organizer Lynnett Renner, Public Health Director for the Cumberland Valley District Health Department. “Communities must work together across sectors to identify strategies that can reduce [chronic disease] risk factors such as poor nutrition, limited physical activity, and tobacco use.”
For a complete story on the coalition meeting, please go to http://clayconews.com/news/area-news/5014-community-health-article-multi-coalition-meeting.html.