HHCC makes headway on requirements for 3 grants

Healthy Henry County Communities is hard at work ensuring the three grants they have been awarded in the past six months are put to good use.

The Healthy Henry County Communities (HHCC) board double checked grant requirements for the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) 5-2-1-0 Childhood Health Campaign during their meeting on Thursday, Dec. 4. They also discussed strategic plans for the HRSA Grant, and received news of a third grant ? a $2,000 Enhance Henry County Grant that will help HHCC promote healthy activities within the community.

After identifying the three child care centers and one health care center for the 5-2-1-0 grant requirements at the HHCC meeting on Thursday, Nov. 7, Zach James, planning director with Southeast Iowa Regional Planning commission (SEIRPC), said they have held meetings with the agencies chosen.

These meetings include giving an overview of the 5-2-1-0 program, going over grant requirements and doing an assessment of each facility. The goal is to identify one policy change and one environmental change to promote the elements of the grant ? five fruits or vegetables a day, two or less hours of recreational television, one hour of activity and zero sugary drinks.

HHCC will be working with Henry County Head Start, Mt. Pleasant Community School?s 4-year-old preschool program, the Mt. Pleasant REC center?s after-school program, New London Community Childcare and Family Medicine of Mt. Pleasant, and Son Shine Academy on the 5-2-1-0 grant.

The HRSA Grant team has also made headway identifying the organizations within mental health, dental care and transportation that they will work with to address health care needs in Henry County. This collaboration will be put into practice over the next three years as HHCC receives grant money. The HRSA action team hopes these partnerships create a strong enough vision that will continue to improve overall health of the community even after the grant is complete.

These organizations include Henry County Public Health, Henry County Health Center, Family Medicine of Mt. Pleasant, Hillcrest Family Services, ADDS, Community Action of Southeast Iowa, Sunnybrook of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and The Fellowship Cup. Additional partners will be asked to join the team now that the needs assessment and strategic plan are complete, said Kelly Carr, director of HHCC.

?How are we going to build something that is sustainable and help people not fall through the cracks moving forward?? Carr said, explaining the goal of the HRSA grant.

The next step in the HRSA action plan is to find ways to create an evaluation plan to measure the success of the program.

In other news, since Greg Moeller will begin serving on the Board of Public Health, he is stepping down from his position on HHCC?s board. With the two organizations transitioning to county operations in July, HHCC will be housed under the Public Health umbrella.

Moeller said that this keeps the governing of HHCC separate from the Board of Health. ?We need to keep the two boards operating separately,? he said.