Ribbon Cutting Event to be held at Main Street Park in Clinton, Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 10:30am
The Van Buren County Wellness Committee invites the public to attend a ribbon cutting hosted by city & county officials on February 12, 10:30am at Clinton Main Street Park, following the committee’s regular meeting at the VBC Library. The event celebrates the launch of a grant-funded kiosk project featuring asset mapping of community health resources. Currently, three kiosks have been installed: one at the Main Street Park playground, one at the Archey Fork Park walking trails, and one near the entrance of the Ozark Health facilities. The design offers a detailed directory of healthy activities, community resources, and assistance programs available throughout Van Buren County.
The VBC Wellness Committee, founded by Roger Hooper in 2017, was modeled after the “Healthy Active Arkansas” program. Its goal is to create a bridge between local health resources, information, and initiatives in order to improve the health of Van Buren County residents. The commission is targeting obesity rates, tobacco use, workplace wellness, & food insecurity, as well as the need for mental health support & drug recovery programs.
The committee organized several town hall meetings with area medical professionals to explore its mission. It also joined the “Growing Healthy Communities” program from ARCOP (Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention) and in 2018 obtained a grant for its pilot project of creating a community health resource directory & asset map. The initial design was developed by ECT Web Designs with assistance from Cameron Tangen Designs. Along with other resources gathered by the board & volunteers, including the comprehensive Resource List maintained by Sue Pico, the asset maps are the foundation of a centralized wellness directory that will also promote the recreational opportunities in the area. The kiosks at the Park feature a scale map of the Park’s walking trails and & attractions, while the Ozark Health kiosk will display a helpful map of the Ozark Health facilities.
This spring, the Community Garden near the Health Department office will undergo improvements and act as an educational & assistance opportunity for the commission’s nutritional initiative. Later this year, the commission will carry out an action plan that involves improving communication among the county offices, schools, churches, and non-profits, and exploring further joint-use agreements and grant possibilities.
The initiative is currently directed by chairman Roger Hooper; members of the Health Department, including Donna Branscum, Teresa Gates, Mary Eakin; representatives from Ozark Health & the school districts; and several volunteers, with support from VBC Judge Dale James. Last month, the committee (along with the Clinton & South Side School Districts) was awarded the “Blossoming Community” ranking at the ARCOP meeting in Little Rock.
VBC Wellness Committee
c/o Donna Branscum, VBC Health Dept.