Wellness Symposium Identifies Areas Of Focus To Improve Overall Community Health

Posted By on June 23, 2015


Courtesy of the 2015 Douglas County Health & Wellness Symposium

MINDEN, Nev. — The Minden Rotary Club Foundation and the Partnership of Community Resources recently sponsored the Douglas County Health & Wellness Symposium 2015. The meeting successfully produced a number of ideas and programs to improve needed services in Douglas County.

John Carne, a Rotarian who had the initial idea for the project, was joined by a committee of Cory Jo Allen, Dave Fogerson, Shannon Harris, Ali Moffitt, Jacie Peters, and Allison Ramsey to make the idea a reality. The committee brought experts together to act as moderators for five discussion tables.

State, County, and local nonprofits and community agencies, whose missions are varied and unique, were all sitting together for one purpose – making the health and wellness of the communities of Douglas County better, one key initiative at a time.

Experts from throughout the community identified opportunities within the vast areas of services for residents and became the Moderators for five topical table discussions with specific focuses:

Nutrition – Sarah Sanchez, Managing Director, Carson Valley Community Food Closet; Focus – to create a hunger-related resource group/network for Douglas County.
Youth – Christopher Croft, Executive Director, Tahoe Youth and Family Services; Focus – identify parents and youth for services and access to services.
Family Crisis Prevention – Steve Decker, Executive Director, Family Support Council of Douglas County; Focus – identify services to address preventing family crisis situations.
Mental Health (after-hours crisis intervention) – Marcie Young-Vest and Cindy Varble (under the direction of Jenni Johnson, Center Director, Douglas Counseling and Supportive Services); Focus – address the need for crisis mental health services after-hours and on-call.
Seniors and Veterans (suicide prevention) – Debbie Posnien, Executive Director, Suicide Prevention Network of Douglas County; Focus – bringing awareness about suicide prevention within these populations in Douglas County.

In addition to the five table topics, there were three improvement areas that crossed all topics – transportation/access, multi-cultural outreach, and financial resources. Each table addressed these areas, as they related to their specific topic.

After a lively and energizing brainstorming session, the topical tables regrouped to identify key initiatives and action plans that would create immediate implementation. Those initiatives were studied by all Symposium participants in a “walk around review”, for the opportunity to get everyone’s thoughts. And lastly, those action plans were shared in a reporting session for the entire group. The following section is a bulleted summary of each Table’s work product during the Symposium.

(Continued Below)

 Development of a Resource Guide and Flyer
o Create a brochure/flyer for distribution to clients and service providers specific to agencies that provide food.
o Secure a “hunger/food” page in the Partnership of Community Resources Resource Guide.
 “Hunger Action Month” – September
o Create a list of activities for each agency to collaboratively participate in to raise hunger awareness (i.e., newspaper articles, single event in September, etc.).
 Encouraging Healthy Choices
o Making a united effort to encourage our clients to make healthy choices.
o Encourage the community to donate more nutrient-dense items.
o Send this message through discussion and materials outreach.
 Nutrition Education and Cooking Classes
o The Food Closet and FISH to join resources for class ideas and incentives to provide clients with cooking and nutrition education classes at the levels of basic, intermediate, and experienced.
 Transportation
o Currently working with the County’s Social Services and DART program to make sure clients are able to receive rides to pick-up food.
 Multi-cultural Outreach
o Outreach materials to be provided in English and Spanish whenever possible.

 Create a summer program at James Lee Park in the Indian Hills community.
o Form a ‘planning committee’ for the program agenda.
o Thursdays, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., July 9 through August 13; six weeks.
o Provide breakfast, activities, lunch, and transportation home.
o Raise $1,200.00 to cover costs; personnel provided by Tahoe Youth and Family Services.
 Transportation
o Need for DART services; work with Parks and Recreation in expanding DART for transportation.
Multi-cultural Outreach
o Select area with highest needs and highest probability of youth participation.
o Confirmation that TYFS Staff is already trained in multi-cultural outreach.
 Financial Resources
o Request funds/in-kind donations for food and supplies.
o Create incentives for participation.

 Create a release of information form in Spanish to go to all Partners.
 Develop an adult multi-disciplinary team (MDT).
 Monthly community outreach regarding services, resources, and free activities (e.g., cooking classes, meals on wheels, involve school districts, etc.).
 Consider scholarships for events.
 Create a shared data base.
 Transportation
o Need for greater coordination of DART services to ensure easy client access to all County services.
 Multi-cultural Outreach
o Identify need for E/S informational materials and services.
o Possible ESL services.

 Develop a ‘Coordination of Care’ / Referral form that is signed by clients and faxed to the appropriate agency.
 Create a “Referral List” handout including Social Services and transportation options
that is consistent through all service agencies.
 Create a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) to focus on mental
health/crisis intervention; ongoing; monthly to start; location to be determined (to include T. Lee, ADSD, VA, Food Closet, FISH, DVMC, EFFD, DCSS, Soc. Srvs., NAMI, TYSF, FSC, JPO, DCSO, etc.).
 Develop after-hours on-call first responder/crisis team and consider grant development, contract workers, and volunteers through WNCC and UNR graduate programs.
 Develop community flowchart for all entities to utilize that will help clients navigate all Douglas County resources; provide training for all members of MDT.
 Transportation
o Address transportation issues for after-hours crisis intervention for clients.
 Financial Resources
o Consider collaborative grant writing for after-hours crisis intervention system.

 Mentoring programs at the Senior and Community Center to address the increased rate of suicide in the elderly.
 Create program for new residents (“Welcome Wagon” concept).
 Develop more opportunities for seniors to volunteer.
 Create a clearing house manned with volunteers to ‘reach out’.
 Increase avenues for groups to reach out to veterans.
 Create an opportunity for civilians to help Veterans’ groups, to spread the work and identify veterans in need.
 Transportation
o Increase DART services for regular access to services.
Follow-up on all the Table’s initiatives and actions will be guided by each Moderator with the assistance of their table participants.

The Symposium was graciously sponsored by Rotary International, Minden and the Partnership of Community Resources and was held at the Carson Valley Inn Casino.
Sincerest thanks to the Planning Committee who worked for four months to shape and conduct the Symposium:
 John Carne, Rotary International, Minden
 Cory Jo Allen, CJA Organization Development Services
 Dave Fogerson, East Fork Fire and Paramedic Districts
 Shannon Harris, Carson Valley Swim Center
 Ali Moffitt, Carson Valley Visitors Authority
 Jacie Peters, Note This! Mobile Notary
 Allison Ramsey, Partnership of Community Resources
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For further questions or to participate in any of the upcoming projects, please contact the Moderator listed on page 1, by your topic of interest.