ITHACA — Action Toward Independence (ATI) and Sullivan 180 were presenters at this year’s National Health Outreach and Engagement Conference held for Cooperative Extensions throughout the …
ITHACA — Action Toward Independence (ATI) and Sullivan 180 were presenters at this year’s National Health Outreach and Engagement Conference held for Cooperative Extensions throughout the country. The conference was held in Ithaca, NY at the Statler Hotel and the Statler Hall on Cornell University’s campus.
With the theme of “Health Equity: Framing our Work,” the conference focused on ensuring that all people have a fair and just opportunity to experience lifelong health and well-being. Keynote speakers, concurrent and poster sessions were relevant for professionals who address health, nutrition, youth development, workforce development and human development.
ATI and Sullivan 180 were team members in a Public Health Essentials Project that worked with three teams from rural counties. Each county’s team, under the guidance of facilitator Cheyanna Frost, the Program Manager for Public Workforce Development at Cornell University participated in a 20-week class that provided them tools and information that could help them build partnerships for positive health outcomes.
The team, comprised of ATI, Sullivan 180 and two members from Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County, had to take on a specific project. The first phase organized by the Sullivan County team was the MLK Day of Service event that had 80 students, with the help of 18 nonprofit organizations from across Sullivan County, participate in an exciting day where they learned about building resiliency and the power they possess to make positive changes.
The team is currently planning for the next phase – an upcoming leadership workshop in July that will focus on workplace wellness and how to create a healthier work environment.
All of this could not be done by one agency or organization. It has to be a collective of support. Meaghan Mullally-Gorr, Director of Health and Wellness at Sullivan 180 said, “The course helped us demonstrate the importance of teamwork and that will take all of our community organizations working together to turn around the health of Sullivan County.”
Deborah Worden, Executive Director of Action Toward Independence said, “The very first class really drew me in when the discussion was not just about the ‘Science’ of Public Health but the ‘Art and Science’ of Public Health. They were encouraging us to be creative and to provide feedback, especially bringing the perspective of individuals with disabilities who live in a rural area. The whole program really validated the importance of small community-based organizations and their involvement in all aspects of public health, which has a tremendous positive impact on the overall health of a community and the residents.
“Being able to present this to other organizations, even from as far away as Alaska, was an honor for the team.”
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