The Dyer County Health Council saw a few changes at its July meeting, but the mission of the organization remains constant -- just like the dedication of its members.
In spite of both a change of venue and new leaders directing the meeting, members returning to the bi-monthly meeting found familiar faces and the same team spirit around the tables in the community room at McIver's Grant Public Library.
Jessica Roser, elected as Health Council chair in May, led the meeting with the help of Robyn Burns. Longtime chair Beth Bell and secretary Nancy West were both on hand, offering encouragement at the passing of the gavel.
On the agenda, updates from the Coordinated Health Programs of both the Dyer County and Dyersburg City school system, the Tennessee Nutrition and Consumer Education Program and the Tobacco Settlement Grant recently awarded to Dyer County.
Those attending also received information on the upcoming Life Choices/Right Choices LIFE Maze and Dyersburg Regional Medical Center' annual Ladies Night Out events, and the Summer Feeding Program currently underway in 23 locations throughout Dyer and Lake counties.
Dyer County Health Educator Robyn Burns revealed the five priorities of the Dyer County Health Council for the 2014-2015 fiscal year, voted on by members and listed as the top five: obesity, teen pregnancy, tobacco, substance abuse and infant mortality.
Members will work to address these five dangers to the Dyer County community together over the coming fiscal year.
Dyer County Schools CSH Coordinator Jessica Roser updated members on summer initiatives including medals awarded to students participating in the running clubs at all Dyer County elementary schools and CPR training for 183 employees of the school system.
Newly retired Nancy West reported Kristen Byrd has been hired to take her place as Dyersburg City Schools CSH coordinator. West will continue as a member of the health council. Byrd will attend the next Health Council meeting.
Tennessee Nutrition and Consumer Education program assistant Sheila Jacobi is busy tabulating the posttests from the Power U and 5-2-1-0 programs offered to area students in the 2013-2014 academic year.
"Amy Carroll will be going into the county and city schools," said Butler.
Butler said interactive programs will show students how tobacco and the sun can age a person.
"Beth and I brought Robin and Amy in for some training," said West. "Jessica was there and Kristen was there. Everything went really well and we should have some quality anti-tobacco classes for our students this year ... and we also have a killer website."
West said the interactive website will offer anti-tobacco tips, games and even a scavenger hunt.
Life Choices Executive Director Kim Hampton updated health council members on the upcoming LIFE Maze event, scheduled to take place at the Lannom Center Oct. 21-24. The life-sized role play game offers area youth learn that their choices have consequences.
"We need to have about 100 volunteers each day to make it work," said Hampton. "We love to have the professionals involved in what they do every day. Last year, we had a total of 500 (participants). It was very effective."
Life Choices/Right Choices of West Tennessee will also host its annual Vision Fundraising Event featuring Leigh Anne Tuohy, subject of the blockbuster movie "The Blind Side" on Thursday, Aug. 14.
Seating is free, but limited. Entry to the event requires a pass, which must be picked up in advance from the Life Choices office.
Those interested in more information or reserving their passes may call 286-4673 or email Shannon@lifechoicesdyersburg.com.
Comedian, professional storyteller and motivational speaker Kelly Swanson will be the guest speaker at DRMC's annual Ladies' Night Out at the Lannom Center on Thursday, Oct. 9. The event will begin with a health and vendor expo at 4 p.m., with a sit-down dinner and Swanson's presentation, "Who hijacked my fairy tale?" following at 6 p.m.
Tickets are on sale now for $25.
DRMC Director of Marketing and Senior Circle Shellye Wallace informed members of the Dyer County Health Council that the hospital's Senior Circle program is still going strong, but the Healthy Woman monthly programming has been cut on the corporate level.
The Ladies Night Out event is a way to merge Healthy Woman's traditional anniversary event with Senior Circle's annual program. To purchase tickets, call 287-2101 or visit www.dyersburgregionalmc.com/healthywoman. Applications are also available for vendor booths. To receive a form, email Shellye_Wallace@chs.net.
The next meeting of the Dyer County Health Council will take place in the community room at McIver's Grant Public Library at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 9.