“It was a great year last year, and we can only hope that our successes follow into this year,” stated Will Tate, vice chairman of the Phillips County Hometown Health Improvement Coalition. The coalition met Tuesday to celebrate all the hard work that led to a successful year of health improvements in Helena-West Helena and Phillips County and to discuss the future of the organization. 

 

“It was a great year last year, and we can only hope that our successes follow into this year,” stated Will Tate, vice chairman of the Phillips County Hometown Health Improvement Coalition. The coalition met Tuesday to celebrate all the hard work that led to a successful year of health improvements in Helena-West Helena and Phillips County and to discuss the future of the organization. 
Robyn Clark, Hometown Health Improvement administrator, congratulated each member of the organization for all the dedication that they provided as “they educated and motivated our community to take responsibility for their healthcare.” 
Guest speaker, Keisha Grigsby, of the Arkansas Human Development Corp., presented the attentive audience with information concerning the National Farm Workers Program, which provides job training and employment assistance to migrant and seasonal farm workers. The goal of the NFJP is to assist farmers and their families attain greater economic stability by helping them acquire new job skills in occupations that offer higher wages and a more stable employment outlook.
“Basically what we do is if the applicant qualifies, we send them back to school where they can attend any school of their choice and major in whatever field they want, while being paid to attend their courses,” Grigsby explained.  “Meanwhile, we also provide core services that include skills assessments, job search, eligibility determination and access for MSFWs to the other core services of the local One-Stop Career Center.  Furthermore, we continue to follow up with each applicant, in order to instill a more stable form of positive reinforcement,” said Grisgby. 
Grigsby went onto explain that this program is offered to the workers’ dependants as well, if they qualify.
The HHI’s annual report, detailing the events that occurred last year, was distributed. 
“We have been very successful with the help from many of our supporters,” Tate said. 
Some of the successes included the Growing Healthier Communities training that was held at the Petit Jean Mountain, the focus group led by Jean Ford that explained why members of the Phillips County Community were unaware of all the services provided to them, and the multiple clinics that were held to promote prostate cancer awareness, the flu vaccinations that were offered to the community and many other health-related events.