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Coalition on Human Services hears about city’s recent health initiative

The Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services heard a presentation from three specialists in the field of creating healthy communities on Tuesday, February 27, at 9:30 a.m. at Elizabeth Sullivan Memorial United Methodist Church.

Taffy Morrison of Well Ahead Louisiana, Derek Covert of Our Lady of the Angels Hospital and Keisha Fletcher of LSU Ag Center represented the new Mayor’s Health Council for a Healthier Bogalusa.

Morrison currently serves as the Regional Coordinator for the Louisiana Department of Health/Office of Public Health Well-Ahead Louisiana Statewide initiative, Well-Ahead Healthy Communities Lead and the Co-Chair for the Louisiana Healthy Community Coalition-Region 9.

Fletcher is the new Family and Consumer Sciences General Nutrition Agent with the LSU AgCenter in Washington and Tangipahoa parishes. She received her bachelor of arts degree from the University of Minnesota-Morris in Sociology, a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Phoenix, and a Nutrition Certification from the University of Utah. A community forum will be held on March 22 at First Baptist Church, 541 Ave. F from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., with lunch provided.

The initiative has a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation coach advising the group on first steps in organizing an initiative that deals with obesity, longer life, healthier living, exercise, food choices, parks and recreation, city weight loss, church walking clubs and activities for young people.

ADAPT, Inc. agency representatives attended the annual Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) Conference on Feb. 5-8 in Washington, D.C. The conference was a four-day event packed with opportunities to learn the latest strategies to fight substance abuse and hear from nationally-known prevention experts, federal administrators, and concerned policymakers. The forum drew over 3,000 participants representing coalitions from all regions of the country and internationally, government leaders, youth, prevention specialists, addiction treatment professionals, addiction recovery advocates, researchers, education institutions, law enforcement professionals, and faith-based leaders.

There will be a Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 28 at Neilsen’s Pharmacy from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. As a result of partnering with the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Bogalusa Police Department to safely dispose of your old medications, all prescriptions (Schedule II-V controlled and non-controlled substances) and Over the Counter medications will be accepted.

A representative from Safe Harbor, Catholic Charities, Bogalusa High School, Nurse Family Partnership, Mary Bird Perkins, Anderson Agency, Louisiana HealthCare Connections, Healthy Blue, Bogalusa Police Department, Florida Parishes Human Services Authority, Bogalusa Head Start, Well Ahead, Louisiana Healthy Community Coalition Region 9 and Our Lady of the Angels Hospital gave information on their latest community endeavors.

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 27, with Heather Gernold of Florida Parish Human Services Authority speaking on opioid addiction. There will be a committee meeting at 8:30 a.m. and a coalition meeting at 9:30 a.m.here is more information available about the Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services by visiting wpchs.weebly.com or like us on Facebook at WPCHS. Find and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/WPCoalitionHS or on Instagram at www.instagram.com/adaptincorporated/.

This article is written by Gail Brigham, who is the second vice president of the Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services.