Improve citizen health and longevity by promoting healthy lifestyles and increasing access to quality health care through innovative programs, services, and education.
- Strategic Goal Number One Improve the physical fitness of Phillips County residents to decrease rates of obesity and associated chronic illness.
- Increase access to and usage of existing community facilities by pursuing expanded hours and increased usage of facilities (gyms, parks, tracks) that are not currently broadly available to the public (coordinate efforts with Tourism Goal Seven).
- Create safe areas for active living in Phillips County communities, including the addition or renovation of parks, walking/ hiking trails, and bicycle trails, in keeping with the specific recommendations of the 2008 Downtown Master Plan. Pursue funding through the Safe Routes to School Program (coordinate efforts with Tourism Goal Seven).
- Create new or expand existing sports leagues and intramural activities for all age groups in Phillips County. Develop a program committee to create a schedule for regular sports or fitness-related events at existing facilities and parks. Make this schedule of activities broadly available to all Phillips County residents (Chamber of Commerce website, etc.).
- Perform an assessment of the amount of rigorous physical activity engaged in by school-aged children. Alter or supplement existing programs to ensure that all Phillips County youth are meeting or exceeding state requirements for exercise.
- Pursue additional local and state policy changes to promote active living for Phillips County residents. Work through the Leadership Team of the Growing Healthy Communities initiative to ensure broad collaboration and coordination.
Strategic Goal Number Two Increase access to nutritious foods and increase the number of Phillips County residents eating a full, healthy diet within accepted calorie guidelines. Decrease rates of chronic illnesses associated with malnutrition and unhealthy diets.
- Form a coalition of food pantries and other providers to identify, educate and implement strategies that address food insecurity among residents in Phillips County.
- Implement a full “Kids Café” meal program at the Boys and Girls Club and additional meal programs in sites throughout Phillips County.
- Implement nutrition programs and healthy cooking classes to model best practices for increasing the amount of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains incorporated in the daily diet of Phillips County residents. Target parents with children in the home.
- Implement a community-wide marketing campaign including nutritional information, recipes, and healthy meal menus.
- Increase access to fresh produce by expanding the Phillips County Farmers Market and other produce stands, food cooperatives, and Farmers Market initiatives. Support the creation of markets/stores with fresh produce and whole grains within a 1 mile radius of all major neighborhoods in Phillips County.
- Create at least one school garden in Phillips County and increase the amount of fresh, locally grown produce available in school cafeterias. Provide training for staff or volunteers to ensure that all health guidelines are met and engage young people in selecting healthy menu options.
- Strategic Goal Three Improve access to health care providers to: 1) increase the number of Phillips County residents with regular access to health care, and 2) decrease instances of untreated or undertreated illness.
- Create a one-stop shop “Benefit Bank” to disseminate health-related information and increase access to health care providers. Work through the Minority Health Commission and Delta AHEC to establish a comprehensive electronic resource manual to disseminate health information and connect residents to health care providers, insurance coverage, health education classes, exercise facilities, and other health resources. Coordinate efforts with Legal Aid of Arkansas to expand access to health care.
- Create a Community Health Center in Phillips County to decrease the number of uninsured or underinsured residents without regular access to a primary care physician.
- Establish a regional dental clinic in Phillips County with the University Of Tennessee College Of Dentistry. This dental clinic will not only address unmet dental needs within Phillips County, but serve as a regional hub for low cost, accessible dental care.
- Address gaps in mental health services by increasing accesses to counseling services (include coordination with Addiction Treatment Center, court systems, and school districts).
- Strategic Goal Four In cooperation with the Education Goal Team and Economic Development Goal Team, improve workforce development opportunities for health-related careers and create a health career pipeline for school-aged children in Phillips County.
- Form a health career pipeline committee to include representatives of Phillips Community College, Delta AHEC, Phillips County schools, and the Minority Health Commission.
- Develop a comprehensive plan to create a pipeline for school-age children to a variety of medical careers. Incorporate shadowing/mentoring opportunities as well as specific internships and course offerings for middle school, high school, and college students.
- Provide additional health-related courses at Phillips Community College in fields most likely to experience job growth in the coming decades.
- Develop an incentive plan for recruiting and retaining highly skilled health care providers.
- Enhance existing health-related scholarship opportunities by increasing the amount and variety of scholarships offered and promoting scholarship offerings.
- Strategic Goal Number Five Reduce the rate of STDs and HIV/AIDS in Phillips County by raising community awareness through education programs & direct intervention.
- Implement a county-wide education initiative, targeting high risk populations, to disseminate key information about the prevention of and treatment of STDs and HIV/AIDS. This initiative should include a rigorous, school-based curriculum.
- Increase the testing rates for STDs and HIV/AIDS through targeted community outreach to populations most at risk.
- Work with State Health Department and UAMS College of Public Health to create a comprehensive data reporting system to establish baseline data for STD rates and testing rates.
- Strategic Goal Number Six Reduce the rates of teen pregnancy in Phillips County and provide counseling and education services to young parents.
- Carry out a county-wide media campaign to educate Phillips County residents about the risk factors associated with teen pregnancy and unsafe sex.
- Implement a rigorous school-based curriculum throughout the county proven to decrease teen pregnancy rates and unsafe sexual practices.
- Implement after-school programs proven to reduce high-risk sexual behavior and teen pregnancy. Work with existing youth service providers and identify additional locations or providers to deliver after-school programs to maximize the number of young people participating in the programs.
- Implement a parental training class that focuses on increasing lines of communication between parents and teens.
- Provide comprehensive parental skills training and support for new mothers and fathers in Phillips County. The courses should not only focus on parental skills, but should also connect new parents to job training resources and educational resources.
- Reduce incidents of child abuse and neglect through a comprehensive educational initiative, in coordination with parental skills trainings. Work with the justice system to provide court-mandated parental skills training for negligent parents.
- Strategic Goal Number Seven Construct a major addition next to the current Delta AHEC facility that will house an expanded Veterans Affairs Clinic, a new Senior Day Care center, a diabetes clinic, a therapeutic pool and other critical health services.
- Hire a qualified architect to complete an initial set of plans for the new facility.
- Secure funding sources to construct the new facility.
- Hire a qualified general contractor to construct the new facility.
- Implement programming in the completed facility and create and implement a marketing plan to ensure full awareness of the new program offerings.
- Strategic Goal Number Eight Create a regional Addiction Treatment Center in Phillips County.
- Assist the Wilbur D. Mills Center in locating a permanent residential facility in Phillips County. Secure necessary funding and open a 12 – 20 bed residential addiction treatment center in Phillips County.
- Expand the educational offerings to accommodate the current and projected need of outpatient services. Include support for clients and family members of individuals receiving treatment.
- Expand the facility from a county facility to a facility capable of addressing the region’s demands for residential substance abuse treatment.
- Strategic Goal Number Nine Enhance and expand the services of the Helena Regional Medical Center to make Helena-West Helena the regional hub for high quality medical services.
- Implement and promote a comprehensive Wound Care program at Helena Regional Medical Center. Install a hyperbaric chamber, train personnel, and promote the program to physicians and residents in the region.
- In coordination with local physicians, expand the weekend hospitalist program into a full-time program by recruiting and hiring two full-time physicians. The program will provide community physicians the option of following their patients into the hospital for treatment or referring patients to the hospital physician.
- Expand Orthopedic Services offered at Helena Regional Medical Center by hiring and retaining a highly qualified orthopedic surgeon and acquiring equipment necessary for complex orthopedic services. Promote expanded services to area physicians and residents.
- Improve recruitment and retention efforts for health care professionals by increasing collaboration with county and regional workforce development efforts and providing and promoting incentives for understaffed positions.
- Strategic Goal Number Ten Create a research center in Phillips County to serve as a regional base for medical and toxicological research.
- Assist the National Center for Toxicological Research, Marvell NIRI, UAMS Office of Community Based Public Health, USDA and the Obesity Research Initiative in creating a research center in Phillips County.
- Hire a qualified architect with green building expertise to complete an initial set of plans for the new/renovated facility.
- Secure necessary funding and construct or renovate space for a research center in Phillips County.
- Hire a qualified general contractor to construct the facility.
- Expand the research opportunities to accommodate the current and projected need of research across Phillips County.
- Expand the facility from a county facility to a facility capable of addressing the region’s demands for medical research.
Strengths – Opportunities
- Health Care
- Delta Area Health Education Center
- Diabetes education and prescription assistance program
- Nursing program at Phillips Community College
- Access to University of Arkansas Medical School resources
- Phillips County Cooperative Extension
- Delta Nutrition Intervention Research Initiative
- Numerous community groups working in health-related fields
- Allied Health Program
- Funding opportunities with passing of the Tobacco Tax
- Community Health Center Planning Grant
- Access to AR Kids and ARNET
- Lupus Foundation Local Office
- Alzheimer’s Support Group
- Tour da’ Delta, 5K Run, and other health-related community activities and competitions
Weaknesses – Threats
- Health Care
- High rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, STDs, and teen pregnancy
- Limited number of specialty doctors
- Lack of public transportation
- High rates of uninsured/underinsured patients
- Child neglect/abuse
- Lack of access to affordable, healthy foods
- High infant mortality rate
- Lack of preventive programs
- Lack of parks and sufficient hiking, biking, and walking trails
- Lack of coordinated healthy activities
- Limited extended-hours access of athletic facilities and gyms
- Sports/intramurals options not available to all age groups year-round
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