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Hometown health marks one year

Wednesday, April 17, 2002

The Fulton County Hometown Health Improvement meeting April 4 at the Orange Room of the North Arkansas Electric Co-op building marked the one-year anniversary of the coalition, Chairman Guy Smith said.

Smith handed out certificates of appreciation to volunteers of the coalition for going the extra mile. He said, "We have been very fortunate with this coalition and with great leaders."

An overview of the past year was discussed. At the first meeting last April Dr. Faye Boozman presented the concepts of hometown health and encouraged community involvement. Boozman stressed the coalition efforts could make a favorable difference in the health and safety of the residents, Smith said. Boozman is director of the Arkansas Department of Health.

In May, Salem Mayor Gary Clayton was the speaker on the topic of the dangers of methamphetamine.

The coalition listened to a presentation in June from Tara Clark-Hendrix on the findings of the August 2000 Fulton County Youth Risk Behavior Survey. The survey summarized the answers that area students had reported about safety, diet and exercise, sex, alcohol, drug and tobacco use.

Three committees were formed as a result of the data from the survey: tobacco, alcohol and substance abuse, nutrition/dietary behaviors and body image perception.

Following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon in September, the coalition was active in the rescue relief effort by collecting rescue related items and then arranging for their transportation to New York City and Washington D.C.

In September, MaLinda Taylor and Gwen Godwin represented Fulton County at a two-day Hometown Health Improvement Sustainability Retreat in Little Rock.

The American Cancer Society Relay for Life event will be held June 21 from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. at the Salem High School baseball field, said Hans Oliver, president of the Salem chamber. New ideas are needed and the relay is looking for volunteers and teams for the event in June.

The American Cancer Society Relay for Life is a concept that involves relay teams that take turns walking, running or strolling around a track to raise money.

A special luminary ceremony will be held at 9 p.m. where luminary bags will be placed around the track in honor of those who have survived cancer, those who are currently battling cancer and in memory of those who lost their battle with cancer.

Oliver said last year Fulton County raised over $20,000 for the event that helped place $14 million in research grants in this region.



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