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Health Coalition Secures Transportation Grant; Schedules Community Focus Groups

Healthy Choices, Healthy Communities (HCHC) has received a $35,000 planning grant from the Community Transportation Association of America to identify gaps, facilitate development, and to connect transportation systems in Eastern Kentucky and Southern Ohio. The coordinated system will be inclusive and will involve in the process those set to benefit from an interconnected system, such as people with disabilities, elderly and family caregivers. As part of the planning, 10 focus groups have been scheduled throughout the region to discuss the area’s transportation needs.

All interested community residents are invited to attend a focus group. The first group took place at Neighbors Helping Neighbors last week. The remaining nine focus groups are scheduled for:

  • Olive Hill Senior Center; Olive Hill; Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 9:30 a.m.
  • Christian Care Communities; Grayson; Friday, Oct. 5 at 2:30 p.m.
  • Helping Hands; Greenup; Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 11 a.m.
  • Ironton Metropolitan Housing Authority (aka Harriet Lewis Building); Ironton; Thursday, Oct. 11 at 10 a.m.
  • Boyd County Senior Center; Catlettsburg; Friday, Oct. 12 at 10 a.m.
  • McKell Branch Library; South Shore; Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 10 a.m.
  • Flatwoods Senior Center; Flatwoods; Thursday, Oct. 18 at 9:30 a.m.
  • Lawrence County Developmental Disabilities Board Office; Coal Grove; Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 9:30 a.m.
  • Carter County Senior Center; Grayson; Monday, Oct. 29 at 9:30 a.m.

HCHC representative Joseph Mazzawi said the work that led to the transportation grant began with the coalition’s 2016 community health needs assessment. “When our coalition engaged community members in our assessment, what came back was evidence that transportation is a big barrier for many in our communities,” Mazzawi said. “Immediately, we began trying to address this need by forming a workgroup within our coalition devoted entirely to transportation issues and out of that workgroup we were able to secure this very important grant. So my thanks to Vicki Green with the FIVCO Area Development District and Diva Justice from Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital who co-chair the coalition’s transportation workgroup.”

The planning grant is for six months and HCHC representatives are actively seeking community members to participate on the steering committee that drives the project. “We plan to collect feedback and recommendations for improving our current transportation infrastructure through a transportation survey and the regional focus groups,” Mazzawi said. Mazzawi encouraged all community members to attend a focus group and/or to go online and complete a brief survey concerning community transportation. The online survey can be found at surveymonkey.com/r/REACH_Appalachia.

HCHC is comprised of members throughout the Tri-State region. The mission statement of the organization is “To improve the health of our communities through collaboration, education, prevention and access to healthy choices.”

Reservations are not required to attend the transportation focus groups. For more information concerning the groups, contact Marsha McDavid at (606) 833-4032. For more information concerning Healthy Choices, Healthy Communities, visit facebook.com/healthychoiceshealthycommunities.


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