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Healthy Bladen Collaborative February meeting

Healthy Bladen Tuesday mtgA group called Healthy Bladen Collaborative meets every month because they are dedicated to making our communities healthier, and this month was no different. The members discuss up coming events, services and other projects in our county set in place to help our citizens.

Marianne Valentiner, the chair of the collaborative gave a report from the last month’s meeting listing information from agencies such as Young Families Connect RFA, NC Cooperative Extension, Bladen Community College, Bladen County Department of Social Services.

Valentiner updated the group about the progress the Bladen County Health Educators have had in distributing information throughout the community and stated they will continue in those efforts.

A new program at Bladen Community College called “Making a Real Change for Health, (M.A.R.C.H.) in collaboration with NC Cooperative Extension for weight loss management started on January 26th. This program will focus on weight loss/ management with weekly weigh-ins, nutrition, and physcial activitiy. The class will be offered for 10 weeks and will end March 29th, 2016.

Bladen County Sheriff Department has been organizing a lot of classes for training. Sheriff McVicker and Captain Jeff Singletary were in attendance to talk about the ways their department is trying to help our community. They will be working with Eastpointe MCO to have officers trained in how to react to mentally unstable people in times of a crisis.

Elizabethtown Presbyterian Church is sponsoring a Journey to Jerusalem, which is a virtual visit to the old country, according to Dawn Maynard. There are 6,150 miles from Elizabethtown, North Carolina to Jerusalem, Israel. The church is asking for help. Everyone is asked to track the miles they walk, run, or cycle and record them by visiting and click the red button at the top of the page.

The sales tax increase will be back up for a vote in the March primary according to County Commissioner Charles Ray Peterson. Peterson explained the benefits of the tax increase for all citizens in Bladen County.

Patti Miller with the Bladen County Recreation Department announced the recreation department is applying for a grant to upgrade the county park. She also said the recreation department is now accepting applications for the Girls Softball teams and Dixie Boys Baseball.

Stacie Kinlaw with 4-H said there will be at least one 4-H class offered this summer, but it is still in the planning stages.

Bladen County Hospital representatives reported the hospital is working with other area agencies and caregivers to make sure the hospital’s transition of care is working well. The hospital is also working on being certified in pneumonia care.

Brenda Clark with Bladen County Economic Development said a blood drive will be held at the industrial park every 50 days.

The Bladen Community College Legacy program and others working to reduce tobacco use in Bladen County reported there are 14 apartment complexes in Bladen County that are smoke free.

Janet Miller with the Department of Social Services reported they still have funds available for people needing assistance with their utilities. If someone needs assistance with their utilities expenses, they need to contact the Social Services Department.

Miller also announced March is National Social Worker Month and April is Child Abuse Awareness Month.

Cheryl Harris with Eastpointe MCO had several announcements. She said Eastpointe is now offering an Assessment and Management of Additions: Overview and Update for Healthcare Providers, and other resources to help not only the public but healthcare providers. They now have a Facebook page to go with their website to help keep people up to date on what they have to offer.

Elizabethtown Rotary will be holding the annual Elizabethtown Rotary 8K Trail Run and Walk at the Brown’s Creek Bike Trail and Nature Park to raise funds for the USO of NC. For more information visit,

There is a calendar of events on the Health Department’s website listing all the area events.

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