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By: Erin Smith

The Healthy Bladen Collaborative met on Tuesday at the Bladen County Health Department and held a round table discussion and update of what different agencies are planning for the upcoming holiday season.

Kayla Brianne of the Young Families Connect told those in attendance that she and Carol Strickland had recently traveled to Dunn to take part in training for the SHIP program. She also noted that it appears the grant that is in place will continue another year.

Andrea Singletary told the group that she has been busy educating parents and legal guardians about the importance of having their children vaccinated against the flu.

Bladen Community College Human Resources Director Tiina Mundy told the group the college is one of two in the state to receive a Truth Initiative grant totaling $5,000. She told the group the funds will be used to implement a policy regarding moving the college to a smoke free campus.

“We will use it to do surveys and events,” said Mundy.

She said the staff has taken the policy to the Board of Trustees and some concerns were expressed that the college is not doing enough to help stop smoking.

Bladen County Department of Social Services Janet Miller told the group that it has been busy time at DSS. She said the staff at DSS was very appreciative of Sheila Rains who made a presentation on communicable diseases

Miller also told the group that DSS is preparing to begin its winter energy program.  The month of December the program will be open to those who are 60 or over and the disabled and in January, the program will be opened to the public. Miller said there are income requirements recipients must meet and the payment will only be made one time directly to the vendor such as the gas company or electric company.

Patti Miller with Bladen County Parks and Recreation told the group that her department has sent three teams to play in the All Stars Soccer tourney and the 14 youth team brought home a silver medal.

Miller said that basketball registration is under way and cost is $30 to participate and there are three age groups – 6 to 8 co-ed; 9 to 12 years old boys; and 9 to 12 years old girls. Applications can be obtained from the Bladen County Parks and Recreation office located at 803 West King Street in Elizabethtown.

Miller also said football will wrap up on Thursday.

Miller said a new item this year that the Parks and Recreation staff is excited about is a Baseball Hitting Camp that will take place on Dec. 19 and will be taught by Paul Faulk and his son Tripp Faulk.  Paul Faulk is an area baseball scout for the Washington Nationals and was affiliated with the Giants and Indians teams. Tripp Faulk is a baseball coach at Carson-Newman College.  For more information on the baseball camp, call the Parks and Recreation Office at 910.862.6770.

Other items discussed included a new faith-based walking program as well as the Great American Smoke Out which will take place on Thursday.  The group was also reminded of the 4-H Christmas Toy Drive that is under way.  New, unwrapped toys may be delivered to the Powell-Melvin Agricultural Service Center located on Smith Circle in Elizabethtown.

Ernest Watts told the group that HUD is moving towards smoke free campuses for their housing with smoke free indoors and a smoke free 25 foot perimeter on the exterior. Watts said there is a 90 day comment period that will take place followed by an 18 month transition period.

Marianne Valentiner updated the group that Stacie Kinlaw has created a Google calendar whereby each department can post their events.

The next Healthy Bladen Collaborative meeting will be Tuesday, Jan. 26, at 9 a.m. in the large conference room at the Bladen County Health Department.


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