Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Fulton County Task Force on HIV/AIDS Presents HIV, Hepatitis C & Heroin in North Fulton: Confronting a Real Community Crisis

Every Kid Healthy Week Salute to Fulton County Schools Creative PE Program

Every child in Fulton County deserves to be well-nourished, physically active, healthy and ready to learn. Studies from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and elsewhere show that in addition to preventing obesity and obesity-related health problems, regular physical activity enhances important components of academic performance for youngsters, including concentration, cognition and classroom behavior.

Sadly, one in three children aged 2 to 17 in Fulton County is estimated to be either overweight or obese and fewer than half of Georgia high school students are physically active for at least an hour a day.  Health experts say that if these trends continue, this generation will be the first in history to live shorter lives than their parents.

The good news is, with sound nutrition and opportunities for physical activity, kids thrive. That’s why Action for Healthy Kids and the Fulton County Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) Program are calling on adults and children alike during Every Kid Healthy Week (April 25-29, 2016) to help make schools healthier places, so kids can live healthier lives and be better prepared to learn and succeed academically.

This week, the Fulton County PICH Program is shining a spotlight on the wonderful efforts by Fulton County Schools to improve the health and wellness of students.  The PICH Program is proud of its partnership with Fulton County Schools to implement creative Physical Education programs in elementary and middle schools this year. PICH provides financial support for the implementation of the Exemplary Physical Education Curriculum (EPEC) in all Fulton County elementary schools and the SPARK Curriculum in middle schools. Both programs are research-based and promote healthy habits in all aspects of students’ lives. PICH is also funding a series of workshops that to-date have trained over 300 health and PE teachers in creative P.E. instruction techniques.

Combating childhood obesity by increasing opportunities for physical activity is a topline goal of the PICH Program. The collaboration between PICH and the Fulton County Schools on these new P.E. strategies will ensure that students have the means to become both physically fit and academically stronger.

Dr. Tasha Guadalupe, Health and Physical Education Coordinator for Fulton County Schools, says the resource funding that PICH is providing will “enhance teachers’ instructional strategies through a standards-based approach, helping students to maintain good health, perform better in class, and promote an active lifestyle.”

Learn more about the PICH Program at http://www.fultoncountyga.gov/partnership-to-improve-community-health. For more information about the Fulton County Schools, visit http://www.fultonschools.org. The website http://www.everykidhealthyweek.org has details about Every Kid Healthy Week.

Friday, April 15, 2016

PICH Program Focuses on Creating Greater Health Equity During Minority Health Month

April is National Minority Health Month, and this year’s theme is, “Accelerating Health Equity for the Nation.” The Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) Program is joining the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) and other agencies and organizations to raise awareness of the health disparities that continue to affect racial and ethnic minorities and to highlight efforts to close the gaps.
Health disparities are differences in health conditions and rates of chronic illness among various communities.  These differences can be caused by unequal access to information, care, physical activities and nutritious foods that allow people to lead healthy lives. Some of the factors that limit access are lack of adequate education, financial investment, housing, transportation, employment and income.

Health disparities in too many communities are costly and widespread. They often have a devastating impact on the health outcomes and the prosperity of our nation. OMH reports that health disparities are linked to $50.3 billion in medical costs to treat preventable illnesses.

Dr. Booker T. Washington proposed the observance of "National Negro Health Week" over 100 years ago, in April 1915. Recognizing that health is the key to progress and equity in all other things, Dr. Washington called on local health departments, schools, churches, businesses, professional associations, and the most influential organizations in the African-American community to "pull together" and "unite… in one great National Health Movement." That movement grew into National Minority Health Month.

Most recently, the transformation of America’s health care system has accelerated efforts to improve the health status of minority populations that began with the release of the HHS Report of the Secretary’s Task Force on Black and Minority Health in 1985 and the establishment of OMH in 1986.

Here’s a snapshot of disparities within the city of Atlanta, reported in the 2015 Big Cities Health Inventory. (All mortality rates are per 100,000 people):

• The cancer mortality rate in the city’s overall population is 159, but it’s 208 for blacks compared
to 129 for whites.

o For female breast cancer, the overall rate is 26, but 35 for blacks versus 19 for whites.

o Lung cancer rates follow the same trend: a mortality rate of 38 in the overall population; but
52 for blacks compared to 29 for whites.

• While the overall diabetes mortality rate is 19, it’s nearly 37 for blacks versus 7 for whites.

• The heart disease mortality rate is 157 overall and 121 for whites, but for Atlanta’s blacks it’s 209.

• Among key health factors:
o While 25% of adults overall are obese, 35% of blacks fall into the category, versus just 15% of whites.

o A full 16% of adults in the overall population smoke, compared to 20% of blacks and 13% of whites.

• There’s one bright spot: nearly 29% of black adults in the city meet CDC recommended physical activity levels, slightly higher than the 27% rate in the overall population and almost equal to the 30% of whites who do.

PICH Program Initiatives Targeting Disparities
Reducing the existing health disparities among residents in all Fulton County communities is one of the PICH Program’s major goals.  Among its strategies to accomplish this:

• PICH is funding research by Georgia State University around citizen opinions on smoking in public areas and conducting environmental tests in bars and restaurants to measure the impact of public smoking on air quality.

• PICH is funding the use of new instructional materials to implement innovative Physical Education curricula in all Fulton County elementary and middle schools.

• PICH is working with the Georgia Department of Early Care and Adult Learning (DECAL), HealthMPowers, community partners and day care center administrators within Fulton County to increase the number of early care and education providers that incorporate healthy weight protocols covering physical activity and nutrition plans into their operations.

• PICH is preparing to launch an Interfaith Active Living Initiative to help faith-based groups create or enhance walking clubs and other healthy activities that improve fitness and overall wellness.

Look for more information about the PICH Program’s work to reduce health disparities in Fulton County in the upcoming NOW Supplement inside the Atlanta Voice, available at newsstands and online April 22. Also please visit the PICH website at http://www.fultoncountyga.gov/partnership-to-improve-community-health.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Three Community Meetings Planned for Unincorporated South Fulton County

Meetings will cover the status of 2035 Comprehensive Plan

Fulton County will host its second series of Community Workshop meetings in April 2016 to discuss the findings of the 2035 Fulton County Comprehensive Plan. A kick-off meeting will take place Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at 6:30pm at the Fulton County South Annex located at 5600 Stonewall Tell Road, Atlanta, GA 30349.

This second round of meetings will provide an update of past workshops that took in place in January 2016. Once again, residents of Unincorporated South Fulton will have the chance to weigh in on the identified goals and needs of their community.

“The meetings held in January were very productive,” states Shayla Reed of the Fulton County Department of Planning and Community Services. “We strongly encourage residents to attend at least one of the upcoming meetings to give us feedback for crafting the plan for Unincorporated Fulton County’s future.”

The first of three Community Meetings will take place:

Thursday, April 21, 2016
6:30 pm
Wolfcreek Library
3100 Enon Road, SW
Atlanta, GA 30331

Tuesday, April 26, 2016
10:00 am
Fulton County Aviation Community Cultural Center
3900 Aviation Circle, NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30336

Thursday, April 28, 2016
6:30 pm
Burdett Park
2945 Burdett Road
College Park, Georgia 30349

Fulton County uses the Comprehensive Plan to guide choices about how they will invest in and develop future land use for the next 20 years.  The Plan provides direction, tools and strategies for a vibrant and thriving Unincorporated South Fulton County. 

For more information, please visit http://www.fultoncountyga.gov/fcpcsd-comprehensive-planning/2035-comp-plan or call 404-612-7800.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Juma Returns to Fulton County to Recruit another 200 Youth

My Brother’s Keeper Fulton County (MBKFC) will host a new recruitment with Juma Ventures on Saturday, April 16, 2016 from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm.  The new recruitment will be held at Oak Hill, Child, Family and Adolescent Center located at 2805 Metropolitan Parkway SW, Atlanta, GA.  Employment opportunities for young adults ages 18-21 at the Georgia Dome and Turner Field will be available at the hiring event.

Applicants must register to participate in pre-employment sessions that will include the following activities:
  • Application Completion Session
  • Presenting the Best You Seminar
  • Mock Interview Session
  • Actual Job Interview

Applicants must register by visiting https://www.eventbrite.com/e/my-brothers-keeper-fulton-county-taskforce-juma-ventures-job-fair-tickets-23041608070  

The new recruitments are part of a continuing collaboration among the Fulton County Aging and Youth Services Department, Juma Ventures and My Brother’s Keeper Fulton County Task Force.  MBKFC is an initiative of Chairman John H. Eaves Ph.D., District 7 and Commissioner Joan P. Garner, District 4.

Aging and Youth Services Director Dr. John M. Thompson expressed his excitement about the continued partnership with Juma Ventures.  “The Georgia Dome recruitment is another wonderful opportunity to prepare our young adults for the world of work, assist them with their finances to prepare for higher education and to teach them the principles of financial management. This partnership is a major boost to help young adults to build successful futures,” said Dr. Thompson.

MBKFC is part of the national My Brother’s Keeper Alliance created by President Barack Obama to help young people reach their full potential through second chances and to remain on track to reach their goals.

“Juma's effort to employ (200) opportunity youth -- disengaged, out of work and out of school young adults, ages 18-21 has been a success in Atlanta.  Where there is a lack of economic opportunities, there is often a lack of hope and inherent social, health, and legal problems that are by-products of the environment.  Collaborations with programs such as My Brother's Keeper Fulton County’s Taskforce, as a whole, have embraced Juma's efforts to enrich, enlighten, and advance their community,” said Richard Martinez, Juma’s Chief of Social Enterprise.

Juma strives to break the cycle of poverty by paving the way to work, education and financial capability for the most economically challenged and disadvantaged youth in America.  The pre-employment events represent a continued partnership with MBK Fulton County to provide disadvantaged Fulton County youth with employment for years to come.  The previously hired 80 youth and young adults completed training the weekend of March 26-27, 2016 and began operating 6 concessions stands at Turner Field for the Atlanta Braves Opening Day on April 4, 2016.

For more information, contact My Brother’s Keeper Fulton County Program Coordinator Robert Lewis Jr. by email (robert.lewis@fultoncountyga.gov) or phone (404-613-7937).