Health coalition to open office in county

November 1, 2005

Harvest funded Health Coalition moves into high gear.

The Martinsville-Henry County Coalition for Health and Wellness has announced it will be opening a new facility this week in Henry County.

The facility at 6890 Greensboro Road will serve as a "base for educational program and outreach activities aimed at improving the overall health and wellness of area citizens," according to a press release.

"At this location we can offer programs that educate individuals on health, wellness and disease prevention issues.  We can also use the center as a home base for providing educational events at other locations," said Barbara Jackman, executive director of the coalition.

The facility formerly belonged to Memorial Hospital and now belongs to The Harvest Foundation, the main funding agency for the coalition.  The coalition has a three-year no-rent agreement to occupy the building, the press release said, but it will pay for utilities and upkeep.

The coalition expects two permanent staff members to work in the new building, where they will assist in the development of classes and programs, the press release said.  In the future, it said, the center also may be used for health screenings.

The coalition will keep its administrative and managerial offices at 22 Church St., Martinsville, the release said.

The coalition also announced it would launch its first educational program, which will be located at its new facility.  The program will be a "comprehensive overview of diabetes, related complications and means with which diabetics can deal with the disease," according to a press release.

"A key goal for the Martinsville-Henry County Coalition for Health and Wellness is to assist area citizens in addressing major chronic disease.  Diabetes is a serious, costly and increasingly common disease in the United States.  The need to increase the number of local citizens who receive formal diabetes education is a key objective noted in the comprehensive health and wellness study done in 2003," Jackman said.

The program will be free and open to residents of Henry County and Martinsville, but participants must have a referral from a physician to attend, the release said.  To find out more call 956-3587.

The coalition is a non-profit 501C3 tax-exempt organization.  It was founded in response to a 2003 health risk factor survey by the Harvest Foundation with a five-year $4.5 million Harvest Foundation Grant.


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