The Community Health Council of Rutherford County provides the structure for the leadership of major organizations to work effectively together to address Rutherford County’s key health concerns.
This committee exists to create opportunities for individuals and businesses in our community to participate in safe, healthy activities. This group includes activities of Safe Kids of Rutherford County, increasing access to local trails, promoting activities organized by Rutherford Outdoor Coalition and the creation of a business competition rewarding time spent by employees for increasing the levels of physical activity. The group also facilitates Healthy Kids Night with the Forest City Owls and other promotions aimed at introducing children to healthy lifestyles.
- Provide help for community residents through the Cancer Patient Assistance Fund and the Mammograms for Uninsured Women initiative.
- Connect patients to non-clinical resources such as food, social services, support groups, wigs and turbans and exercise programs, such as Walk with
a Doc and local walking groups.
- Identify needs and then create and coordinate screening, prevention, education, and support services to be offered by a network of providers in our
- Serve as the contact and avenue for those who want to financially support local cancer services.
The Healthy Eating committee collaborates with community partners to increase healthy eating and for individuals, families, and communities. We support strategies and initiatives that increase access to healthy foods, promote nutritious food and beverage choices, provide opportunities to be active, and promote management and prevention of chronic illnesses. We are integral in the creation and operations of a local Food Network.
The Opioid Forum Implementation Team is an ad-hoc group that is working to carry out the ideas and suggestions that were offered at the recent Opioid Forum sponsored by the County Commissioners and the Community Health Council. The group is responsible for developing a solution for several community concerns through offering a direct solution to these issues or for identifying and engaging a lead agency that is equipped to respond.
Proposed 2018 initiatives:
- Serve as the steering committee and clearing house for discussions about detox and treatment facilities to serve substance abusers in Rutherford County.
- Support the United Way and the District Attorney in their efforts to create a job re-entry network for persons who have legal barriers stemming from substance addictions, and social issues such as safe housing, health care, job skill training, driver privileges, transportation and education.
- Expand education and information to the public about the risks of prescribed medications. Create or expand distribution of a resource guide for community members, including prevention, treatment, recovery, and re-entry programs available to our residents. This could include a second forum specifically for this purpose.
- Expand educational opportunities for medical professionals and pharmacists about prescribing medications to limit excess availability. Understand the providers’ barriers to providing medication assisted treatment options, detox protocols and referrals for treatment and assist in removing those barriers.
- Advocate to our national and state legislators to support legislation and funding that will provide local communities greater resources and tools to identify and treat substance abuse and to proactively (instead of reactively) address the gaps that lead to greater access and abuse of opioids and other addictive substances.
- Continue to meet as a broad-based group involved in substance abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery. Use this group to identify needs of all affected agencies and agree upon key solutions. Create business plans and write grants to secure grant funding for sustainable projects that will decrease substance abuse, mitigate harm, improve treatment, or improve the likelihood of recovery.
Team Members: Steve Garrison, Jill Miracle, Suzanne Porter, Shelley Foreman, Karen Powell, Susan Hoy, Terri Robinson, Lynn Reinhardt, Deana Harrill, Lee Homan.
The Substance Abuse sub-committee works with an array of community partners to prevent and reduce substance use among youth and adults in Rutherford County. We focus on prevention, intervention, and treatment strategies as well as reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness and substance use addiction. We also strive to increase community awareness of local providers and the services they offer.