“The Health Council actually started in this room and it was full. More than we had chairs for,” said Ann Marie Brewer, director of community relations at SkyRidge Medical Center. “We reported at that meeting what specific project they were working on. We also did the needs assessment and used it to decide what we needed to focus on: suicide, breast cancer, and what other objective. I think we need more representation and we need to let each other know what we are working on because we are duplicating services.”
Clem asked the members what they thought the areas of most concern were, according to the statistics.
“We could use a nominal group technique,” Clem said. “Everyone will say what they think their top priorities are and then each person will list their top three. I will correlate the numbers and present them to the board. Then we have the top needs and you can decide what and how you are willing to help on. All of these problems are really complex. Two or three of Nus will not be able to stop adult smoking. There are a lot of factors to consider.”
Members decided they would release the statistics to members who missed the last meeting and vote on their top three concerns in November.
“We do not have the resources nor the money to duplicate any services,” said Roxanne Wooten, Bradley County Health Department community programs supervisor. “We cannot live in our silence to accomplish the mission of the health care needs in this community.”
The Health Council decided it was time to make a change versus talking about change.
“All we did was talk about infant mortality over and over and over,” Brewer said. “We have not fixed it.”
A copy of the original mission statement of the Health Council from the 90s was read aloud by Clem.
“Health Council is a coalition of community organizations, schools and individuals that strive to develop an environment that supports a healthy life through education, prevention and community services,” Clem read.
The Health Council will meet on Oct. 23 to discuss the statistics and prioritize the top concerns.