Thursday, Sept. 29, at the Johnston County Public Health Department, churches are invited to attend the first Johnston County Faith Network meeting.
The purpose of the Faith Network is to keep churches and faith-based organizations informed about community opportunities related to health promotion, grants, collaboration, outreach and strategic planning. In partnership with Partners in Health and Wholeness, an initiative of the NC Council of Churches, a lunch or dinner will be provided during the two meetings offered that day.
“We really think we have the potential to make this network awesome in Johnston County and we're very excited,” said Johnston County Health Department education specialist Brittany Waters.
This meeting could not happen without the support of a hard-working team at the Johnston County Health Department. Waters emphasizes their investment into the community’s health. “We want to make this big and plan to send out invites to at least 20 churches in the hopes that we have a nice turnout. In addition to speaking about the certification mini-grant, we want to gauge interest in implementing Faithful Families, other health education topics that we offer, and Health Literacy to assist the churches in fulfilling the mini-grant requirements,” Waters said.
In Johnston County, many faith-based organizations are already addressing challenges that include health-related issues. In 2014, Johnston County was ranked 76th for health behaviors out of 100 counties. There is more work to do. The goal is to create equal access to health opportunities. And the county wants to support communities to achieve healthy and thriving families. An excellent way is to reach out to the faith community, which is the center of so many families in Johnston County.
The summary of the 2014 County Health Rankings Mobilizing Action Toward Community Health Johnston County reports explains the health needs of Johnston County.
“The County Health Rankings help us to understand that where we live matters to our health. They demonstrate that it is important for us to focus on policies and programs that influence how healthy our residents are and how long they live. These rankings provide a snapshot of the health of our county based on previous data and more recent changes may have modified or improved these rankings. Regardless, we all play a part in our community’s health and these rankings reveal our need to work together toward solutions. Engaging our partners and residents in dialogue about strategies and programs that focus on the health of our communities is an investment in public health and strong communities. It is critical to our economic health and vital to achieve ‘Healthy Johnstonians in All Communities.’”
The Johnston County Faith Network meeting will be offered twice in one day to accommodate varied schedules. Churches are asked to bring two or three representatives who are prepared to share ideas and discuss upcoming health promotion goals (activities, events, outreach, programs). RSVP for the meeting of your choice (either the afternoon or evening) by Friday, Sept. 23, to Waters at 919-989-5200 or Brittany.Waters@johnstonnc.com.
▪ Afternoon meeting: noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Johnston County Public Health Department, 517 N. Brightleaf Blvd., Smithfield.
▪ Evening meeting: 6-7:30 p.m. at the Johnston County Public Health Department.