By Mary Alice Murphy
The Grant County Community Health Council held its last meeting with Cari Lemon as its director on Monday Sept. 10. 2018. She has taken another job.
As the health council is in transition, the job will not immediately be filled. Lemon will help with the transition and will continue to be involved as a newly named health council member.
The health council has completed its assessment survey, with a total of 679 surveys having been received and input into the online account using SurveyMonkey. The account is owned by Hidalgo Medical Services through health council member, Dan Otero, who offered the use. In kind assistance was also provided by Gila Regional Medical Center through marketing director, Doug Oakes, who promoted the survey through publicity, social media and a link on grmc.org. The health council wishes to express its appreciation to everyone who filled out the survey and those who partnered with the council to promote it.
The next step is creating the report and a PowerPoint presentation for reporting the results to stakeholder groups. Discussion ensued among the members on how to find a contractor to prepare the report and presentation. A motion approved a limited budget for creating the two items.
During the director's report, Lemon said the first choice of preparer was unavailable to do the job.
Lemon reported because of a problem with the host of the health council's website, a new domain name and host was purchased. The new website address will be www.gcchcnm.org. The webmaster is in the process of uploading all the old files, which should be completed by Sept. 30, 2018.
The Red Hot Children's Fiesta, which took place on Sept. 8, 2018, was deemed a great success by organizers, participants and those attending. It was estimated that a minimum of 1,300 people took part in the event. Forty booths, with more than 50 groups contributing time, effort, energy and resources, helped make the event successful. As Lemon will not be director anymore, she has helped set up a committee, who will oversee it in future years, with continued health council participation. She also expressed her appreciation for help of the Western New Mexico University nursing students for filling in as greeters and wherever they were needed, including at the Blue Cross Blue Shield Care Van, sponsored by Walgreens, which offered free flu shots and other tests, such as blood pressure checks.
The packing up of the county-owned facility where the health council has been housed continues. Much of the furniture in the building belongs to Gila Regional Medical Center and they will haul away what they can use and dispose of what is no longer needed.
Health Council member Marilyn Alcorn gave an update on senior issues, including a potential senior assisted living facility. Bridge Community, which has led the effort, is pulling back and has asked for help from Hidalgo Medical Services, with advisory services provided by Bridge Community.
Lemon's email address will be forwarded to an address accessible to the co-chairs of the health council. She will continue the community calendar for at least the next month or until another provider can be determined.
The next full council meeting will be as needed, as the transition continues.