Whether its organic school gardens, tobacco and opioid use prevention, referrals to local community health nursing clinics and free UNR School of Medicine immunization outreach, or suicide prevention, Healthy Communities takes a multi-faceted approach to promoting opportunities for health and wellness with a prevention first approach. Read about a few recent examples below:
Red Ribbon Week: Fernley High school showing their commitment to be drug free. Every year, Healthy Communities’ youth-led Stand Tall teams in high schools throughout the Lyon County School District recognize Red Ribbon Week with activities that encourage students to “love yourself; be drug free”. Throughout the year, Stand Tall promotes a wide range of strategies for health and wellness within their schools and communities. They also educate their peers about the effects of tobacco, alcohol, prescription and other drug use.
Drug Round Up: Healthy Communities staff and our AmeriCorps members partnered with Lyon County Sheriff’s Department, Volunteers in Policing and the DEA to sponsor a “Prescription Drug Round Up” at Smith’s Grocery in Dayton on Saturday, October 20th. The Sheriff reports that thousands of pills, including prescription opioids such as Percoset and Methodone, were rounded up for safe disposal. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Round Ups help people bring unwanted, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs for safe disposal.
Rural Outreach Clinic: Did you make it the free flu shot clinic at Healthy Communities’ Dayton Food Pantry in October? It was the first of UNR Med’s Outreach Clinics for rural communities. Special thanks to community health nurses in Lyon County, UNR medical students, Dr. Fernando Flores-Mendez, and Karen Pugh, Ed.S.
October is Farm to School Month! Riverview Elementary School in Dayton celebrated by hosting an Agricultural Day for students. Healthy Communities Coalition was there too, teaching about how birds can help us in the garden, and helping kids make their own birdfeeders out of dried apple slices. After the lesson, the kids got delicious, healthy, organic apples grown by local farmers Steve and Marcia Litsinger.
Opioid Overdose Community Preparedness Planning Grant for Mineral, Storey, Lyon: Smokey Joe the cat attends the monthly Mineral County Stakeholders meetings in Hawthorne. Last month, Health Communities’ Deputy Director, Quinn Cartwright, was among the presenters. Quinn, plus Morgan Green of CASAT and Sarah Dillard of CCI, described the scope of work for an Opioid Overdose Community Preparedness Planning Grant. Quinn wrote the grant to identify pre and post spikes in real time. Funding will come from the Division of Public and Behavioral Health and Healthy Communities will subgrant funds so that key stakeholders in each county can create Plans for each region.
Walk in Memory, Walk for Hope: This September, Silver Springs hosted its first annual community walk, with keynote speaker Peggy Edwards, helpful printed resource lists, and a ceremony to plant a ‘tree of hope’ (donated by Healthy Communities) on the school campus. Thank you to the school for hosting this important community event! The goal of the annual Walks is to increase awareness of the effects suicide has on our nation and state, and to remember those who have been lost to suicide
Health Fair in Yerington: Healthy Communities’ staff and our AmeriCorps members had a blast in Yerington at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Mason Valley’s community health fair this month! We shared information about good nutrition, local resources, gardening, and the health affects of using tobacco, alcohol, prescription and other drugs. Healhty Communities’ youth-led Stand Tall members also explained Tobacco 21, a national campaign aimed at raising the minimum legal age for tobacco and nicotine sales in the nation to 21.
Community Nursing Can Help! Public health nursing is available in Nevada’s frontier and rural counties to promote wellness through the delivery of public health nursing, preventive health care, and health education. Community Health Workers at Healthy Communities’ Dayton, Silver Stage or Yerington Food Pantries are happy to help make appointments with the nearest clinic and will assist in filling in paperwork if wanted. Public Health Nursing services include immunizations, well-child services, breast and cervical cancer screenings, sexually transmitted disease prevention and treatment, reproductive health and family planning services for both males and females, etc. See this list to locate a community health nursing services near you: http://dpbh.nv.gov/Programs/ClinicalCN/Locations/Rural_Community_Health_Services_Locations/
Community Roots & Shoots is having a big Fall sale during October: 30% off trees, 40% off shrubs and one gallon, and 10% off soil. Proceeds to Healthy Communities’ garden center, floral and gift shop help support organic school gardens throughout Lyon School District, plus our job skills programs and more. Open 10am-2pm Tuesday – Saturday. Located at 209 Dayton Valley Road.
Summer STEAM Program (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math): Every year, Healthy Communities partners with community volunteers and many groups to offer a free summer program for parents and children in our region. This summer, about 60 different children and parents from towns in Storey, Lyon, Washoe, Churchill and Carson attended activities with guest teachers from United Way; University Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE); HCC; Community Roots & Shoots; and the Resident Artist Program in Silver City. The Program also once again included an annual engineering mini-camp. Special thanks to Seena Drapala and the Society of Women Engineers’ Sierra Nevada section, FLL Team VC Silver Bricks, Nanami Duncan and FTC team Cyber Mafia, and Patti Poston of F.I.R.S.T. (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) for the very exciting robotics and engineering mini-camp attended by about 40 parents and children!
Silver Stage Food Pantry: 5lb bags of potatoes from FBNN and beautiful flowers planted by community volunteers at Healthy Communities’ Silver Stage Food Pantry in Silver Springs. The Food Bank of Northern Nevada is one of the valued partners providing food to the Pantry. Community volunteers are key to making the Pantry thrive – they add labor, all sorts of skills, kindness and the beauty of flowers to the Pantry. If you’d like to be part of the volunteer team, stop by Mon-Fri 10am-4pm and ask for manager Kathy McIntosh.
Dayton Food Pantry: At all three of Healthy Communities’ food pantries, every effort is made to provide the healthiest options possible. Here’s one of the recent emergency food boxes at the Dayton Pantry – milk, peaches, blueberries, ground beef, celery, honey dew melon, lettuce, pasta, dried black-eyed peas, etc. The Dayton Pantry always welcomes new volunteers Mon-Thurs 10am-4pm at its location at 209 Dayton Valley Road.
Yerington Food Pantry: Michelle Eriksen is the manager for Healthy Communities’ Yerington Food Pantry. Stop by 124 West Bridge Street and say hello! Donations and volunteers are always welcomed.