5/4/20: While we might be far apart during this time of social distancing, it is important to remember those we keep close during this time, such as family. We should also take time to recognize those who willingly put themselves at risk. Healthcare workers in health departments across the state are doing exactly that to keep our communities healthy.
Empowering Youth and Families Program (EYFP) Program Assistants across the state have all been doing their best to adapt to the ever changing environment thanks to COVID-19, but recently they have been thinking about what they are most looking forward to getting back to once the crisis is over. Lee County PA, Gabrielle Dunlap, looks forward to seeing the families who are participating in EYFP once more. EYFP not only brought together families to learn better tools for communication and opioid prevention, but it also gave facilitators an opportunity to grow as leaders and forge new relationships. While she might not be running programming presently as she typically would, Dunlap cites how she has learned a lot about how important of a role she plays with her families in the program. Once it is safe to do so, she is eager to see everyone come together for a meal, enjoy each other’s company, and share what experiences they have had since they last met.
In Onslow EYFP, they are highlighting one of their vital community partners: the Onslow County Health Department. During this time, the health department has been working tirelessly with the public to address the COVID-19 pandemic and protect the health of their community. The health department is handling several services to aid residents during these troubling times: fielding phone calls from community members, conducting contact tracing, monitoring positive cases, establishing curbside assistance for their services, and delivering groceries and thermometers. They have been utilizing technology to establish a strong online presence, meeting with their partners weekly to provide updates, and virtually connecting with clients. Collectively, Onslow County is doing all it can to take care of all residents, and those working in the health department will continue the important work they do.
Pender County is also featuring one of their tireless staff working in the health department. Kelly Korney works at Pender Memorial Hospital in Burgaw, NC, and has participated in EYFP planning since day one of the program. The hospital Korney works at provides comprehensive care to patients in Pender County, offering services such as Emergency Care, Surgery and Endoscopy, Skilled Nursing, Rehabilitation, and Imaging. The staff of Pender Memorial Hospital are well known for being very friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful; they have been a great asset to EYFP. Korney states that she is happy to support and promote EYFP as a partner with the NC Cooperative Extension Agency.