Weekly Bulletin 8/3

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The following bulletin includes information regarding the Well Connected Communities initiative for the week of August 3, 2020:

In this Edition

  • Quarterly PI Call Friday, August 21, 2020
  • PD Calendar
  • Youth Voice and Leadership
  • 2021 RWJF Culture of Health Prize
  • From National 4-H Council
  • News, Research, and Resources from the Field

Quarterly PI Call Friday, August 21, 2020

  • Quarterly PI Calls are an opportunity to disseminate information and updates related to the WCC grant. The next Quarterly PI Call will be Friday, August 21, 2020 from 1:30 – 3:00 PM ET. We will be meeting via Zoom. PIs should refer to the Outlook Calendar invite from Shay McNeil for the link and password to connect to the meeting. An agenda for the meeting will be provided closer to the next call.

Quarterly PI Call Schedule:

  • August 21, 2020
  • November 20, 2020
  • February 19, 2021
  • May 21, 2021
  • August 20, 2021

PD Calendar

  • THIS WEEKCommunity Health Needs Assessment Webinar

August 6, 2020, 2:00 – 3:00 PM ET

This webinar will provide participants with an overview of the community health needs assessment process, demonstrate the WCC CHNA tool, and learn about best practices, youth engagement, and common pitfalls. This webinar is open to all communities. Those communities who do not have a CHNA or are in the early stages of the process are strongly encouraged to attend.

Webinar Outline:

  • Introductions & Housekeeping
  • Overview of the CHNA Process
  • WCC CHNA Tool Demonstration
  • Discussion of Best Practices, Youth Engagement, and Common Pitfalls
  • Q&A/Closing

Register Here

  • Food Security Webinar

August 20, 2020, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM ET

Presenter: Rich Pirog

Mr. Pirog is the Director for Center for Regional Food Systems at Michigan State University (MSU). Pirog has more than 25 years of experience in sustainable food systems research and outreach. His research and collaborative work on food value chains, food hubs, economic impacts of local foods, food networks and communities of practice has been cited in magazines and media outlets across the globe, used by local food practitioners and are often referenced in books and college courses.

Communities around the country are working every day to see that no child, elder, or family goes hungry. This webinar on food security will: 

  • Offer an overview of equity and food systems along with data metrics to build and monitor food access and security.
  • Point to programs and policies being adapted to meet the changing needs.
  • Share community and youth led solutions to bring the programs/policies to life.
  • Look forward, identify opportunities to leverage the disruption to the status quo to strengthen food systems and reduce food insecurity.

Register Here

  • Leading Together for Equity and Inclusion Webinar

September 17, 2020, 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET

Presenter: Dorothy Freeman, PhD

Dr. Freeman is the Director of Equity at National 4-H Council whose role is to lead Council to strategically align its programmatic priorities and vision with the Equity, Access and Belonging Committee. Dr. Freeman has a distinctive career in 4-H Extension where she was Associate Dean and State 4-H Director with the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development and 25years Virginia Cooperative Extension at Virginia Tech University. 

Dr. Freeman will delve into the topics listed below and her presentation will be followed by a panel discussion with some Wave 2 grantees:

  • How are we defining equity and inclusion? Holding it as a value? [CES & 4-H]
  • What is Extension/4-H learning about equity during this time of multiple pandemics (COVID-19 and widespread calls for racial justice)
  • How are we adapting/moving to action?
  • What are the unique challenges and opportunities related to WCC? What is our unique role?
  • The Extension Model as a community engagement model.

Register Here

Youth Voice and Leadership

  • Youth LGU Introductions

August 26, 2020, 7:00 – 8:30 PM

On Wednesday, August 26. 2020 at 7:00 PM ET, there will be a WCC-wide ZOOM meeting for youth to introduce themselves and their communities to each other.  The meeting will last no more than 90 minutes depending on how many LGUs are represented and how much the youth want to share.

Several WCC PI’s have indicated that they would like to see the youth connect across communities and LGUs especially in light of the COVID effects on our program.  It may help youth to feel more connected by chatting and sharing about their communities and their issues.  There have also been requests for youth professional development since so many communities are working on similar topics (food insecurity and nutrition, and mental health are major ones), so we are looking at additional bi-weekly dates throughout September and October where youth and their adult community mentors can participate depending on the issues of their communities.

For the 26th, the youth from your LGU will be asked to prepare 1-2 slides about their communities to share with everyone.  I thought that may be better than asking for a slide per community as not all communities have youth engaged yet due to COVID and it could take a lot more time with 30+ communities than 17 LGUs.  The slide(s) should reflect their answers to the questions:

  • What excites you about your community?
  • What are your health concerns affecting your peers and families?
  • What can youth do about those health issues?

Slides are due to Hayat Essa (hessa@fourhcouncil.edu) by August 19, 2020.

Register Here: The registration is organized by LGU so one adult will register youth and adults (The adult that registers everyone from their LGU will need to share the ZOOM link with all participants.) 

Please direct any questions to JoAnne Leather (jleatherman@fourhcouncil.edu)  

  • Youth Mental Health Peer Circle

September 2, 2020, 7:00 – 8:00 PM ET

Mental health is important at every stage of life. This peer session on mental health will explore the impact of mental health from youth and adult perspectives. Beyond the examining the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of youth and adults alike, we will be learning from our peers their experience and opportunities available to lead people to mental well-being. We are inviting two youth leaders who are working in the area of mental health to co-present and co-facilitate this session. The following topics will be discussed:

  • What do youth have to say about mental health; learn about the results of a recent Youth Mental Health Survey that included the effects of COVID-19 on how youth see their own mental health during this time
  • Opportunities to engage community members to destigmatize public health crisis on the mental health of teens- from the perspective of teens themselves.  
  • What do WCC youth and adult community leaders have to say about this public health issue and what they can do within their own communities to open up dialogue about mental health.

Register Here for Part 1: The registration is organized by Community so one adult lead from the community will register all youth and adults (The adult that registers everyone from their community will need to share the ZOOM link with all participants.)

A second follow up session is planned for October 7, 2020, 7:00 – 8:00 PM ET. The session will be based on the September 2, 2020 discussion. Register for Part 2

2021 RWJF Culture of Health Prize

  • The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is officially accepting applications for the 2021 RWJF Culture of Health Prize. An annual award, the RWJF Culture of Health Prize elevates and honors communities that are at the forefront of advancing health, opportunity, and equity for all. Winners receive a $25,000 prize and the chance to share their accomplishments with the nation. The application deadline is October 15, 2020. Visit https://rwjf.ws/3gpC5G3 to learn more. 

Prize communities continue to inspire the nation with real-life examples of local leaders and community members bringing partners together to transform neighborhoods, schools, businesses, and more so that better health flourishes for everyone. 

From National 4-H Council

  • Sharing of 4-H Resources

How is your 4-H program meeting the learning needs of children and families during COVID-19? National 4-H Council is curating a list of free 4-H resources offered by 4-H programs across the country. Explore and share these activities found at 4-H at Home and then submit your efforts for an opportunity to be featured.

  • Collecting Youth Stories

Tell us how your 4-H’er(s) are doing amazing things to make the world a better place during this time of COVID-19. We’ll bring these incredible stories to the forefront, inspiring kids everywhere to make a difference too. As you come across the stories of young people doing something positive to help their communities, making a difference, or even just making people smile, tell us their story via this quick form. It can be completed by an Extension professional, parent or 4-H’er. 

News, Research and Resources from the Field:

  • NEW Healthy People 2030 Launch

Healthy People 2030 is a set of science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving health and well-being in the United States. During the webcast, you’ll learn about the new Healthy People 2030 goals and objectives and the process of their development.  Guest speakers from HHS will also discuss Healthy People 2030 data, social determinants of health, and health equity.

No registration is necessary. Just visit hhs.gov/live on August 18 at 1 PM EDT.

Which neighborhoods in America offer children the best chance to rise out of poverty? The Opportunity Atlas answers this question using anonymous data following 20 million Americans from childhood to their mid-30s. Now you can trace the roots of today’s affluence and poverty back to the neighborhoods where people grew up. See where and for whom opportunity has been missing, and develop local solutions to help more children rise out of poverty.

National Equity Atlas indicators track how communities are doing on key measures of inclusive prosperity. We define an equitable community as one where all residents — regardless of their race, nativity, gender, or zip code — are fully able to participate in the community’s economic vitality, contribute to its readiness for the future, and connect to its assets and resources. Our indicators track change over time, are comparable across geographies, and are disaggregated by race and other demographics as much as possible.

A new commentary in The Journal of Rural Health examines the relationship between substance use and coronavirus in the Southern Mountains region of Appalachia.  Authors cite recent data showing greater and faster-increasing COVID-19 rates in Appalachia and the South and rural-specific challenges to programs for overdose prevention and infection control.


·       From eXtension


  • ICYMI: Connect Extension Chat: Virtualizing and Social Distancing Horticulture & Master Gardener Volunteer Programs
    Stephanie Mathias, State Master Gardener Coordinator, University of Maryland

In case you missed it: We had an excellent live chat with 58 participants discussing all the innovative ways to move horticulture and Master Gardener volunteer programs to a virtual platform!…Learn More

  • NEW Impact Collaborative Opportunities for eXtension Members. Next month, the Impact Collaborative will host an Innovation Facilitator Training. The Innovation Facilitator training is six sessions on August 17, 19, 21, 24, 26, & 28. It helps provide individuals with a new way of looking at program and project development to help new and existing programs across your states and institutions identify gaps in their planning, ensure they are most ready for implementation, and have explored all considerations to maximize local impact. Learn more and register here. 
  • American Journal of Public Health Includes Commentary on Cooperative Extension

Cooperative Extension is the subject of an article in a forthcoming special issue of the American Journal of Public Health focused on rural health.  The commentary, co-authored by David Buys and Roger Rennekamp,  “advances the notion that Extension, by working hand-in-hand with public health professionals, has an important role to play in addressing the health needs of rural communities.” The article highlights five key steps that Extension can take with its public health partners to improve health and well-being across the nation. These include addressing the determinants of health through local coalitions, connecting communities to land grant resources, restoring public confidence in science, utilizing new technologies to support lifelong learning and collaboration, and capitalizing on youth voice and action. To read the abstract or obtain copies of the full text of the article visit https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/10.2105/AJPH.2020.305767