Buckeye Hills-HVRDD is Now Buckeye Hills Regional Council.
Monthly News & Updates:
July 2017

Buckeye Hills Awarded $1.2 Million ARC POWER Grant

Buckeye Hills was a recipient of project funding announced by The Appalachian Regional Commission's (ARC) POWER program. The $15.7 million in investments will help grow the economies in coal-impacted communities in seven Appalachian states. The 18 projects will create or retain more than 1,700 jobs, benefiting nearly 1,200 students and workers, and leveraging an additional $64 million into the Appalachian Region.

"Each one of these awards is a blueprint for new jobs, fresh opportunities, and a robust economic future for Appalachia," said ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl. "Together, these investments bring added capital into the Region and help Appalachia prepare to globally compete in manufacturing, technology, local agriculture, construction, and a variety of other industry sectors."

The awards were made through ARC's POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative, a congressionally funded multi-agency strategy bringing federal resources directly to help communities and regions that have been affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America's energy production.

According to ARC research, Appalachia lost a total of 33,500 coal mining jobs between 2011 and 2016, representing 82 percent of America's job losses in this sector. Over 67 percent of these jobs-more than 22,500 jobs-occurred in coalfield counties in eastern Kentucky and West Virginia. ARC POWER investments directly benefit these counties by preparing workers, creating jobs, and attracting additional capital support for the Region's emerging technology, manufacturing, agriculture, and entrepreneurial sectors.
The Buckeye Hills project is the Innovation Gateway Network of Appalachia Ohio
focused on increasing employment and prosperity through alternative learning and career pathways. The project will help workers and communities impacted by coal's decline to: recover employment and income; strengthen and diversify their local economies; and grow, retain and attract talent to the region.

The Gateway Network will consist of three multi-use facilities, one each in Somerset, Nelsonville and Marietta, Ohio. Each facility will host an innovative program of learning, makerspace activities and development of entrepreneurs. The project ties together the efforts of three Appalachian communities, magnifying the impact of their work in addressing common challenges.
Buckeye Hills Launches Population Health Division
Population health management is an approach that aims to improve the health of an entire population. It has been described as consisting of three components. These are "health outcomes, patterns of health determinants, and policies and interventions."
In the U.S., the Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) are estimated to account for 70% of avoidable mortality and 60% to 80% of healthcare costs. The SDOH include all the factors: social, environmental, cultural and physical that one is born into, grows up and functions with throughout their lifetimes which potentially have a measurable impact on the health of human populations.
The Population Health Division has three subdivisions, each with a different focus: the Community-Based Health Intervention™ addresses the socio-economic issues and social determinants that prevent an individual from being able to focus on their healthcare; evidence-based self-management education that teaches workshop participants how to self-manage their chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, COPD and reduce the risk of falls; and an employee assistance program to help employers better respond to the needs of their employed caregivers. Programming also teaches caregivers how to deal with issues related to their caregiving responsibilities such as stress reduction, managing emotions, and the use of community resources.
Check Out the Population Health Section on Buckeye Hills.org.

Transit Tech Ohio Project Underway

As the Regional Transportation Planning Organization (RTPO) for the region, Buckeye Hills is partnering with ODOT on the Transit Tech Ohio grant in the region. The project is working to improve communications, scheduling and dispatching of more than 30 rural transit operators located across the state and to expand broadband into areas of Ohio with insufficient broadband access. In the Buckeye Hills region, the project is coordinating efforts in Monroe, Morgan, Perry & Washington counties.

"Ohio Transit systems are challenged with scheduling and dispatching issues, especially in rural areas where cellular and broadband services are limited," said Buckeye Hills Transportation Coordinator Karen Palowski. "We are pleased to work with ODOT to improve efficiency throughout our transit programs."

Shown at a meeting with Monroe County officials and residents is Jane Miller, Transit Tech project manager. Funding for the Transit Tech Ohio project was awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation through the 2015 TIGER grant program.

Meigs County Bike Project Measures Safety Needs

In conjunction with an organization called Yay Bikes! that works to increase the number of bicycle trips and decrease the number of bicycle crashes in Ohio, Transportation staff from Buckeye Hills, the Meigs County Health Department, EMS and civic leaders from Imagine Pomeroy toured the villages of Pomeroy and Middleport to determine needs for bicycle safety.

Photos courtesy of Meredith Erlewine, owner of Athens Bicycle .

The Buckeye Hills Regional Council Executive Committee, staff and guests took a moment to pause for a photo as the Board passed a Resolution of Support for June as Elder Abuse Awareness Month.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Noted
The Buckeye Hills Regional Council Executive Committee and the staff worked to raise awareness of the issue of Elder Abuse during June with the passage of a Resolution and by wearing purple.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
(WEAAD), on June 15, also serves as a call-to-action for individuals, organizations, and communities to raise awareness about abuse, neglect, and exploitation of elders.

Buckeye Hills staff donned purple on June 15 to raise awareness of the issue of elder abuse.
Summer Energy Crisis Program Launches July 1
The Ohio Development Services Agency and Buckeye Hills Regional Council will help income-eligible Ohioans stay cool during the hot summer months. The Home Energy Assistance Summer Crisis Program provides eligible Ohioans assistance paying an electric bill or assistance paying for central air conditioning repairs. The program runs from July 1 until August 31, 2017.
"July and August can be two extremely hot months in Ohio, and that can take a toll on older Ohioans and Ohioans with breathing conditions," said David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency.
"Seniors can seek support by calling 800-331-2644 or their local community action program," said Cathy Ash, LSW, Caregiver Advocacy Program Manager for Buckeye Hills.
The Summer Crisis Program assists low-income households with an older household member (60 years or older), or households that can provide physician documentation that cooling assistance is needed for a household member's health. Conditions can include lung disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or asthma.
Eligible households can receive up to $300 if they are a customer of a regulated utility, or $500 if they are a customer of unregulated utilities such as electric cooperatives and municipal utilities. The assistance is applied to their utility bill or applied to central air conditioning repair costs. Ohioans must have a gross income at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines to qualify for assistance. For a family of four the annual income must be at or below $43,050.
Ohioans enrolled in the Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus Program (PIPP Plus) are not eligible for bill payment assistance through the program, but are encouraged to work with Buckeye Hills Regional Council to identify other opportunities for assistance.
For more information about the features of the Summer Crisis Program locally, Buckeye Hills Regional Council at 1-800-331-2644. Additional information can also be found at www.energyhelp.ohio.gov or by calling (800) 282-0880. To enroll, contact your local Community Action Program, as noted below.   
Dates to Remember:
No July Executive Committee meeting.
July 4
- Buckeye Hills Regional Council Offices Closed for Independence Day
July 28 - Regional Advisory Council Meeting  
Buckeye Hills Regional Council
 740-374-9436 or 740-373-6400 | 1400 Pike St. - Marietta, OH  45750 | www.buckeyehills.org

Misty Casto: Executive Director

Buckeye Hills Regional Council is organized as a voluntary organization of local government political subdivisions to foster cooperative efforts in regional planning, and implementing of regional plans and programs.
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