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May 2023

The Equitable Neighborhoods Initiative has been busy advancing health equity around our state! Read further to learn about what we’ve been up to this quarter.

March 2023 Retreat Recap

In March, our team came together in Montgomery for the third ENI retreat. We discussed the upcoming health equity planning process, planned ENI Regional Youth Summits, learned about the resources the Alabama Department of Public Health offers, and talked about planning processes for community healing zones. It is always a fun and productive time when all of our team can meet together!

Upcoming Health Equity Planning Meetings

Each ENI community will create a health equity action plan, and planning sessions have already begun! The ENI community health equity action planning effort focuses on identifying major community health issues, goals, and associated action steps. ENI health equity plans will identify people and organizations from both within and outside the community that will help address and accomplish each goal. In the upcoming planning meetings, communities will develop their SMART goals, timelines, and target dates for goal accomplishment.

Mental Health First Aid Training

Mental Health First Aid is a skills-based training course that teaches participants about mental health and substance use issues. This course will teach ENI advisors, liaisons, advisory groups, and public safety officials how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Training has already begun in several communities and is expected to be completed this summer. 

Learn more about Mental Health First Aid.

Moving Away from an Emergency

The Public Health Emergency (PHE) for COVID-19 declared under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act is set to end on May 11, 2023.

So what does this mean for COVID-19 coverage and care moving forward? Check out this fact sheet to learn more about what policies you can expect to change.

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Successfully Engaging with Youth: Gen Z Doesn’t Care About “How we’ve always done it.”

By Adrian Holloway

“Kids these days are a different breed. They are never satisfied. They lack motivation.” Do any of these statements sound familiar? I’m sure many of us have heard and maybe even said these phrases... Read more.

Embracing the Spectrum during Autism Awareness Month

By Erica Cunningham

Raising a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) comes with unique challenges. But how does this experience change based on where you live? Residing in a rural area can add greater obstacles to raising a child with ASD... Read more.

Beyond Books: Libraries as Community Connectors

By Cristin Brawner

When you think of your neighborhood library, what comes to mind? Perhaps shelves filled with books, story times for preschoolers, book talks with local authors, or large stacks of reference resources spring to mind... Read more.

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

ENI would like to celebrate by highlighting Bayou La Batre and Coden, Alabama, which are home to a large Asian American population. Check out these ENI blogs written by Coden Community Volunteer Khiaw Srihanouvong t0 learn more about different facets of Asian American culture and community dynamics.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

If a friend, colleague, or loved one were choking or in need of CPR, you might have an idea of how to keep them safe until a doctor came with some basic first aid training. But if they were experiencing a mental health crisis, would you know what to do? ENI hopes to train and inform public safety officials and community leaders in Mental Health First Aid Training. To learn more about Mental Health First Aid, check out this ENI blog by Debbie Quinn, ENI Health Specialist.

Check out these recent events in the ENI communities!

Healing Zone Meetings

Each of ENI's partner communities will develop a healing zone, which is a natural space that provides recreation and improves physical and mental health. Community input is crucial to the healing zone process. Finishing these healing zones is a slow and lengthy process, but we're making progress in several of our partner communities! 

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Midway Community Food Drive

We love to see our ENI leaders engaging with their community. Midway Community Liaison Kimberly Foster-Young spotlighted ENI at a community food drive where 200 families were fed thanks to several generous donors. Thank you Kimberly for your continued commitment to serving your community and spreading the word about ENI!

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Blountsville Information Session

We'd like to give a shoutout to Blountsville's Community Liaison, Debbie Goble, for reaching out to parents in her community and getting them involved with ENI. Debbie was able to spread information about ENI at the Blountsville Elementary PTO program. She also collected Health Questionnaire responses in both English and Spanish.

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Find us on the ENI Website and Social Media Platforms

Be sure to check out our website and follow us on social media for more information and the project's progress: enialabama.org 

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Funding Acknowledgement: The Equitable Neighborhoods Initiative is supported by funds made available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Center for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support, under 1 NH75OT000104-01-00.  Disclaimer: The content of the Equitable Neighborhoods Initiative are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of or endorsement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.