Years ago, at the founding of Madison County Cares, Madison County Health Care System (MCHCS) took a lead role. MCHCS saw this as an opportunity to bring together allies in the effort to make Madison County a healthier place to live, work and play, and through Madison County Cares, this objective was being addressed, especially in those areas that the health care system was not actively involved such as homelessness, domestic and sexual violence, poverty, mental health, access to food, crime prevention, and other health determinants.
Madison County Cares is a non-profit organization that brings together all of the human service groups serving Madison County residents. The monthly forum includes reports on new services, opportunities to share expertise and discuss how efforts can be combined to make Madison County a healthier place for residents of all ages.
Through this organization, a number of successful collaborations have come together to address specific challenges facing area residents. Smaller task forces have been formed to tackle such diverse aspects of healthy living as transportation for the elderly, access to food by all area residents, and emergency management for the county. Among other things, this organization has hosted a number of outreach efforts, including:
The Annual Drug Drop – Usually held in April of each year, this event works with local law enforcement to host a site for residents to dispose of unused medicines (including veterinarian prescribed medicines). MCHCS staff have served as volunteers at the collection sites.
Every 15 Minutes Program (or a similar alcohol awareness program) in the high schools – Working with the three school districts in the county, this effort brings attention to the potential consequences of alcohol abuse by youth. MCHCS is a very visible participant in the program with staff serving in many capacities.
Middle Schools Health, Wellness and Safety Fair – Annually MCHCS coordinates this event for Madison County Cares. Middles school students learn about making good choices. More than 40 professionals (including hospital staff) from the community spend a morning and share their expertise and help students learn about the importance of making decisions that are healthy and safe. The students also learn about different professions and employment opportunities in these fields.
Distracted Driving Training Kits – MCHCS was instrumental in writing the grant that purchased a complete Distracted Driving Kit, which is available to area schools and organizations to help participants understand the safety consequences of driving while distracted.
The Family Fun Day – Madison County Cares annually hosts an opportunity for families to come together and enjoy a day of activities and food to strengthen the family and to encourage healthy lifestyles. MCHCS staff are regular volunteers to staff this event.
Car Seat Safety Clinic – MCHCS co-sponsored and hosted the first Car Seat Safety Clinic in the spring of 2017. Working with two Certified Car Seat Specialists, the hospital provided new car seats and safety instruction to area residents.Share this story.