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Community Enhancement Fund unveiled

The film North Country, that netted Charlize Theron an Oscar nomination for Best Actress, will net Grant County something even better than a gold-plated statue this year. Funds received by Phelps Dodge from the filming of North Country in the area's mines will be used to found the Phelps Dodge and Grant County Community Health Council's Community Enhancement Fund.

"We wanted the community to set its priorities for this gift," said Rick Mohr, general manager for the New Mexico Operations of Phelps Dodge. "That is why we came to the Health Council: They have an extensive process in place to understand the most pressing needs in the county."

The $100,000 donation from the company will be utilized by the community in the form of the Community Enhancement Fund on priority areas affecting the county's wellness as assessed in the Community Health Improvement Plan, which is ratified by the County Commission.

The Community Enhancement Fund seeks to bring renowned speakers and training events to Grant County, allowing the entire community to be enriched by events that focus on the Health Council's five priority areas: economic development, family resiliency, fitness and nutrition, domestic violence and substance abuse.

Dr. Don Johnson, Health Council member, says the fund offers the community an opportunity in growth, "By bringing events to Grant County, it increases the number of organizations and community members that are able to attend." Small rural communities and organizations often spend large portions of their funding to send a single person to a professional training. This allows Grant County an opportunity to experience training events as a community and not individuals sent long distances to attend a training alone.

Ralph Gauer, interim Executive Director of the Silver City-Grant County Economic Development Corporation (SIGRED), says the events from the fund will "position Grant County as not just a learner, but as a leader where these kinds of ideas are nurtured and propagated." Gauer adds that by bringing professional speakers and training events to the county it will "increase our visibility in the state and region. Bringing in speakers of the quality you are proposing will make Grant County a 'smart spot' on the map: We'll develop a reputation for fostering discussion and study of these important issues, and that will certainly bring along economic development benefits."

The Community Enhancement Fund is currently seeking proposals. Preference will be given to proposals that include the following components: Health Council priorities; enhances or improves the Mining District region of Bayard, Hurley and Santa Clara; supports core team and Life Cycle activities; and offers diverse population participation. The Fund helps to defer costs for speakers that are leaders in their fields and training programs. It aims to expand the community's knowledge and base of information allowing for partnerships and growth of services as a whole county, not one person at a time.

The Community Enhancement Fund submissions of proposal deadlines are: April 7th, July 7th, and October 6, 2006 and January 6, 2007. Notification of award will be two to four weeks after the proposal submission deadlines.

Proposals are available at the Health Council's web site at the Health Council's office at 1310 E. 32nd St. or by calling Kendra Milligan at 388-9708 ext. 13.

Last Updated on Thursday, 08 January 2015 08:25

Grant County begins fitness challenge

The Grant County Community Health Council's Fitness Cup Challenge began this week. Over 300 Grant County residents are clipping on pedometers to count their daily steps to compete for the Fitness Cup.

The Health Council members have gathered teams from their sectors including Gila Regional Medical Center, Western New Mexico University, Silver Consolidated Schools, Public Health, local churches, the District Attorney's office and many more, to participate in the Challenge. The 10-week challenge aims at raising awareness of the need for exercise in everyone's daily life. Two Fitness Cups will be awarded one for the team with the most steps and the other for most improved team.

Participant Carmen Ortiz is excited about the Challenge, "I need the exercise." Ortiz says wearing her pedometer for the last few days has raised her awareness of the exercise in her life. "I have more steps today than on Monday. It [the number of steps] goes up every day I wear the pedometer," Ortiz said.

Health Council co chair, Gary Stailey, is enthusiastic about the Challenge. Stailey said the Council is totaling the miles walked by the teams and will report the distance by circling the earth. "We'll go around the earth then shoot for the stars," said Stailey, who believes the 28 teams will circumference the earth by the end of this Challenge and can start walking the distance between the earth and the moon by the next.

Melvyn Gelb, Diabetes Public Health Nurse and originator of the Fitness Challenge, stated that the scientific studies have found "walking a mile a day will prevent diabetes and heart disease." Gelb feels wearing a pedometers raises people's awareness of how far they walk every day. "This Challenge will help us have a healthier community. I am awe inspired by the participation and once again I find out that this is a great community," Gelb added.

Raising community fitness and nutrition were prioritized by the Health Council at last month's meeting joining the Council's other top priorities for Grant County: bringing sustainable economic development to the area, lowering the occurrence of domestic violence in the county, increasing the number of resilient families in the community, and lowering the rate of substance abuse in the county.

For more information on the Grant County Community Health Council please call Kendra Milligan at 388-9708 ext 13.

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 September 2004 01:00

Council brings in $15 Million for County Wellness

In the last three years, the Grant County Community Health Council (GCCHC) has leveraged over $15 million in grant money for the community. That is a ratio of 60 dollars for the community for every one dollar invested in the council, making the GCCHC one of the top councils in the state for leveraging funds for the community.

As part of Gila Regional Medical Center's community outreach, the Health Council is an invaluable asset to the community assessing, planning and coordinating community efforts to raise the quality of life in Grant County.

"It is the community partners that deserve the real credit for the $15 million in grant money brought to our county." The GCCHC is a diverse group of county leaders appointed by the Grant County Commission to serve as a health and wellness planning authority. The Health Council helps coordinate the efforts of the community to fill health and wellness gaps and needs. The council lend its support and backing to the community's effort to better itself and that has paid off with such programs as the Medication Assistance Program, Family Support Centers, the First Born Program and the newly opened Volunteer Center; all of which were created by our community outreach groups, called Life Cycles. The Life Cycles find creative and unique ways to meet Grant County's needs.

This year's Life Cycle success was the opening of the Volunteer Center at 915 Santa Rita St. According to Lisa Grinnell, Director of the Volunteer Center, "The center would not have been possible without the GCCHC and Life Cycles. They helped change a dream into a reality. This is how social action changes the community." Since 2001, over 50 community members, many Life Cycle members, have been involved with making the Volunteer Center a reality. The center's vision is to match volunteers with agencies, organizations, and individuals that need volunteers in the community.

"Volunteering is a great way for people to learn more about the community and connect with new people," said Grinnell. If you'd like to volunteer call Volunteer Center at 388-2988.

The Health Council is involved in other community projects including publishing the Grant County Resource Directory that lists all the services available in the county. This handy guide is a must for anyone wanting to discover what resources are available in the community. It is available at the GCCHC website along with the Grant County Profile and data to help anyone learn more about the area. Visit the site at To aid the community in knowing what the Health Council is doing the meetings are now on CATS! Cable Channel 17. Tune in and learn what the GCCHC and Life Cycles are doing to make Grant County a better place to live.

For more information on the GCCHC or the Life Cycles call Kendra at 388-9708 ext. 13

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 November 2013 00:14

Fitness and Nutrition new priority for Council

Fitness and nutrition have been added as top priorities for Grant County wellness by the Grant County Community Health Council at last week's meeting.

Melvyn Gelb, Diabetes Public Health Nurse, reported to the Health Council that over 56 percent of Grant County adults are overweight or obese and 25 percent of Grant County's children are overweight or obese. "We are the majority," Gelb joked, whom has struggled with obesity since childhood. But Gelb is seriously concerned about the consequences of lack of physical exercise and poor nutrition is having on our community.

In a 2002 survey, 78 percent of Grant County residents reported not exercising at all in the last 30 days. Also, 67 percent of 9th -12th graders reported not eating the recommended 5 fruits and vegetables a day on the 2001 Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey. With 9 types of cancer attributed to lack of physical activity and poor diet, Gelb worries for the health of our county residents, "Obesity is moving to the forefront as a preventable killer in the United States."

Charlie Alfero, Hidalgo Medical Services CEO and Health Council member, stated, "The two most frequent reasons people visit HMS is diabetes and hypertension, and those two conditions and poor diet and lack of exercise are directly related."

Gelb reported that $324 million is spent for obesity related problems in New Mexico alone, and $10 million more was spent treating diabetes over any other illness in Grant County.

Health Council member, Tony Trujillo said, "The issue of obesity is one the Health Council will have to prioritize, if not now, than later and at a cost to our community. This is without a doubt a major priority in its financial cost to the county and the health of our community."

The Health Council will be joining the work that the community is all ready doing with community health groups like Fitness and Nutrition in Schools, FANS, and the Public Health Department's core team on raising exercise activity in county. Also, the Health Council will be offering a Fitness Challenge in September to promote physical activity in the area.

Fitness and Nutrition joins the Heath Council's other priorities for the county: increasing the number of resilient families, lower the occurrence of domestic violence, lowering the rate of substance abuse, and raising the economic development of the community.

For more information on the Grant County Community Health Council please call Kendra Milligan at 388-9708 ext 13.

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 November 2013 00:27

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