03/13/14 — New grant will focus on help for families

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New grant will focus on help for families

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on March 13, 2014 1:46 PM

The Wayne County Health Department is receiving a three-year grant to work with young families and still anticipating plans for a new facility, the health director told the Board of Health on Wednesday.

There was not a meeting last month, due to inclement weather, and this month's did not have a quorum in attendance so there could not be a vote on any items.

Health Director Davin Madden said the health department had been notified it would be awarded the Young Families Connect grant, providing approximately $188,440 for each of the three years.

"The grant is basically a new model of Young Moms Connect. They work with young families. I think we have got about 70 participants, that's what the grant calls for," he said.

Madden said the department would work with several partners, including the University of Mount Olive.

"Part of this process is to get them education, continuing education, the GED, teaching life-building skills, teaching parenting skills, help within the target population," he said. "I think there's some really good things coming out of this. I think it's an exciting thing for us to get this grant.

"We almost missed the opportunity because there was another agency that was pursuing it."

Madden said when the other agency backed out, the health department became aware of it "last minute," crediting staff with completing the application process quickly and then being chosen.

He also said the county is continuing to "adhere to the plan to build a new health department" and get plans before the county Board of Commissioners. The move is in line with the department's strategic plan, which he said should happen in the next fiscal year.

"In doing so, I have asked our board chairman Allan Harvin to put together a site survey," he said. "We'll travel to (other) health departments, look at their sit design layout, get some ideas, work on the team to actually draft up some designs and then we'll come back to the board for some feedback and so on."

"I'm excited and I know y'all are, to have a new facility," Harvin said. "I think we have got to do it right, and we're going to need everybody's input on it.

"As far as the site survey committee, Joe Daughtery and Bob Cagle are also on that. We're just looking forward to coming up with a plan for the health department."