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Health Coalition members complete Bridges Out of Poverty training

RUSSELL — Five members of the Healthy Choices, Healthy Communities coalition have completed Bridges Out of Poverty training and are now certified to train others.

Those who are now certified as Bridges Out of Poverty trainers are Stephanie Cassidy, Mike Maynard, Renee Parsons, Geri Willis, and Todd Young. Bridges Out of Poverty Training teaches how one can address the issues that contribute to poverty in a community. The six-week training process also equips graduates with the skills necessary to teach the curriculum.

The national Bridges Out of Poverty program is based on the work of author and educator Ruby K. Payne. Payne is best known for her book A Framework for Understanding Poverty and her work on the culture of poverty and its relation to education. Last fall, through a grant secured by HCHC coalition member Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital, representatives of the Bridges Out of Poverty community support program conducted a workshop at OLBH for coalition members and provided a family of concepts and products to help address and reduce poverty in a comprehensive way. One result of that workshop was getting local stakeholders trained in the process.

United Way of Northeast Kentucky CEO Jerri Compton leads the health coalition’s socio-economic challenges work group and said she believes having coalition members trained in the Bridges Out of Poverty philosophy is an important step in addressing poverty in the local area. “When we speak about poverty, it’s important that we are speaking about it in the same way,” Compton explained. “By having local trainers from the coalition, we will now be able to provide the framework to others that will allow of us who work on issues affecting poverty to do so in a way that supports one another. The Bridges process brings people from all sectors together to improve job retention rates, build resources, improve outcomes, and support those who are moving out of poverty.”

Healthy Choices, Healthy Communities is comprised of members throughout the Tri-State region. The mission statement of the organization is “To improve the health of our communities through collaboration, education, prevention and access to healthy choices.”

For more information concerning Healthy Choices, Healthy Communities, visit facebook.com/healthychoiceshealthycommunities.