The Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention (ArCOP) held its first Immersion Training for the sites chosen for the Growing Healthy Communities project in March 2010. This opportunity enabled communities to address the childhood, adolescent and adult obesity epidemic from a local perspective. The intensive training was held at Winthrop Rockefeller Institute on Petit Jean Mountain where the community members learned from national, state and local leaders about policy and environmental changes that will promote healthy lifestyles. The guest speaker was Chip Johnson, mayor of Hernando, Mississippi, known for the major changes he has instituted in his community. First Lady Ginger Beebe was also a special guest. She addressed the communities giving her full support to the project. Each pilot site received $10,000 for implementation of plans as a result of funding from the Blue and You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas.
The 2010 project sites are:
- Central Region-Arkansas Baptist College (Pulaski County)
- Northwest Region-North Arkansas Partnership for Health Education-
- Harrison (Boone County)
- Northeast Region-UAMS Area Health Education Center, North Central-Batesville (Independence County)
- Southeast Region-UAMS Area Health Education Center, Delta-Helena/West Helena (Phillips County)
- Southwest Region-HEALTH in Columbia County – Magnolia (Columbia County)
Three other communities that submitted applications for GHC also attended the training to take advantage of the learning sessions. These communities included Mississippi County, Conway, and Dallas County. They will not receive the implementation dollars, but will be eligible to receive technical assistance from ArCOP.
First Lady Ginger Beebe visits with delegates
Town Hall Meeting
Dr. Paul Halverson, John Norquist, Joy Rockenbach, Mayor Chip Johnson, Lisa Sharma, Dr. Joe Thompson, Joanna Siebert
ArCOP Co-Chair, Joy Rockenbach and Lisa Sharma, National League of Cities
Mayor Pat Moles, Harrison; Mayor Chip Johnson, Hernando, MS; Dr. Joe Thomspon, Arkansas Surgeon General; Mayor Rick Elumbaugh, Batesville