RUMFORD – The River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition board adopted a report Thursday that outlines current projects and plans for the future that will ensure the health of area residents.

The comprehensive report, compiled and written by Linda Macgregor over nearly a year, was funded by the Maine Bureau of Health with a $20,000 grant.

The point of the report, said Macgregor, is to examine the organization.

This is the first in-depth study of the coalition since its beginning nearly six years ago. Since then, the coalition has expanded to include a variety of issues ranging from taking on alcohol, tobacco and drug use issues, to starting a dental sealant program for elementary school children.

The report and the plan, said Macgregor, outlines ways to keep the organization operating, while identifying potential services and programs that would benefit the community that should be addressed by the Coalition.

The three major components of the report are:

• Organizational development to include fund-raising, public relations and community awareness.

• How projects are started, including a list of items now under way or soon to start. One of the major updates will be the 1997 health report, which is expected to take from 18 months to two years to complete. Others include the current arts initiative and trail mapping project.

• Services include the dental sealant program, the Summer Day Camp program that is now a part of Black Mountain, arts and cultural partnerships, a senior citizen initiative, and a soon to start community garden project.

“The process,” said Macgregor, “is vitally needed to look the whole thing over, to plan ahead, to look at strengths and weaknesses.”

A subcommittee of the coalition, known as the Future Committee, met once or twice a month over the past year to work on the report with Macgregor. The report will be submitted to the Maine Bureau of Health for its review.


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