RUMFORD — The Oxford County Wellness Collaborative is hosting its semi-annual gathering from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 15, at 49 Franklin Reception Hall, where residents will have the chance to learn about the group and what they’re doing in the River Valley area.

The event is free and open to the public, though attendees are asked to register ahead of time, according to Brendan Schauffler, network facilitator of Healthy Oxford Hills.

“The January gathering is an opportunity for interested people to learn more about the collaborative and what its work groups have been involved with lately,” Schauffler said.

Schauffler said that part of the Oxford County Wellness Collaborative’s efforts to reach residents is a process called “Healthy Community Gatherings,” adding that the idea was to “not only choose an issue to focus on, but also to craft a plan to make changes on that issue and to help carry out the plan.

“On Jan. 15, updates on that effort, and on the important concerns that have been named by participants so far, will be shared,” Schauffler said. “The evening meeting will also feature a free meal, networking time and updates from the Collaborative’s work groups.”

The Oxford County Wellness Collaborative was formed by the Healthy Oxford Hills group in 2011, following the publication of the 2010 County Health Rankings, which showed Oxford County as 16th out of Maine’s 16 counties in overall health.

“The vision of the (collaborative) is that Oxford County is the healthiest county in Maine and one of the most desirable in which to live, work and raise children,” said the Healthy Oxford Hills group in a 2013 news release.

For more information on the Oxford County Wellness Collaborative, or to learn more about the Jan. 15 semi-annual gathering, call Schauffler at 739-6222 or visit the Oxford County Wellness Collaborative’s Facebook page.

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