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  • Just Imagine It!  Our New Playground!
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Just Imagine!

Imagination comes to life when we take what we know, flip it on its end and see it in a whole new way.

Photo of Jimmy Hines At Playground Build Day

Wiggle on broccoli, hop on a corn stalk, climb on a strawberry, and dance on a carrot. WIC children play while their parents

 work out on cardio steppers nearby. You will see all 
this on the front lawn of the McDowell Public Health Department in rural North Carolina. Enter the parking lot and fill your senses with a riot of colors and shapes enticing you to get out of your car and play, have fun, enjoy healthy foods and visit the farmers market.

This heart healthy play space was first envisioned by RPMHD Health Director, Jimmy Hines who believes that "health" is not a building or a department, but rather an attitude of well being. Play and family fun foster healthy behaviors leading to lifelong health and wellness. To send a strong visual message to local folks in rural WNC, Mr. Hines and the WIC team had play equipment and games custom made for the families served here in Marion.

The Heart Healthy Playground sends a powerful positive message to children and adults alike reminding everyone of the importance of healthy behaviors. WIC Staff use the Playground to enhance Child Health Learning Opportunities. It is part of the RPM Health District's Action Plan to increase opportunities for physical activity by enhancing the built environment. Plans are currently underway to connect the Health Department Playground with nearby the Greenway walking paths. The Greenway connects folks to the Senior Center, the YMCA, the McDowell Hospital and more.

Photo of Volunteers At Playground Build DayPhoto of Playground For Ribbon Cutting





Parent Power - Fighting Teen Pregnancy

The McDowell County Health Department along with the McDowell County Health Coalition will be hosting a training for FINAL - Color Image - Small - Parent Power Parent Training
parents called "Parent Power - Tips Parents Need To Know And Do To Help Prevent Teen Pregnancy."

These events will be held at the following locations:

  • West McDowell Junior High on April 8, 2014 from 6:30pm - 8:30pm
  • Corpening Memorial YMCA on April 11, 2014 from 6:30pm - 8:30pm
  • East McDowell Junior High on April 17, 2014 from 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Child care / supervision will be provided during these events.

North Carolina 2-1-1

Have you or someone you know ever needed help or a service but had no idea where to look? Dial 211 Logo-Color

2-1-1 is a valuable resource to help!  Available to residents in Rutherford, Polk & McDowell Counties all you need to do is dial 2-1-1 from your phone.  A call to NC 2-1-1 is free, confidential, available all day, everyday and in any language.

They are also available online at http://www.nc211.org or on your Apple or Andorid SmartPhone. Find the app on iTunes or Google Play.

Fighting Childhood Obesity

This episode from UNC-TV's North Carolina Now has Jeff Smith's Healthy Kids, Healthy Lives series which covers issues related to Western North Carolina where various groups are coming together to combat obesity in WNC Schools.

Episode date Tuesday, November 29 on PBS. See more from NC NOW.


Rutherford Childhood Obesity Prevention

In August 2011, the Rutherford Polk McDowell (RPM) District Health Department Health Director was asked by the McNair Foundation to facilitate a discussion about childhood obesity in Rutherford County, N.C. A group of approximately twenty community leaders and interested human service agency providers and county residents began meeting monthly in September 2011 to discuss and assess childhood obesity in Rutherford County. The group became known as the Rutherford County Healthy Children's Collaborative with their focus being childhood obesity prevention.

To view the Rutherford Childhood Obesity Prevention Presentation click here. pdf_button
To view the Final Report click here.pdf_button


McDowell County Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Task Force

The Rutherford Polk McDowell Health District Board of Health authorized the formation of the McDowell County Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Task Force in September 2010 and charged the Task Force with developing recommendations to address teenage pregnancy in the county. Members for Task Force were recruited from across the county and represented a diverse group of agencies, programs and community volunteers. The Task Force held its first meeting in October 2010 and completed its work in June 2011.

To read the full summary, please click here.pdf_button
To review the results of the Task Force Survey click here.pdf_button

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