In the Spotlight

— Written By N.C. Cooperative Extension

In the Spotlight    -The Advisory Council Spotlight is on Hilda Baskerville

“As a Health Educator, I learned a great deal from my supervisor, Mary Marrow.” In five years, Hilda has grown the Healthy Carolinians into a partnership of many county agencies and involved citizens.  She keeps the group together through the work of three subcommittees, each of which Cooperative Extension staff are a part:  Fitness and Nutrition, Injury Prevention & Domestic Violence, and Substance Abuse Prevention. 

The Healthy Carolinians Fitness and Nutrition (FAN) subcommittee works in collaboration with Cooperative Extension, local governmental agencies, communities, churches, the school system with different programs such as Faithful Families.  Five African American Churches  were a part of a previous Eat Smart Move More grant pilot program are now attending our new Faithful Families classes provided by our EFNEP Assistant, Arnetta Wilson.  All current recipients of the grant implemented an environmental or policy change through an adopted Health Ministry.  The FAN subcommittee has also worked on a “Footprints” program that marks off walking trails at local churches and schools.  Lastly, the subcommittee worked on “Winner Circle” –  a food labeling program incorporated into the schools.   

The Healthy Carolinians Injury Prevention committee has worked on three main things:  Free car seats, booster seats and education for proper installation of the seats provided through grant funding for low-income families (that funding has been utilized).  Hilda and Lori Parrott an employee at Warren Family Institute are certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians who are conducting the Buckle-Up Kids program in Warren County.  This program is a part of Statewide Sake Kids Program for the county to receive free child restraint and booster seats.  The seats are distributed and a small co-pay is required that will provide additional funding needed for supplementary seats and the education of the installation of the seats for caregivers. 

 

 After doing a survey, the Injury Prevention Committee found 65% of kids do not wear helmets.  As a result, Healthy Carolinians, Cooperative Extension, Warren Family Institute, the Sheriff’s Department, State Highway Patrol and the Warren County School System partner together for the prevention of head injuries and trauma to our kids.  Fourth graders are targeted in each of the elementary schools to be trained in bike safety and fitted for free helmets. An obstacle course is set up and each student gets to ride through the course, learning hand signals, proper turning and other important items.  The Bike Rodeo is so successful that a citizen and member of the Healthy Carolinians have donated a prize bike for the past two years. 

 

The Injury Prevention Committee, in collaboration with the Helping Hands Coalition, dedicates the entire month of October for Domestic Violence Prevention month.  Citizens in the county have attended a candlelight vigil on the courthouse square, recognizing those victims who have lost their lives to domestic violence.  Another ceremony has been done by placing pin wheels with the victims name on them or purple shoes as a symbol of lives lost to domestic violence.

Healthy Carolinians Substance Abuse Committee

For four consecutive years, the Healthy Carolinians Substance Abuse Committee did a youth risk behavior survey focusing on all 9th – 12th graders on subjects related to alcohol, marijuana, drinking and other types of behavior.  The results showed kids in Warren County smoked their first cigarette at 8 or 9 years of age.  Due to these findings, the committee began a program targeting youth in middle school called Teens Against Tobacco Usage (TATU). Healthy Carolinians, Warren County Cooperative Extension, Warren Family Institute and many others were trained in TATU, a train the trainer model program endorsed by the American Lung Association.  The group was able to turn around and train high school age youth who could eventually work with middle school age youth on preventing tobacco usage.  This subcommittee also works on the Great American Smoke Out each year by participating in proms and other large activities where youth may become tempted to try drugs or alcohol.  Literature, displays and encouragement are always a focus of the group.

 

“The Warren County Community Health Assessment is done every four years and surveys the community to get opinions on what they think are the health related problems in the county.  The survey is given to an overall general population in the county from ages 15 and up  to get overall view of all citizens in the county.”  Hilda also serves on Senior Center Advisory Board. 

 

When asked what she thought about other programs, Hilda replied, “The Farmers Market is an awesome new program that can be used by all people in the county.  Currently, many people do not have time to start their own garden, they now have access to fresh fruits and veggies and can support local merchants through their purchases.”  She would like to see the continued support and collaboration between Cooperative Extension, Healthy Carolinians and other agencies “where we work together for the overall best things for all citizens of Warren County.  So we can have a healthy Warren County for all citizens.”

Hilda, her children, Yolanda and Howard and grandson Ky-Jarvis Baskerville  all live in Warren County and are very active in activities at Union Grove Baptist Church in the county. 

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Rachel Harris Monteverdi is a Family & Consumer Sciences Agent for North Carolina Cooperative Extension, a division of North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University.  The Family & Consumer Sciences department incorporates prenatal to end-of-life programs.  Priorities for North Carolina citizens include:  Family & Parenting Education; Balancing Work & Family Workshops; Academic Success; Elder Care; Active Aging; Planning for the Future; Home Ownership & Housing Issues; Conservation & Environmental Issues; Leadership; Emergency Management and more.  Call 252-257-3640, email Rachel_Monteverdi@ncsu.edu or visit http://warren.ces.ncsu.edu for more information.