Mississippi Healthcare Initiative

In September 2013, the Winter Institute helped convene a statewide coalition of partners dedicated to a Mississippi healthcare initiative. We seek to expand our the base of partners throughout the state, so if you’d like more information, please email us at mississippi.health.initiative@gmail.com for more information.

Meeting Summary

The initial coalition meeting took place in Jackson on Friday, September 20, and Saturday 21, 2013. Twenty people attended, including the conveners, Susan Glisson and Marino Bruce. Felicia Eaves represented the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington DC, where she is the project coordinator for the Place Matters team. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation funded the event.

Many in attendance were part of organizations that have been working in Mississippi for many years, and there was good representation from the Delta. In addition there were professors and researchers from three Mississippi universities who joined in.

Friday was devoted to introducing partners, discussing key issues, and brainstorming areas where such a coalition could have an impact. Many of the ideas coalesced around people’s access to whole foods, physical activity, sexual health, and health education.

Saturday sessions focused on the potential of partnership and the statewide project. There was consensus that a statewide coalition is a good idea, and the main points raised included youth empowerment through education and family support; healthy, accessible food systems (community gardens); a unified social justice voice to send positive messages and to affect public opinion and policy; asset mapping of the state; shifting the culture/paradigm of the state around health; and having all of this work be community driven.

The group decided to move forward around implementation of the Mississippi Healthy Students Act, which was passed in 2007 but has never been fully funded or equitably implemented.

Resources

The links below open PDF files.

Senate Bill 2369: The Mississippi Healthy Students Act

An Environmental Scan of Childhood Obesity Efforts in Mississippi

The 2011 Mississippi Youth Risk Behavior Survey

Expanding Farm to School in Mississippi: Analysis and Recommendations

Mississippi Food Policy Council