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Healthy Carolinians of Orange County Current Projects

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Access to Health Care Committee

  • Developing a resource directory or enhancing existing ones that highlight available free and reduced health care services (medical, dental, mental health/substance abuse treatment, pharmacological) and existing financial support (i.e. Medicaid, charity care, reduced fees, etc.) to share with providers in the community to better make referrals to community members, regardless of which service they access first.
  • Upcoming: Develop or identify and host trainings for area providers that focus on customer service and cultural competency to enhance the patient experience
  • Upcoming: Advocate for additional, expanded, or alternate transportation options in Orange County.

Health Promotion Committee 

  • Increase knowledge and influence behavior change related to eating smart and moving more by promoting one county-wide, consistent messaging campaign that will distribute messages through a variety established channels and media, over a six-month period.
  • Coordinate and co-organize the Healthy Classroom Challenge, in school classrooms to reinforce the importance of physical activity and better nutrition with children, families, and the Orange County community. School teachers, along with their students, create a short routine that incorporates Eat Smart Move More messages and physical movement. These routines were then performed at Healthy Kids Day events. Students also receive nutrition education lessons in classrooms.
  • Preparing Lifelong Active Youth (PLAY) to Move More program: PLAY gets middle-school children enrolled in Orange County after-school programs moving more. UNC collegiate athletes promote new ways for children enrolled in after-school programs to be active and healthier.
  • After-school programs have adopted a programmatic procedure that requires 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity every day; and middle-school teachers encourage more active learning in classrooms. A goal is to convert this programmatic procedure into a district-wide policy.
  • Upcoming: Establish five new Worksite Wellness initiatives and programs among small businesses (≤500 employees) in Orange County.
  • Upcoming: Increase number of physical activity opportunities available to rural families and communities by promoting and advocating for one joint-use agreements between schools, churches, and/or parks and recreation facilities.

Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Injury Committee 

  • Working to reduce misuse and abuse of prescription drugs and prevent overdose and death. Efforts include promoting proper and safe disposal of unused and expired medications and establishing permanent drug drop off locations in local law enforcement offices and drug take back events; promoting the use of the NC Controlled Substance Reporting System and changing Emergency Department policies; and supporting the Chronic Pain Initiative and proper pain management. Hosting Quarterly Rx Drug Stakeholder meetings on various topics.
  • Continues to support the Pro Bono Counseling Network (PBCN) (an initiative of Healthy Carolinians of Orange County) in collaboration with the Mental Health Association of the Triangle using funding from Cardinal Innovations (formally OPC Area Program) and Strowd Roses Foundation. The project's goals are to (1) recruit mental health professionals to join a network of providers who agree to provide counseling pro bono to one client per year for a minimum of eight sessions; and (2) match underinsured or uninsured clients seeking mental health services with appropriate providers. The PBCN serves residents of Orange, Chatham, Person and Durham Counties.
  • Upcoming: Prevention of suicide, especially among adult men, through a county-wide, community social media campaign around identifying signs and symptoms of suicide risk and intervention strategies for family members and peers.
  • Upcoming: Establish general mental health support groups to assist residents with mild-moderate issues, high stress; or those waiting to be linked to Pro Bono Counseling Network.

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