One Homer based organization that is part of a national network has been assessing health needs in the community, and seeking ways to meet those needs. It’s a mouthful—Mobilizing For Action Through Planning and Partnerships—MAPP for short.
Megan Murphy, Project Coordinator for MAPP of Southern Kenai Peninsula, explains their mission.
“MAPP is the process for addressing community health. The goals of MAPP are to collect data and to build partnerships and create strategies to address community health needs.”
On Friday the group holds a public meeting so people can learn more about this collaborative effort to make Homer a healthier place to live.
There are many facets to community health says Murphy.
“Our community defines health to include environmental, educational, cultural, physical and spiritual health,” she said.
The group is preparing to do a new fall/winter health needs assessment. A host of community agencies—like South Peninsula Haven House, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Homer Public Health and SPROUT Family Services, as well as stakeholders—like parents, and students at Homer High and Homer Flex School have helped with prior needs assessments.
The Friday meeting is meant to share information on activities related to community health and be the group’s quarterly meeting. The idea is to provide information plus get feedback from project participants and the public.
“There will be updates from the three MAPP groups addressing substance abuse, healthy lifestyle choices and connecting community resources, as well as other topics,” says Murphy.
The meeting runs from 9 a.m. to noon in Pioneer Hall room 202 on the Kachemak Bay Campus. Lunch is provided for those who have time to linger and share their ideas. The meeting schedule and more information about MAPP of Southern Kenai Peninsula are on their website www.mappofskp.net.