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Valley Health Page Memorial Hospital and PACA: Allies in Action

Valley Health Page Memorial Hospital and PACA: Allies in Action

Why do people and organizations form alliances? Because they know that there are better outcomes when many work together toward common goals. So it makes perfect sense that Valley Health Page Memorial Hospital (PMH) partners with Page County Public Schools, Page County Sheriff’s Department and other local agencies and groups on the Page Alliance for Community Action (PACA) to effect positive change in the community.

PACA is a nonprofit coalition dedicated to promoting healthy life choices for youth and families, and it is one of Valley Health’s Community Benefit partners. Thanks to grant funding, contributions from Valley Health, and the volunteer time of PMH employees, numerous programs are implemented that increase the safety and well-being of Page County’s youth and other residents in the region.

Photos: www.pagecoalition.org

“PACA’s priorities include educating students about the dangers of substance abuse and teaching them about other healthy lifestyle choices,” notes Ben Dolewski, operations manager for PMH clinics and member of the PACA board.“To complement the Too Good for Drugs curriculum offered in our middle and high schools, Valley Health is a partner promoting healthy habits in the afterschool program. In fact, instructors from Valley Health’s fitness center visit once a week to teach youth about the importance of exercise, healthy eating and other habits that promote lifelong wellbeing.”

Page Memorial nurses volunteer to offer substance use prevention education to high school students, and even teachers benefit from PACA programs. “We offer resilience education to local teachers by presenting a Surviving Childhood Trauma and Resilience professional development session,” explains Megan Gordon, PACA’s executive director.“Many local children live in poverty and experience other types of hardship and abuse, and this training gives our teachers tools they can use to support these students, and at the same time avoid burnout and personal stress.”

PACA’s safety initiatives also reach the community beyond Page County schools and classrooms. Thanks to grants from two organizations, Drug Free Communities and Partnership for Success, PACA collaborates with Valley Health to offer community members drug disposal bags for unused prescription and over-the-counter medications. Valley Health also promotes the benefits of physical fitness as a sponsor for annual community runs; it also helped PACA purchase a chip timing system to track the runners’ race times. “Page Memorial Hospital is a great asset to have in our small community,” Gordon continues. “And everyone on its team is amazing to work with and fully invested in the health of all our residents.”

As allies in fighting substance abuse, advancing region-wide safety initiatives and helping teachers and community members, Valley Health, PACA and other agencies and groups collaborate on achieving brighter futures for everyone in the area…proving once again, we truly are Healthier, together!