Published on September 14, 2021
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The Phelps Health Foundation is seeking local citizens to serve on Community Advocacy Councils (CACs) in Phelps Health’s service area.
The CACs are designed to increase engagement with area residents and help build positive relationships between Phelps Health and local communities in south-central Missouri. These councils will help Phelps Health and its Foundation share timely and relevant information with people.
“We want these Community Advocacy Councils to become the reliable source for accurate information about Phelps Health in the communities we serve,” said Phelps Health Foundation Executive Director David Selzer.
Eight CACs have been formed or are in the process of being created. These councils will serve the following areas:
- St. James
- Pulaski County
- Fort Leonard Wood
- Maries County
- Crawford County
- Dent County
- Texas County
The goal is for each CAC to meet four times a year. Some of these councils have already met, and others will be finalizing meetings within the coming weeks and months.
The CACs have already made an impact in the communities served by Phelps Health.
At a recent meeting for Texas County held in Licking, CAC members discussed a lack of available COVID-19 vaccines for eligible students. As a result, Phelps Health partnered with Texas County Memorial Hospital and the Licking R-VIII School District to host a vaccine clinic during the school’s open house in August.
Each CAC will consist of between five and 15 members. Members are chosen by the Phelps Health Foundation staff and approved by the Foundation’s Board of Directors.
During the CAC meetings, members will get to hear presentations from Phelps Health physicians or administrators on current health-related topics.
“Our CEO Jason Shenefield also plans to lead roundtable discussions with our councils,” Selzer said.
Cristina Wright, superintendent of the Licking R-VIII School District, is a member of the Texas County CAC.
“So far, I have found the CAC to offer useful and fascinating information directly from medical professionals,” she said. “These new lines of communication with healthcare professionals have strengthened our community.”
Wright said that by continuing to serve on the CAC, “I hope to stay in close contact with medical professionals in order to be as informed as possible, so that we may protect children and community members in the best possible way.”
The Phelps Health Foundation will provide supportive tools and resources to each CAC as members interact with the communities and share the information they learned during these community meetings.
“At Phelps Health, our mission is to improve the health and wellness of people in our region, and these advocacy councils offer us a chance to provide education on the current issues in healthcare,” Selzer said. “These councils will help expand outreach in the area.”