Vance County Schools Logo

Town Talk 10/21/20: Vance Co. Schools Launches ‘Attendance Matters’ Campaign

THIS STORY IS PRESENTED IN PART BY DRAKE DENTISTRY

Four members of Vance County Schools’ Behavioral Health Team appeared on WIZS Town Talk Wednesday at 11 a.m.

Toni Fletcher, lead of the School Student Behavioral Health Team and Lead Social Worker, began the segment by announcing that VCS is kicking off its ‘Attendance Matters’ campaign with the slogan ‘In School, Logged In, Every Day.’

With the Vance County Board of Education’s recent vote to extend fully remote learning through December, Fletcher explained the importance of offering continued support during this unprecedented time in education.

“It is very important to us that we make the connections with our children and our families,” said Fletcher. “This is something we’ve never done before – teaching this way.”

Counselor Erica Wright, with the Student Behavioral Health Team, said VCS will recognize students for their hard work on billboards throughout the community, through local news and media sources and with school incentives as a way to encourage good attendance practices.

School Safety/District Hearing Officer Dr. Ralph Holloman said, “The National Dropout Prevention Center has recorded that family engagement is the number one key for attendance, and we want to send that message to parents. Keep on encouraging your child to participate, log in and be in school every day.”

Thanking parents for all they have done to keep their child engaged while also balancing work, family and other responsibilities, Holloman said, “Parents, your continued involvement is the key to our children’s success in Vance County schools.”

To address mental well-being, Dr. Latoria Fleming, counselor for the Student Behavioral Health Team, said school counselors and social workers are remotely available to provide social and emotional support.

“Please reach out to school support staff if you know of a student that’s struggling,” said Fleming. “Those staff members can provide short-term counseling or, if necessary, connect you with community resources or mental health agencies.”

While support is the key to continued motivation, Fletcher said completing remote schoolwork is difficult without reliable internet access. “Some of our families live rurally and don’t have access to the internet, and some are unable to afford access due to financial barriers.”

To combat this problem, VCS has placed WiFi rangers in fire departments, daycare centers, churches, apartment complexes and in some homes with five or more children throughout the county.

In addition, Fletcher said Kajeets, portable devices approximately the size of a cell phone, have been placed in over 150 homes to provide internet capabilities.

For those in need of technology assistance, Fletcher reminded listeners that a technology help desk with tech support is available to parents and students Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. To find the help desk phone number for your child’s school, please visit the VCS District website (click here).

To hear the interview in its entirety, go to WIZS.com and click on Town Talk.

Corbitt Museum

Town Talk 10/20/20: Corbitt’s ‘President’s Challenge’ Raising Funds in Difficult Year

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Charles Powell, president of the Corbitt Preservation Association (CPA), appeared on WIZS Town Talk Tuesday at 11 a.m.

Powell discussed the CPA’s 2020 “President’s Challenge,” a fundraiser on-going through October 31. A $50 donation entitles you to full membership in the organization, your choice of a t-shirt, hat, coffee mug or travel mug ($20 value) and 10 percent off any additional merchandise. Items will be shipped free-of-charge to those that live outside the local area.

In addition, a CPA member that wishes to remain anonymous will match every $50 donation dollar-for-dollar for the first 100 donors, up to $5,000.

“This year has been a very bad year,” Powell said. “We haven’t had any shows or any way for us to raise funds. Of course, our expenses continue with the museum and other areas.”

Powell said the CPA was especially hard-hit after the cancellation of the Show, Shine, Shag and Dine and East Coast Drag Times Hall of Fame & Reunion weekend held in downtown Henderson each fall. The 19th annual event, originally scheduled for October 16-17, 2020, was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“That’s usually our largest fundraising event of the year. We missed that, and it put us in dire straits,” Powell lamented. “The President’s Challenge is a win-win situation for everybody. For us, we increase our membership, plus it creates funds for us to do our projects.”

One such project involves displaying a rare Corbitt automobile at the Bennett H. Perry/Corbitt Museum located at 180 Church Street in Henderson. In 2019, members obtained the automobile from the previous owner in Greensboro, NC. “We would like to enclose the car on the back patio of the museum and open up a new room for viewing,” said Powell.

“Of course,” Powell explained, “all this takes funds.”

To support the CPA via the President’s Challenge, please mail a check, use PayPal or pay by credit card over the phone.

Checks may be mailed to CPA, PO Box 74, Henderson, NC 27536. If you wish to use PayPal, please email gjammer35@aol.com for an invoice. To pay by credit card, please call Ken Stegall at (252) 432-6476 or Charles Powell at (252) 767-2247 for assistance.

For more information, please visit The Corbitt Preservation Association’s Facebook page or website at www.corbitttrucks.com.

Dr. Phil Stover

Town Talk 10/19/20: Phil Stover, Dem. Candidate for NC House District 7

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Dr. Phillip Stover, Democratic candidate for NC House District 7, appeared on WIZS Town Talk Monday at 11 a.m. Stover is running against Republican candidate Matthew Winslow for the seat that represents Franklin and southern Nash counties.

A Louisburg resident for 38 years, Stover currently serves patients as a family physician, with a specialty in opioid addiction management and chronic pain.

According to his website, Stover is a husband, father and active member of the Louisburg United Methodist Church. He is also a veteran who served six years as a medic in the Army Reserve and currently serves as a captain in the Civil Air Patrol.

Professional experiences/recognitions include:

  • Franklin County Volunteers in Medicine, a free clinic active in Franklin County from 2004 to 2018
  • Franklin County Partners in Health, a low-cost charitable clinic open since the closing of the free clinic
  • Current practice – Louisburg Family Practice and Pain Management
  • Hospice Medical Director – 1992 to 2015
  • Senior Aviation Medical Examiner for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  • Acting Medical Director, NC Division of Prisons
  • Medical Director, Franklin County Volunteers in Medicine and Warren County Free Clinic
  • Member of the Franklin County Committee of 100
  • Co-author of the Franklin County Strategic Plan
  • Vice-Chair of the Franklin County Airport Advisory Committee
  • Mission pilot in the Civil Air Patrol
  • Named to the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels – the highest title of honor granted by the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Below is a portion of Stover’s responses to questions asked during the Town Talk interview:

Dr. Phil Stover, Democratic candidate for NC House District 7. (Photo courtesy the Campaign to Elect Phil Stover)

What issues are you pushing? What is your platform?

“The number one issue is affordable healthcare, starting with Medicaid expansion in NC, but it doesn’t stop there. Medicaid expansion will help greatly, but it won’t solve all of our issues with affordable healthcare. We need to work on reducing out-of-pocket expenses and making sure people not covered by Medicaid are able to afford adequate healthcare.

Number two is the support of our public schools. For the past ten years, our public schools have basically been ignored by the Republican legislature. They have cut funding and allowed teachers’ salaries to drop to one of the lowest in the nation. Governor Hunt worked for many years to get teacher pay up to the national average; we need to get it back there. We need to fully fund our schools – particularly rural schools – as has been ordered in the Leandro case, which the state has never fully implemented.

Third, we need to work on rural economic development. Infrastructure in rural counties like Franklin and Nash is not what it should be. We desperately need access to broadband throughout our counties, which has been very much highlighted by the COVID epidemic.

Lastly is the issue of racial inequality. We have, for far too long in this country, suppressed our minorities, particularly our African-American brethren. We need to take steps to correct the wrongs of the last 400 years and to see that black Americans have the same opportunities as everyone else.”

With continued growth in rural counties such as Franklin and complaints of congested roads, how will you be able to assist, as a House representative, with this issue?

“That’s a real problem. We addressed this back in the 1990s when I chaired the Strategic Planning Committee. One of our recommendations was to basically urbanize, which would have the County direct its growth to the urban areas: Youngsville, Bunn, Louisburg and Franklinton. That was ignored, and what we have allowed is people like my opponent to put in subdivisions anywhere they want.

In the southern end of the county, you go down any road and you see one subdivision after another, and we just don’t have the road structure to support that. It’s going to be very hard to correct that problem because we’ve let it go too far. The County Commission needs to change the way we allow growth in this [Franklin] county.”

In concluding his interview with WIZS, Stover said, “This is an absolutely critical election. In my opinion, this is the most important election since 1860 when President Lincoln was elected. I think we are in a crossroads almost as bad. If we don’t elect politicians who are willing to work to bring this country back to accept everyone and see the value in all people, not just those that look like themselves, then I fear for this country. I have faith the majority of Americans want that, and what I’m asking you to do is go out and vote.”

For more information on Stover, including his 10-point plan on ways to reduce healthcare costs and improve healthcare quality, visit his website at www.electphilstover.com or Facebook page at Phil Stover for NC House 7.

To hear the interview in its entirety, go to WIZS.com and click on Town Talk.

(This is not a paid political advertisement. Political candidates are offered equal air time/coverage on WIZS.)

Families Living Violence Free

Town Talk 10/19/20: FLVF to Hold Virtual Domestic Violence Vigil

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Megan Holmes, youth services advocate for Families Living Violence Free (FLVF), appeared on WIZS Town Talk Monday at 11 a.m.

FLVF offers supportive counseling, assistance filing for a protective/restraining order, educational programs, referral services, crisis assistance and transportation services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

In continuation of WIZS’ Domestic Violence Awareness Month coverage, Holmes announced FLVF will hold a virtual vigil for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault who lost their lives in 2020. The vigil will be prerecorded and available to view beginning at 3 p.m. on Thursday, October 22 at www.flvf.org.

“In the month of October, we do notice there are more individuals who reach out,” Holmes said. “Recently, we’ve seen an increase in individuals seeking services from us. Although the circumstances are unfortunate, we are more than grateful they are reaching out because that means they are becoming more aware that support is available.”

FLVF’s office is located at 125 Oxford Outer Loop Road in Oxford, NC. A 24/7 Crisis Line is also available by calling (919) 693-5700 (English) or (919) 690-0888 (Spanish).

For additional coverage on domestic violence awareness, please join WIZS live at 1450AM, 100.1 FM or online at www.wizs.com at 11 a.m. on Thursday, October 22. Debbie Scott, domestic violence coordinator/gang resource specialist with the Vance Co. Sheriff’s Office, will join the show to discuss the upcoming 2nd Annual Domestic Violence Awareness Event at Clearview Church in Henderson.

To hear the interview in its entirety, go to WIZS.com and click on Town Talk.

Vance County Schools Logo

Town Talk 10/15/20: Jackson Discusses VCS’ Decision to Remain in Plan C

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Dr. Anthony Jackson, superintendent for Vance County Schools, appeared on WIZS Town Talk Thursday at 11 a.m.

Jackson discussed the Vance County Board of Education’s 5-2 vote at its October 12 meeting to remain in Plan C – fully remote learning – for the remainder of the first semester. The first semester for the 2020-2021 school year is set to end prior to the Christmas holiday.

In July, NC Governor Roy Cooper announced public and charter schools could begin the school year under Plan B – a hybrid of online and in-person learning – or could choose the more restrictive Plan C.

In September, Cooper announced public and charter elementary schools (K-5) had the option to operate under Plan A – in-person, socially distanced learning – beginning October 5.

At its July Board meeting, the Vance County Board of Education voted to begin the year under Plan C, revisit the decision in October and review again in December.

The Board will meet in December to determine if the second semester, starting in January, will begin fully remote under Plan C or move to Plan A or B.

“Our Board is looking at the data and trying to determine the safe integration of students into the school environment,” Jackson explained. “Based on what they understood and were presented with, they thought it would be safer to keep our kids on Plan C until we know a little more about [COVID-19] transmission and local data.”

According to Jackson, the Board also took recent news reports of spikes in COVID cases and hospitalizations into consideration when making the decision to remain in remote learning.

Working with Granville Vance Public Health and Duke University, Jackson said the school system receives daily local COVID updates and seeks guidance from healthcare experts.

“The decision of how to start the next semester will be based on the data available on infection rates, hospitalizations and transmission in the community at that time,” Jackson said. “Our goal is to be back to some form of face-to-face interaction by the second semester. We are still hopeful, but we have to go with what the metrics tell us. Ultimately, the liability rests with them as the Board of Education; they’ve taken that very seriously.”

While seeking improvements to areas such as students’ access to online connectivity, Jackson said the strives are evident. “The positive out of this is that we have set up a remote digital learning framework in this short period of time. We have distributed over 5,000 devices and hotspots to our kids, provided over a half-million meals to this community and supported our teachers with a small model of childcare.”

Acknowledging it’s not the school year anyone expected, Jackson said he is encouraged by the teamwork and dedication on all sides.

“I want to thank our teachers for the work they are doing every day to make sure our kids are okay and learning. I also thank our parents for trusting us. This is not what we had planned, but it is what we have, so we are going to make the best of it.”

To stay updated on VCS’ decisions and announcements, please visit the District’s website or Facebook page.

To hear the interview in its entirety, go to WIZS.com and click on Town Talk.

Kerr Tar COG and DOI

Town Talk 10/14/20: Medicare Open Enrollment Begins Oct. 15

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Stephanie Bias, coordinator for the NC Senior Medicare Patrol (NCSMP) Program and Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP), a division of the NC Department of Insurance, appeared on WIZS Town Talk Wednesday at 11 a.m. Michele Brigandi, aging program coordinator with the Kerr-Tar Agency on Aging, facilitated the segment.

This edition of Town Talk is a paid advertising sponsorship with the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments.

With Medicare’s 2021 open enrollment period beginning Thursday, October 15 and ending Monday, December 7, 2020, Bias said programs such as SHIIP provide much-needed assistance to beneficiaries.

“SHIIP provides education, outreach and counseling to NC’s Medicare beneficiaries on how to enroll, how to choose secondary insurance behind Medicare and how to find out if you’re eligible for extra health programs,” Bias explained.

NC currently has over 2 million Medicare beneficiaries, according to Bias, ranging from those 65 and older to those on disability or with certain chronic health conditions.

“Our role is to educate you so that you make the best-informed choice for your particular situation,” Bias stated. “We are not insurance agents, nor do we recommend companies or plans. We educate you about what is out there.”

While SHIIP assists with the enrollment process, Bias said NCSMP helps to prevent fraud “to ensure our benefits stay solvent, and we become good stewards of our Medicare.”

Bias reported that Medicare fraud has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic and said people should diligently protect their personal information.

“People may knock on your door, for example, and say that they are there to test you for coronavirus and need to see your Medicare card. Don’t let these people in, don’t let them swab your nose and don’t show them your card,” Bias implored. “It is a scam, and it is fraud.”

Bias explained the intent in this scam is to record your Medicare number to sell to others that can then use the number to receive services in your name.

While changed from a beneficiary’s social security number to a randomly generated mix of numbers and letters in recent years, Bias said an individual’s identifying Medicare number still links to a specific account and is subject to fraud.

“Another scam is to tell you that there is a ground-level secret society that you should invest money in, and when the cure or vaccine comes to fruition [for COVID], you’re going to profit. There is no such thing as a ground-level secret society,” Bias said.

Bias also warned against opening any emails or online attachments regarding Medicare, stating opening such links could expose computers to viruses and fraud opportunities. Phone calls from Medicare are also highly unlikely and should be questioned.

With questions about Medicare or for coordinating sites in your county, NC SHIIP can be reached online at www.ncshiip.com or toll-free Monday – Friday (except state holidays) from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. at 1-855-408-1212.

When speaking to an enrollment representative, Bias said recipients should have a list of all current medications and issued Medicare card available.

To hear the interview in its entirety, go to WIZS.com and click on Town Talk.

(This edition of Town Talk is part of a paid advertising sponsorship with the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments.)

Vance County Logo

Town Talk 10/13/20: Taylor and Fisher Face Off for District 2 Commissioner’s Seat

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Michael Fisher, a candidate for the District 2 seat of the Vance County Board of Commissioners, appeared on the first segment of WIZS Town Talk Tuesday at 11 a.m. For the second segment, WIZS re-aired a previous interview with incumbent Archie Taylor, Jr. per his request.

Fisher and Taylor have expressed differences in their stance on the potential restructuring of the Vance County Fire Department (VCFD) and volunteer departments as well as on County-provided funding for McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center.

Serving in public safety for 43 years, including his current position as the treasurer and safety officer of the Vance County Rescue Squad, Fisher previously stated that he would retire if elected to the Board of Commissioners.

In addressing fire and safety protection, Fisher said a significant change needs to occur in the funding structure of the County’s fire departments.

“A lot of departments in this county feel that it is unfair that the paid VCFD gets a $1.3 million budget, and the volunteer departments get $100,000 apiece to operate and provide the same service. I’m not saying we do away with the VCFD, but we’ve got to find a way to make this equal out.”

Fisher said the VCFD receives General Fund and fire tax funding, while the volunteer departments, under contract to the County for services provided, only receive funding from the fire tax.

“Just recently, volunteer departments went from a 9 to a 5 or 6 fire rating. The VCFD went from a 6 to a 5, so we are all providing the same service across the board. The $300,000 in extra money VCFD gets, when you factor in paid staff and the benefits, is a big deal.”

Ultimately, Fisher said he would propose keeping the VCFD as a whole but cutting its budget and distributing the extra funds amongst the County’s eight volunteer fire departments.

“If someone quits or retires, replace that full-time person with part-time staff. You will still save the County money without raising taxes, and you’ll still have a 24-hour staff with part-time,” Fisher stated.

In his Town Talk interview that aired on September 29, Taylor, a commissioner since 2012, said he was a strong proponent of the VCFD, stating that they have served the county well for over 60 years.

“Now we have this element inside of the Rescue Squad – along with some others in our community – who would disband the VCFD,” said Taylor. “Instead of eight volunteer fire departments, there would be nine because they would get rid of the VCFD, distribute its employees and have the Rescue Squad take over firefighting in the county. I think that is absolutely a huge mistake for our county.”

While Fisher said he would like to see more funds allocated amongst volunteer departments, Taylor said he questions why the Vance County Rescue Squad receives its current level of funding.

“I question why Vance County pays over $100,000 for rescue work,” Taylor said. “As pointed out in The Daily Dispatch recently, Granville County has $20,000; Franklin has $40,000; Warren has zero dollars allocated to rescue, and yet Vance County has over $102,000. So, I’ve questioned that for six months or so, and I guess we will come to some resolution on that.”

Taylor emphasized that he has been the primary proponent for keeping the VCFD as is and acknowledged that his stance on the issue is one of the most significant differences between him and Fisher.

“A vote for me is a vote to keep the Vance County Fire Department intact,” Taylor stated.

Another topic that has emerged as a difference of opinion for Fisher and Taylor is the appropriate level of County funding for the McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center located in downtown Henderson.

Serving on the Vance County Intergovernmental Committee that recently voted to provide McGregor Hall with a $50,000 allocation from the County’s Coronavirus Relief Funds, Taylor said he’s committed to assisting the performing arts center.

“McGregor Hall is one of the only performing arts centers of its kind in the state that gets no public money at this time,” Taylor explained. “It brings our community over $2 million in revenue every year based on a study done by NC State University. I think it’s important that we figure out some way to help McGregor Hall because it provides a big economic impact to our community, and we want big economic impacts.”

Acknowledging the hardships McGregor Hall has faced this year with COVID restrictions, Fisher said he hopes to see the center maintain self-sufficiency moving forward.

“They’ve done really well on their own until COVID came up,” Fisher commented. “I think they need to be self-sufficient if they can. It would have to be a hard time to actually put them on the County’s payroll.”

To hear the interview in its entirety, go to WIZS.com and click on Town Talk.

(This is not a paid political advertisement. Political candidates are offered equal air time/coverage on WIZS.)

End the Silence

Town Talk 10/12/20: Infinite Possibilities, Vance Co. DSS Assist Domestic Violence Victims

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Erin Carter, domestic violence and sexual assault victim’s advocate with Infinite Possibilities, Inc., and Cassandra Hart, program integrity/child care supervisor with the Vance County Department of Social Services, appeared on WIZS Town Talk Monday at 11 a.m.

Infinite Possibilities, Inc.

In a continuation of WIZS’ coverage of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Carter spoke on Infinite Possibilities’ mission of “providing comprehensive, confidential support regardless of age, race, disability, gender, identity, sexual and/or religious orientation, immigration status or national origin” to those in abusive situations.

The community-based non-profit organization provides support with intimate partner violence, crisis intervention, danger assessments, safety planning, and assistance in finding shelter. Trained advocates are available 24/7.

Carter said services are still being provided during the COVID-19 pandemic in as safe a manner as possible. “Although it is a pandemic and we are at home, or we are staying safe, this information is vital. It’s not just vital in the month of October, it’s vital all the time because this is a continuous problem that we have to address.”

To help spread the message and keep people connected during the pandemic, Infinite Possibilities will host a Domestic Violence 101 & Healthy Relationships online Zoom session on Wednesday, October 14, 2020, from 2 until 3 p.m. To gain access to the session, please email Carter at ehill@infinitepossibilitiesinc.com.

For additional information on the session and to stay up-to-date on Infinite Possibilities, please visit the organization’s Facebook page (click here).

In Henderson, the Infinite Possibilities office is located at 314 S. Garnett St. Assistance is also available by phone at (252) 431-1926 during regular office hours: Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

A 24/7 hotline, with services available in English and Spanish, is available by calling (252) 425-2492.

Vance County Department of Social Services (VCDSS)

Addressing the financial assistance side of domestic violence situations, Hart explained the services that the VCDSS, in partnership with Infinite Possibilities and Safe Space, Inc., can provide to victims.

Hart said the following are available to a client and their children if agreed that the assistance will promote safety and economic stability and falls under Work First/TANF guidelines.

Transportation: reasonable, actual transportation costs can include, but are not limited to, bus passes, cabs, auto repairs, auto payments and car insurance as approved by the local department of social services and the domestic violence agency as allowed. The client should express an inability to pay but does not have to be facing repossession of a vehicle. If the client has another operative vehicle, assistance may not be approved.

Housing: housing assistance includes rent, utilities (including past bills), deposits, moving truck rental, storage fees, and other relocation costs. Reasonable, actual cost for these services approved by VCDSS and the domestic violence agency as allowed.

Attorney Fees: the fees can be used for any civil action that will enable a victim to be safe and/or economically independent.

Childcare, summer camp, etc.

Temporary/emergency lodging (such as a hotel)

For additional coverage on domestic violence awareness, please join WIZS live at 1450AM, 100.1 FM or online at www.wizs.com at 11 a.m. to hear discussions with the following scheduled guests:

Monday, October 19 – Families Living Violence Free

Thursday, October 22 – Debbie Scott with the Vance County Sheriff’s Office

To hear the interview in its entirety, go to WIZS.com and click on Town Talk.

Vance County NC

Town Talk 10/8/20: Vance County – Origins and First Families

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Mark Pace, local historian and director of the NC Room at the Richard H. Thornton Library in Oxford, appeared on WIZS Town Talk Thursday at 11 a.m.

Pace and WIZS’ own Bill Harris discussed the beginnings of Vance County and the first families to settle in the area.

To hear the interview in its entirety, go to WIZS.com and click on Town Talk.

Green Rural Redevelopment (GRRO)

Town Talk 10/7/20: GRRO Hires Health Workers to Serve as Community Liaisons

THIS STORY IS PRESENTED IN PART BY DRAKE DENTISTRY

Lucette Mercer, deputy director of Green Rural Redevelopment, Inc. (GRRO), appeared on WIZS Town Talk Wednesday at 11 a.m.

Mercer discussed the recent news that GRRO has hired 25 health workers to serve communities in Vance, Granville, Franklin, Warren, Nash, Pitt, Halifax and Wake Counties during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Residing in the areas they are serving, Mercer explained that these health workers serve as a liaison between health and social organizations in the community, connecting people to the resources and services they need.

GRRO, a non-profit organization, has focused on providing access to healthy food and meals to people in the Kerr-Tar region. Their recent initiative, “Wellness on Wheels,” provided area youth with free healthy meals over the summer.

“GRRO has been known for our farmers market, food, produce, garden and farming activities,” said Mercer. “This time, we’ve really put our sights on combating the impact that COVID-19 has had in our communities.”

Working with local county health departments, the trained health workers assist families and individuals with coordinating referrals and service delivery. In addition, workers can help those diagnosed with COVID-19, those asked to quarantine due to a possible exposure or those at high risk of complications from the virus get food, groceries and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), among other items.

“Workers can help residents quarantine with the support they need to do so successfully and not have to go out in the community during their two-week quarantine period,” Mercer explained.

Henry Crews, the executive director of GRRO, noted in a recent press release, “We saw the devastation that the pandemic has brought to our community, and we used our organizational flexibility to expand our programming and grow our team to reach the ever-increasing numbers of rural residents who have been impacted by the Coronavirus.”

In partnership with Curamericas Global, Duke Family Medicine & Community Health and the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services, GRRO has joined a statewide network of agencies providing outreach services. These efforts are made possible by Federal funding from The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

For additional information, please call (252) 430-7999 or visit www.grronc.org.

To hear the interview in its entirety, go to WIZS.com and click on Town Talk.