The RISE Cowley steering committee now meets monthly, and subcommittees meet independently to further initiatives identified in the BCBSKS Action Plan. Full coalition meetings are held quarterly and are open to any individuals and community partners interested in working towards a healthy Cowley County.
RISE Cowley members of the trails working group have mapped trails for the interactive map created by the Cowley County GIS Department.
Breastfeeding Advocates of Cowley County (BACC), a working group of RISE Cowley, received funding from the United Methodist Healthy Ministry Fund – Impact Funding Team. The “On the Go Breastfeeding” project takes breastfeeding resources to community events to support mothers and babies on the go. The goal is to help community organizers designate breastfeeding accommodations at events where seating and shelter is limited.
BACC worked with Kansas Sampler Festival organizers to add a Family Services tent to the weekend festival (hosted in Winfield in 2016 & 2017). BACC volunteers equipped the tent with comfortable chairs, a diaper changing table and electrical hookup. Over 20 families were served in 2016 and the program book and map included information about this family area.
BACC partnered with the Cowley County Fair Board and Flint Hills RV to offer the Family Services RV at the 2016 Cowley County Fair. The unit was staffed by volunteers from 6-11 p.m. each evening of the fair. More than 55 families utilized the space for diaper changing, first aid and lactation. Additionally, participants had positive reviews about the space and encouragement for breastfeeding families.
Winfield received designation as a Community Supporting Breastfeeding from the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition, Inc.
BACC members networked with multiple sectors—businesses, employers, hospitals, childcare providers, and peer support—regarding breastfeeding support.
RISE Cowley received a WorkWell KS grant. WorkWell KS partnered with the Community Engagement Institute, Center for Public Health Initiatives (CPHI) to provide coalition strengthening tools.
CPHI provided a list of various technical assistance options for selected communities. RISE Cowley chose short-term strategy planning and met with CPHI facilitators in November 2016.
RISE Cowley reflected on past successes and challenges and identified future participants to include in various circles of involvement. The session concluded with activity planning tied to various working groups.
Community volunteers were recruited to conduct a tobacco retail audit at 27 locations in Arkansas City and Winfield. The audit was conducted by the Chronic Disease Risk Reduction Coordinator of the City-Cowley County Health Department with the assistance of RISE Cowley partners in February 2016. Additional activities include youth-initiated projects; creating a map of tobacco retailers; and a webinar with Kansas Healthy Schools.