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Arkansas Hospice’s Batesville office is seeking volunteers to help care for patients in Independence and Jackson counties.
A vital part of the hospice care team, Arkansas Hospice volunteers are caring, committed people from all walks of life who gain a sense of satisfaction from making a difference in the lives of others. These volunteers provide ongoing support wherever a patient calls home in a variety of ways that include making personal visits or phone calls, sitting with patients to give caregivers a rest and, most of all, listening and sharing thoughts and feelings. Other opportunities include helping with office work and participating in our pet therapy program.
All Arkansas Hospice volunteers must be trained and certified. In addition, individuals must pass a background check and driving record check and provide evidence of a current driver’s license and automobile insurance. A tuberculosis skin test is also required if providing direct patient care. For more information, please email Harriet Hawkins, director of volunteers, at hhawkins@arkansashospice.org or call 870-793-1938, or toll-free at 877-794-1938, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
Arkansas Hospice is a community-based, not-for-profit organization caring for nearly 600 patients and their families each day in more than 30 Arkansas counties. For more information, please visit www.arkansashospice.org.

The mission of Arkansas Hospice is to enhance the quality of life for those facing terminal illness and grief by surrounding them with love and embracing them with the best in physical, emotional and spiritual care. This message from Arkansas Hospice contains information for use by the intended recipient only. Unauthorized access or use of information contained within is strictly prohibited by law. If you have received this email in error, please delete it and all its attachments and notify Arkansas Hospice at CIS@ArkansasHospice.org. Scott Christian

WRHS Foundation Receives Grants to Make Clinics HeartSmart


It can happen in the blink of an eye: Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) occurs, the heart stops beating, and blood stops flowing to vital organs. With SCA, getting help in the first 10 minutes is critical, and without quick, life-saving treatment, the survival rate for those experiencing SCA is as low as 5%. Something as small as an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), a portable device that can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm, can be the difference between life and death according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation lists physician offices as a location with a higher incidence of SCA, making AEDs in the White River Health System (WRHS) clinics an important tool in rural healthcare.
The WRHS Foundation decided to create HeartSmart facilities within WRHS by equipping the WRHS clinics with HeartStart FRx AEDs. In this endeavor, they have secured three grants totaling more than $9,200, allowing them to purchase AEDs for the Cave City Medical Clinic, Drasco Medical Clinic, Hardy Medical Clinic, Pleasant Plains Medical Clinic, Newport Diagnostic Medical Clinic, Stone County Primary Care Clinic, and the Tuckerman Medical Clinic.
“The goal of project HeartSmart is to increase the survival rate associated with SCA,” said Dana Thomas, Grant Coordinator. “The AEDs will improve early access to emergency care and early defibrillation for SCA. They will be a great resource for our clinics, and an invaluable asset for visitors to the clinics.”
The Drasco Medical Clinic’s purchase of an AED was made possible in part by a grant from the Cleburne County Community Foundation, an affiliate of Arkansas Community Foundation. The grant amount of $700 allows the WRHS Foundation to purchase one AED for the clinic.
WalMart in Batesville (store #119) provided a grant in the amount of $1500 to purchase an AED for the Pleasant Plains Medical Clinic. The grant was made possible by the WalMart Local Giving Community Grant Program.
Additionally, the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA) granted $7019.10 to purchase five AEDs. These AEDs will be purchased for the Cave City Medical Clinic, Hardy Medical Clinic, Newport Medical Clinic, Stone County Primary Care Clinic, and Tuckerman Medical Clinic.
“We are very grateful for the generosity of the organizations to allow us to bring this much needed device to clinics in Cleburne, Independence, Jackson, Sharp, and Stone counties,” said Amanda Roberts, WRHS Foundation Director. “They are aiding us in achieving our goal of creating HeartSmart facilities and further aiding in improving the health of our communities.” Annie Solis

Pictured here, Yolonda Reed, APRN at the Pleasant Plains Clinic, and Dana Thomas, WRHS Grant Coordinator, display one of several Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) purchased for many of the WRHS clinics. The purchase of the AEDs for the clinic was made possible by grants from the Cleburne County Community Foundation, an affiliate of Arkansas Community Foundation; WalMart in Batesville (Store #119); and the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA).

Arkansas Agriculture Department Accepting Specialty Crop Grant Proposals


The Arkansas Agriculture Department is accepting applications for proposals to enhance the competitiveness of Arkansas specialty crops such as fruits, vegetables, floriculture and nuts. Applications will be considered for inclusion in Arkansas’ grant proposal for funds provided by the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Approximately $307,000 may be available to Arkansas under the program. Funds are available as a result of the Agricultural Act of 2014.
Under grant guidelines, state corporations, commodity associations, non-profit organizations, state and local government entities, and colleges and universities may be eligible. Applicants and/or their business or educational affiliation must be located in Arkansas. USDA will not award grant funds for projects that solely benefit a particular commercial product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual. In addition, recipients and sub-recipients cannot use grant funds to compete unfairly with private companies that provide equivalent products or services. Single organizations, institutions, and individuals are encouraged to participate as project partners.
Applicants are asked to submit proposals for projects to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops by:
* Enhancing food safety;
* Assisting all entities in the specialty crop distribution chain in developing “Good Agricultural Practices,” “Good Handling Practices,” “Good Manufacturing Practices,” and in cost-share arrangements for funding audits of such systems for small farmers; packers and processors;
* Investing in specialty crop research, including research to focus on conservation and environmental outcomes;
* Developing new and improved seed varieties and specialty crops;
* Pest and disease control; and development of organic and sustainable production practices;
* Increasing child and adult nutrition knowledge and consumption of specialty crops;
* Improving efficiency and reducing costs of distribution systems;
* Developing local and regional food systems; and
* Improving food access in underserved communities.
Applications must be received by the department by close-of-business May 29, 2015. Questions regarding the program may be directed to Zachary Taylor, the department’s director of marketing, at 501-219-6324 or email Zachary.Taylor@aad.ar.gov. Application packets may be found at: www.aad.arkansas.gov . A complete list of eligible specialty crops may be found at http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/SCBGPdefinitions

Zachary Taylor

National Travel and Tourism Week


The 32nd annual observance of National Travel & Tourism Week (NTTW) will be May 2 - 10, 2015. In conjunction with this national celebration, Arkansas Tourism Week will also be observed May 2 - 10 this year.
NTW was designated by the U.S. Travel Association to give communities and the industry a chance to emphasize the economic impact of travel and tourism, as well as to show appreciation to travelers who make it happen.
The Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism is encouraging organizations and communities to join the National Travel & Tourism Week celebration. This is an excellent opportunity to host a hospitality appreciation event in your area. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Ask people to wear red to show the magnitude of our tourism industry.
Encourage local merchants to display Tourism Week messages on their marquees. The messages can welcome visitors or highlight the industry’s contribution to your community.
Have your mayor, or other local elected officials, declare a “City Tourism Day/Week” in a special ceremony.
Invite elected officials and other local VIPs to work a shift at the nearest welcome center greeting tourists and/or serving refreshments.
Suggest an article to local media about ways in which convention and conference facilities make your area a year-round destination.
Organize familiarization tours for local tourism industry volunteers and front line staff, hosted by members of the media.
For more ideas, or for tourism statistics and fun facts, visit our NTW page online at www.arkansas.com/industry-insider/tourism-development/national-tourism.aspx. Tourism statistics can also be found on this site, or by checking the Arkansas Annual Report that was distributed at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism.
Your group may come up with some of their own great ideas, please share them! Let us know your organization or community plans for National Tourism Week and we will publish them in a statewide news release. To be included in our news release, send your NTW events to Jessica Ledbetter no later than April 20, 2015.

Arkansas Career Pathways Initiative Announces Poverty Reduction Success


The Arkansas Career Pathways Initiative (CPI) announced a first of its kind study today, expected to demonstrate that the Arkansas CPI program breaks the cycle of poverty and provides a return on investment for participants, their families, and the state.
By analyzing more than 30,000 student records, the study will provide a comprehensive evaluation of Arkansas’ nationally recognized CPI program, and demonstrate its social impacts and economic returns. It will also review evidence that the CPI is decreasing the number of families living below the poverty line while increasing postsecondary credential attainment and overall economic mobility.
The study is a joint project of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation, and Annie E. Casey Foundation, recognizing the enormous potential that Arkansas’ CPI program holds as a model for other states, and for future philanthropic investments.
“We are so pleased to announce this study – which will highlight our program’s success and serve as a very clear model for other states around the country, with evidence-based policy recommendations,” said Bill Stovall, executive director, Arkansas Community Colleges (ACC).
The innovative CPI program uses federal funds allocated to the state to provide education and job training to low-income residents with children. Arkansans get the credentials they need for a high-wage, high-skill job, and plan a career path towards future opportunities and advancement. The program sees high success rates because it removes common barriers to success by providing wrap-around supports such as transportation vouchers, child care, case management, career coaching, and tutoring options. CPI is administered by the ACC’s 22 two-year colleges, three university technical centers, and the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.
“The CPI fits well with Governor Hutchinson’s goal of helping Arkansans overcome poverty through education and career training,” said Daryl Bassett, director, Arkansas Department of Workforce Services. “Arkansas CPI students get the assistance they need to complete a credential and get a family-supporting job, while also meeting the needs of business and industry.”
"The program's initial data clearly shows its positive impact on CPI graduates. More than 61% of recent completers earned one or more credentials and saw their wages increase an average of 37% after completing the program,” said Dr. Brett Powell, director, Arkansas Department of Higher Education. “These are life-changing impacts that demonstrate the importance of CPI, both to individuals who complete the program and to the state of Arkansas."
Arkansas has the second-highest poverty rate (18.8%) in the United States, with the 46th lowest postsecondary educational attainment in key working groups. While 750,000 new Arkansas jobs will require postsecondary education in the coming years, only a fraction of residents have the credentials to fill them.
“We are working closely with the Arkansas CPI and the Arkansas Department of Career Education to support educational achievement from kindergarten through higher education, to produce the workforce that Arkansas needs now and in the future,” said Debbie Jones, assistant commissioner of learning services, Arkansas Department of Education.
“Despite the tremendous success of this initiative, and the lives we’ve changed, the program’s budget has been decreased from about half of its initial investment, putting a serious strain on our ability to boost the state’s economic growth, as we have since 2005,” continued Stovall. “We need our legislators to fully fund this program for years to come, so we can continue to improve the lives of Arkansans, and our communities.”
Makethia Smith is one of the thousands of Arkansans who has benefited from the CPI program. She graduated from Southeast Arkansas College with her Associate of Applied Science in early childhood paraprofessional technology degree in 2012, and opened her first daycare facility – Moma Keta’s Childcare – shortly after. Using her career pathways planning skills, the proud business owner recently purchased a second child care facility in the area.
The study will be completed in three phases over the next 30 months, and will include policy recommendations for federal, state, and local policymakers and institution leaders.
For more information about the study, visit http://www.arkansascc.org/college-count.html.To speak with an ACC representative about the study, or to speak with a student who has completed the CPI program, contact Collin Callaway, Chief Operations Officer for Arkansas Community Colleges, at ccallaway@arkansascc.org or 501-554-2146. Van Provence

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