Last Thursday English helped facilitate the Building a Healthy Economy Together Conference which was hosted by our client, Williamson Health and Wellness Center (WHWC). WHWC was the recipient of a POWER Technical Assistance grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission which enabled the strategic development and planning leading to this stakeholder gathering. The event took place at the Health Innovation Hub in Downtown Williamson, West Virginia and focused on building a sustainable healthy economy in Mingo County. Numerous local and state strategic partners were invited and there was a terrific turn out of participation from local and regional organizations, funding entities, lending organizations as well as state and local government representatives and Congressional delegates.
The Building a Healthy Economy Together event identified and focused on three critical issues: entrepreneurial support and workforce development, expanded substance abuse recovery services, and affordable and fast broadband infrastructure. These were selected because an investment in expanding these services will lead to a well-supported business development and expansion environment, increase employment opportunities, a healthy workforce and expanded support and services to individuals affected by opioid and substance addiction.
The events of the day started with a Strategic Partner Lunch, Learn, and Tour where participants listened to the region’s needs and took a tour of the Health Innovation Hub to learn about current programs and envisioned next steps. This was followed by the Recovery Organization Asset Mapping & Workforce Development Opportunities presentation. During this time local recovery service partners mapped existing substance use services in the region. Opportunities and needs for an expanded workforce development were also addressed and discussed. The day concluded with a Meet and Greet with the Health Innovation Hub team who presented information about available support services to local business owners either those existing or looking to launch a new startup.
The enthusiasm around all of the existing programs as well as the potential for growth and expansion was contagious which made the event a success! To learn more about the Health Innovation Hub and the exciting work they are doing click on the link below.