PPEs, community-based organizations attend workshop on collaborating for preconception health

About 50 trained preconception peer educators and representatives from community-based organizations participated in a two-day workshop hosted by the Coalition, the University of North Florida and the federal Office of Minority Health to learn how to better collaborate on preconception health inititiaves.

Jacksonville is one of four pilot sites that participated in a follow-up workshop designed to facilitate partnerships between the PPE programs and community-based organizations. The goal is to help organizations take advantage of PPEs as they think about potential community projects.

The first day of the workshop focused on the basics of how to form effective partnerships, while the second day was dedicated to developing an infant mortality coalition and determining activities to reach the community about the importance of preconception health andhow to reduce the region’s high infant mortality rates.

The Preconception Peer Educator training is part of the Office of Minority Health’s “A Healthy Baby Begins With You” campaign, which began in 2007. The purpose of the program is to enlist college students as peer educators not only on college campuses but also in the community at large, to help disseminate essential preconception health messages.

Last September, more than 50 students from Edward Waters College, UNF, Chamberlain College of Nursing and JobCorps were trained as PPEs. This year, additional students from UNF, Chamberlain, JobCorps and Florida State College at Jacksonville were trained and attended the workshop.

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