UA COVID-related program acknowledged by Alabama Department of Health

The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development received public recognition on Monday morning from the Alabama Department of Public Health for their Equitable Neighborhoods Initiative.

In summary, the program collaborates with local communities across the state to bounce back from the impacts of COVID-19.

The Equitable Neighborhoods Initiative operates in 20 different areas throughout the state, with the aim of enhancing the readiness of these communities in case of another health crisis, similar to COVID-19. This involves improving the leadership structure, providing better training for mental health, and utilizing all available resources more effectively. In essence, the initiative strives to make these neighborhoods better equipped to handle whatever challenges come their way.

Dr. Arturo Menefee, who is the ENI leader and interim director of UA’s Center for Economic Development, explained that their approach involves working closely with the local residents to establish what he calls a human infrastructure. This infrastructure enables them to effectively utilize the system and address issues specific to their community. By doing so, the team aims to make the residents stronger, more resilient and better prepared for the future.

Carolyn Bern, the Governmental Affairs Community Relations Director for the Alabama Department of Public Health, explained that the aim of this initiative is to establish an infrastructure at the local community level, focusing on empowering communities at the zip code level to address emergencies.

ENI’s efforts to reach more than 15,000 people were recognized by the Alabama Department of Public Health. Impressively, they have surpassed their goal and have reached over 100,000 individuals.

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MBS Staff
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