$85,000 Federal Grant Willpromote Wellness For Rural Women

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The Mogollon Health Alliance has been selected to receive a major federal grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to promote Women's Wellness activities. MHA CEO Judy Baker explained the $85,000 award from Health Resources and Services Administration is one of the first of its kind to be awarded in Arizona in quite some time.

"This is a great honor and recognition of the wonderful job we have been able to do in Rim Country promoting women's wellness. The fact that the federal government recognized our efforts and wants to extend our successful program to other rural areas is a tribute to my staff, board of directors and our many volunteers," Baker said.

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Businesses and organizations from throughout the Rim Country will be among the vendors participating in the March 15 Women's Wellness Forum at Payson High School. Registration is limited to 300 participants and the cost is $10 per person. The forum offers a variety of educational and informational opportunities.

The administration grant will be a cooperative effort between MHA, the University of Arizona, the five Area Health Education Centers in Arizona, North Country Community Health Center, Mariposa Community Health Center, Arizona Department of Health Services Native American Community Development Program, ADHS Bureau on Women and Children's Health and Minority Women's Health Panel of Experts.

The grant will allow MHA to further expand efforts at promoting women's wellness awareness in the greater Payson area. It will also allow MHA to use the lessons learned to benefit the women throughout all of rural Arizona, Baker said.

The $85,000 grant will cover the next year, but likely will be extended for three additional years, provided application is made for the funds, Baker said.

"Receipt of the grant is recognition of the decade-long effort of MHA and Payson Regional Medical Center to help women understand the importance of taking charge of all aspects of their health and welfare: physical, mental, emotional, educational and financial," Baker said

That effort is highlighted each year with the annual Women's Wellness Forum, which will be held Saturday, March 15 at the Payson High School Campus.

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