CATEGORY: Tupelo Stories


HED:Community forum to discuss welfare reform, health care

By Eileen Bailey

Daily Journal

Health care for children will be one of the topics discussed at a community forum Thursday at the Hancock Leadership Center on Itawamba Community College's Tupelo campus.

The free forum, titled "Meeting the Needs of Families and Children," will begin at 8 a.m. with registration and continue through 12:30 p.m. Other seminars will be held in Cleveland and Biloxi the same week.

Anelese Holt said the purpose of the meeting "will be to gain community input from local school officials, nonprofit agencies, chambers of commerce, churches, hospitals, legislators and other helping agencies in north Mississippi about what north Mississippi's needs are concerning welfare reform."

Topics of the forum include "Welfare Reform: What's Next," by Elizabeth Schott, senior policy analyst in the State Low Income Initiatives Project, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C.; and "What's Next in Mississippi?" by Danny Collum, project director of the Mississippi Coalition on Block Grants.

Other topics include "Health Care for Children" by Bill England, outreach coordinator for Families USA; "Mississippi's Child Health Insurance program" by Brian Tharp, coordinator of the Mississippi Health Advocacy Program; and "Opening Up State Government" by Leslie Scott, assistant secretary of sate for the Administrative Procedures Law Reform Task Force.

The forum is being sponsored in part by the Mississippi Coalition on Block Grants, a statewide coalition of more than 100 member organizations founded in 1995 to monitor the use of social service grants from the federal government.

Other organizations sponsoring the program include Mississippi Health Advocacy Program, Lee County Families First, North Mississippi Health Services, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Greater Lee County, National Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, St. Luke United Methodist Church, St. James Catholic Church, Mississippi Conference on Social Welfare, League of Women Voters of Mississippi, Children's Defense Fund-Black Community Crusade for Children, Christian Children's Fund and Catholic Charities.

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