July 28, 2010 at the Starting Place

July 28, 2010 at the Starting Place

Coalition Meeting Minutes

July 28, 2010 at The Starting Place

4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

In Attendance

Dawn Holley – Henry County Schools

Carol Merchant – Martinsville City Schools

Bobbie Jo Seamster – National Counseling Group

Ann Walker – Project Connect/Coalition for Health and Wellness

Pam Toney – Smart Beginnings MHC

Sheryl Agee – United Way/Smart Beginnings MHC

Unable To Attend
Sherry Winn – Piedmont Community Services

Rosabelle Holmes – Piedmont Community Services, concerned citizen

Judy Fleming – Care Connection for Children

Daphne Bullock – Department of Social Services

Janet Boucher – Blue Ridge Regional Library

Susan Christian - Patrick Henry Community College

Gayle Lean – Family Preservation Services

Tammy Newman – Martinsville-Henry Health Department

Zena Smith

Harry Davis

Linda Moore

Carol Meyer

Sheryl welcomed everyone and thanked them for their time. Noted that attendance was low due to summer vacations and several members being out of town.

Items of discussion:

Starting Place Update (Pam Toney)

  • Continuing to recruit and enroll new families for services; currently have 185 families registered.
  • Partnered with Piedmont Arts Association for special Super Kid Saturday (SKS) event on 7-24-10. Two staff from PAA stenciled a mural on from windows at the Starting Place based on characters from Dr. Seuss’ book, My Many Colored Days. Children (Ages 18 months to an 11-year old sibling) and their parents and caregivers then painted the mural as part of the SKS event. The theme was carried over to the My Child and Me event on July 28, with the book being read and children encouraged to point out the characters as they were shared through the story. PAA will be issuing a press release to the Martinsville Bulletin for coverage of the event.
  • Continuing to receive referrals for assessment, with a high percentage coming from Children’s Medical Center and the National Counseling Group.
  • Pam has been invited to participate in eligibility meetings for children referred to Martinsville City Schools. She stated this was important for the Starting Place and Smart Beginnings as it showed the school system valued the services being provided by the coalition.
  • Completed the first My Child and Me series for teen mothers. While the participation was low (only one teen mother attending), the initial pilot was extremely successful. A five-week series was offered with coalition partners facilitating sessions:
  • Bonnie Jo Seamster with National Counseling Group – Motherhood and Emotions
  • Rosabelle Holmes, Piedmont Community Services – Time Management
  • Gayle Lean, Family Preservation Services – Basic Baby Care
  • Stephanie Milroy, Coalition for Health and Wellness – Taking Care of Mom (exercises for mom and baby
  • Pam Toney – Childhood Safety and Sickness
  • The teen mom (age 17) participating received a variety of gift and incentives for participating (provided by partners) including gift cards, books, a clock, recipes for baby food, and a baby thermometer.
  • Pam and Bobbie Jo Seamster both stated that a dramatic improvement was evident in the mother’s attitude after completion of the series. Stated she was more open and looking for answers; much more positive and caring attitude; has now completed her GED and is looking for a job so she can provide for her child and herself.
  • Sheryl met with Acting Superintendent for Martinsville City Schools, Pam Heath, earlier in the month and had shared information about the series. She is interested in discussing further with Pam to look at ways to offer within the school system in conjunction with teen moms being served by their on-campus clinic.

Website (Sheryl Agee)

Those in attendance previewed the new website ( ) for Smart Beginnings MHC. Sheryl showed various features of site and encouraged everyone to take time to look over and take advantage of tools offered. Site features three focus areas: early learning, family support and health and wellness, with learning activities for families available for each area. Other user-friendly tools available include a community calendar which partners can list events and activities for families; a community resource page to assist partners and families in sharing services available for families (includes a 211 link); and a partner portal which will be password protected for exclusive use by partners. This page will allow partners to access information such as minutes and resources as well as use the list serv to share and communicate with partners.

Partners will receive an email with their specific passwords for partner portal access. They are also encouraged to look over their information to ensure it is correct. Corrections, additions and suggestions are to be forwarded to Meredith Inman at .

Systems Coordinator Position (Sheryl Agee)

Sheryl stated she had two partners who had agreed to serve on the recruitment and interview committee for the new Systems Coordinator position. She stated, however, that she would like one additional member if possible. Carol Merchant volunteered to serve.

Dawn Holley stated that she felt Meredith Inman (temp employee) had done a good job in coordinating development of the database and website and asked if the coalition was required to advertise for the position. She stated that she felt Meredith would make an excellent choice as she had been carrying out the job responsibilities. The group discussed the option with no one present knowing the legalities. It was therefore suggested that the coalition proceed with advertisement of the position as originally planned. Meredith will be eligible to apply for the position once advertised.

Triple P Training (Dawn Holley and Pam Toney)

Dawn and Pam gave an update of the Triple P Positive Parenting training which they are attending. 18 people attended the 3-day training on June 28-30 (14 local; 4 from Smart Beginnings Lynchburg) which covered the 8-week parenting series. They have also completed the 2-day training (July 26-27) which covered stand-alone seminars that can be offered. Dawn stated both trainings had been good, but she was especially excited about the seminar series as she could envision many possible venues through which these could be offered to parents. Stated she had already mentioned to administrators within Henry County Schools about possibly utilizing in PTO meetings and other schools programming. Final accreditation will be held in August. The process will be very extensive with a written test, demonstrations of competencies selected by the instructors as well as a full facilitation of a seminar.

New Committee Structure

Sheryl reviewed with members again the new committee structure to be implemented as a result of earlier strategic planning. Committees will be made up of coalition partners and leadership council and will focus on specific goals as outlined in the 2010-12 strategic plan. The committee structure will also allow members to focus attention and input on their areas of interest or expertise. Committees will meet monthly, with coalition meetings now being held once a quarter, with committees providing updates. Coalition meeting schedule for the remainder of 2010 would be:

  • No meeting in August 2010
  • Quarterly meetings on:
  • September 29, 2010
  • December 9, 2010 (Joint Meeting – Coalition and Leadership Council)

Sheryl passed out sheets detailing each committee (see Committee attachment) and asked members present to review and select committees they would like to join. She stated that she would be sharing details with members not present so they could also select a committee. The information will be shared at the Leadership Council meeting in September to allow council members to choose a committee of interest.

Grant Reporting

Sheryl stated that the final Partnership grant report for the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation had been completed and submitted. As projected, approximately $47,000 in funds was not expended and will therefore be forfeited back to the VECF. This, however, does reduce the amount of required match for the original grant (50% of $325,201) and frees up $23,500 of the Harvest grant to be used as match for the $100,000 Sustainability grant which has just been awarded by the VECF. This grant does require a 200% match. The addition of the $23,500 puts the secured match amount at $134,000 of the $200,000 required.

New Business

Discussion was held around rumors concerning pediatricians at Children’s Medical Center giving up hospital privileges at Martinsville Memorial. Several coalition members stated they had heard rumors though no one has spoken directly with doctors at CMC. Concerns were voiced in regards to a lack of available pediatricians for on-site deliveries. Concerns are also being raised by obstetricians around caesarean deliveries which require a pediatrician or qualified doctor present in case of infant complications. While members stated that the coalition needs to remain focused on its goals, they agreed that a lack of available pediatricians providing hospital services could negatively impact many of the families being served by the coalition. Pam and Sheryl offered to set a meeting up with Dr. Thornberry at CMC to discuss and get factual details on the situation to determine next steps.

Sheryl thanked everyone for their time and continued efforts. The next Coalition meeting will be held on September 29 at 4:00 pm at The Starting Place. With no further discussion, the meeting was adjourned.