Rapides Foundation Symposium to focus on improving health

Rapides Foundation
The Rapides Foundation’s fifth annual Symposium will be held Thursday, September 6, and will provide community members with the knowledge and tools they need to help make Central Louisiana a healthier place to live. The free event will be from 3:30-5 p.m. at the Holiday Inn in downtown Alexandria and is open to the public.

Each year the Foundation presents the Symposium as a way to gather around a topic of importance and to recognize the creation of The Rapides Foundation on September 1, 1994. The focus of the 2018 Symposium is “Improving Health.”

Those attending the Symposium will learn about the factors that impact health in a community and will be introduced to tools that can be used to initiate change. Julie Willems Van Dijk, director of the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program, will present “Improving Health For Everyone: What Can You Do?”

“We all want to live longer, and finding ways to improve our health increases the likelihood that we’ll live longer with less illness or disease,” said Joe Rosier, president and CEO of The Rapides Foundation. “Anyone who has a concern about how to make our communities healthier will have a great opportunity to hear how the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps data can provide a starting point for change.”

The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program helps communities around the country look at the many factors that influence health, focus on strategies that are known to work, learn from each other and make changes that will have a lasting impact on health. The annual County Health Rankings measure vital health factors in nearly every county in America to provide a revealing snapshot of how health is influenced by where we live, learn, work and play. The Roadmaps provided by the program offer guidance and tools to understand the data and strategies communities can use to move into action. The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program is a collaboration between the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Registration is needed by August 29 to assist with food planning. There are three convenient ways to register: by calling the Foundation at 318-443-3394 or 800-994-3394; registering online at www.rapidesfoundation.org; or emailing the Foundation at Events@rapidesfoundation.org. Doors will open at 3 p.m. and refreshments will be available.

The mission of The Rapides Foundation is to improve the health status of Central Louisiana, and over its 24-year history the Foundation has sought to support that mission by developing initiatives and strategies intended to impact the region for decades to come. The Foundation focuses its works in three strategic areas: Healthy People, Education and Healthy Communities. Since the Foundation’s creation in 1994, it has disbursed more than $200 million in grants. The Rapides Foundation serves a nine-parish area in Central Louisiana consisting of Allen, Avoyelles, Catahoula, Grant, LaSalle, Natchitoches, Rapides, Vernon and Winn parishes.