During the middle of a weekday, Anna Todd, administrator of the Columbia County office, stood beside people from around the area while organizing canned goods and other nonperishable items for a food drive.
That collection of folks, known as the Columbia County Health Coalition, helps residents in south Arkansas stay healthy by providing wellness information along with nourishment and clothing assistance. Todd represents the Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of County Operations in the coalition. DHS has been part of the group since 2009. In fact, Todd hosts the monthly meetings at the Columbia County office.
“As DHS, our role is to be a key partner with the other agencies in the coalition providing expert information about programs like Medicaid, ARKids, SNAP, and even TEA,” Todd said. “It’s important that everyone knows correct information about DHS programs.”
Coalition members learn about issues, programs, and developments related to mental and physical health.
“Within the coalition, we share info about our services and learn what the other groups offer,” she said. “It’s a network that teaches everybody who does what in Columbia County, why they do it, and how they do it. The coalition has helped me a lot because sometimes our clients need some form of help that we don’t offer. Through representing DHS in the group, I know who to refer a client to when the situation calls for it.”
The group also hosts special events like food drives, health fairs, and monthly speakers who address different health-related situations.
“I’m proud to be part of the coalition. There’s a lot of great information discussed and networking that’s done,” Todd said. “I love it because it’s all for the sake of helping people live a healthy life. You can’t beat that. The more that we know, the more we can do to help people in Columbia County.”
To learn more about DCO visit https://humanservices.arkansas.gov/about-dhs/dco.