Mariah Bargman, Memorial Hospital – Chester, Marketing and Community Relations Coordinator and Jennifer Barbour, Sparta Community Hospital, Director of Marketing and Relations had the opportunity to present at the Illinois Society of Healthcare Marketing and Public Relations (ISHMPR) Conference in Galena on October 27. The annual ISHMPR Fall Conference invites marketing, public relations, and communications professionals from across the state a two-day learning and network event. Barbour and Bargman lead a breakout session on day two titled, “Building a Healthy Community – Bringing People and Services Together.”
Barbour and Bargman are Healthy Communities Alliance (HCA) Executive Committee representatives for Sparta and Chester Hospitals. Barbour currently serves at the Vice-Chairman for 2023 and Bargman served as the HCA Chairman in 2022. Their presentation shared how the HCA brings community partners, organizations, volunteers, government officials, healthcare providers, and first responders together to build a healthier community. “Through collaboration and building of partnerships, and finding seats at the right tables to help resolve the big issues our residents our facing, we have established a means of directing efforts to common goals,” said Bargman.
“As we found ourselves becoming immersed in our community the same issues kept arising: PREVENTION, SUPPORT, and RECOVERY. We see this in healthcare, mental health, substance misuse, poverty, and overall wellbeing,” said Barbour. “Many groups were working in silos on these issues and barely chipping away at the problems. The HCA brought those groups together.” Their presentation highlighted the development and growth of the HCA, actions, goals, and accomplishments. Healthcare professionals throughout Illinois attended the session and learned the benefits and profit-sharing advantages of community collaboration. “We hope they will use our work with the HCA as a template to create a similar cooperative in their rural communities,” said Bargman.