Our Work Groups

Our Work Groups

Better Birth Outcomes

The Better Birth Outcomes Work Group works to insure increased access to quality family planning services for all women of childbearing age. They do this by expanding evidence-based programs that promote healthy relationships; educating women and men about the effectiveness of contraceptive methods and by increasing access to the most effective methods; expanding access to and use of preconception health services; and creating a system of access to pregnancy, contraception, prenatal and parenting information resources through the Eastern Shore Public Libraries. They meet in the Riverside Hospital conference rooms monthly on the second Monday, February 10, March 9, April 13, May 11, June 8, July 13, August 10, September 21, October 19, and December 14. Dates are subject to change.

Contact Kathy.Lewis@vdh.virgina.com to be added to the mailing list.


Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Work Group has begun a community dialogue which will be translated into helping create environments in which any individual or group can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate. This may include helping organizations to create diversity statements and by providing or connecting organizations to trainings to help employees along in their understanding of inclusive environments.

Contact aelliott@ymcashr.org for further information.



A fundamental structure of a community’s well-being is a successful educational system that emphasizes physical as well as intellectual fitness (Benjamin Franklin); enlightens public opinion and critical thinking (George Washington), and prepares voters to exercise wise judgement and be prepared for a job (Thomas Jefferson). This work group, which is currently under formation, works to create a healthy, connected community and help families maintain economic stability.

Contact kigerpg@evms.edu for further information.


Food Access & Equity

Partners in the Food Equity and Access Work Group attempt to reduce food insecurity and improve food equity and self-sufficiency among all Eastern Shore residents. They also promote increased access to healthy meals through summer feeding programs, in-school and after-school meals and through our Healthy Options branded local restaurant marketing initiative.

Contact Charmin Horton, Branch Manager of the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore at chorton@foodbankonline.org or Janice Felker, Youth Librarian at the Eastern Shore Public Library at youthservices@espl.org for further information


Life-Long Wellness

Life-Long Wellness works to support construction of safe congregate and retirement housing for the aging population, increase access to internet usage for aging residents, increase the number of fitness programs and falls prevention programs that promote senior fitness health. In addition the Work Group also implements a community-wide, value-neutral program to support planning in advance for future healthcare choices. Finally, they support provision of lifelong learning programs and resources that stimulate memory and personal interaction.

Contact kigerpg@evms.edu for further information.


Livable Communities

Creating livable communities builds in health and wellness into community design – places where parking one time creates access to stores, homes, and community gathering spaces. The design encourages walking, promotes mass transit, eliminates the need for extra cars, and supports clean air. This work group meets monthly to monitor town and county comprehensive plans to insure livability features, monitor use of our system of 8 walking trails, and to promote walking through a vigorous social media campaign.

Contact kigerpg@evms.edu for further information.



Poverty is one of the greatest barriers to well-being. This work group engages in training and community engagement to understand and create bridges out of poverty for community members who may find themselves in situations where they are unable to afford basic needs.

Contact at vicki.j.weakley@dss.virginia.gov for further information.


Resilient & Trauma-Informed Communities

Trauma can be caused by an event or experience that creates so much stress, it overwhelms a person’s ability to cope. It is more common than you think. For example, we know from studies that greater than half the population has suffered at least one trauma. One in six have suffered at least three or four different traumas. And even most sadly, for children, one in four will experience trauma by the age of four. As if the experience of trauma isn’t tragic enough, we know that when people experience three or four different traumas, they are more likely to suffer medical, emotional or behavioral consequences. This Work Group provides community presentations to increase awareness and understanding about trauma and provides support and assistance to organizations to create “resilient and trauma-informed” environments.

Contact kigerpg@evms.edu for further information.