Texas A&M AgriLife Extension agents join to boost public health education, outreach
DALLAS – More than 100 county agents and specialists from across Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Central and East regions converged this past month in an effort to strengthen their capacity to educate the masses on health matters, namely disease prevention.
The first installment of the 2017 Healthy Texas Summits took place in Arlington, inside the coverage area of the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Dallas. The summits aim to help Family & Consumer Sciences extension agents improve foundational knowledge of disease prevention, navigate health systems, and implement successful, community based disease prevention programs, AgriLife officials said.
The Arlington event was one in a series of three summits held across the state.
“These summits are critical in helping us empower our educators to mobilize communities to take action toward chronic disease prevention,” said Paula Butler, program leader for the agency’s East Region. “There is a strong need for this type of event across the state, especially as diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease affect hundreds of thousands of Texans every day.”
Discussion topics at the event included The State of Health in Texas; Why People Do What They Do: Understanding Determinants of Health; Making the Connection: Theory and Prevention; and Grass Roots Approach to Changing Health.
AgriLife Extension East Region plans to incorporate information learned from the Arlington summit through continued, close collaboration with agency counterparts across Texas, Butler said.
“We have a very strong program and very capable county extension agents working to educate our state’s residents about disease prevention,” she said. “We have a rich history in community based education and look forward to the work we have ahead of us.”