Mercy Health Love County - News

Eighth Grade Health Conference Honors Barker and Hospital

Posted on Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Reprinted from Senior News
of Love County Retired Sernior Volunter Services (RSVP)

Janie-Pennington Cagle presents a conference T-shirt along with a plaque to Richard Barker and Mercy Health/Love County Hospital for years of underwriting of the annual Eighth Grade Health Conference.

Almost half (49%) of all pregnancies in the U.S. in 2011 were mistimed, unplanned, or unwanted at the time of conception, according to the Centers for Disease Control. 

Among teens, the rate of unplanned conceptions is much higher (80%), and compared to adult mothers and fathers, they are at greater risk for poor outcomes during pregnancy and childbirth and in providing stable lives for themselves and their children in the years to come.
That makes the cause of “teen pregnancy prevention” a priority.
Since 1990, Love County’s Health Department and social service agencies have expended concentrated effort in the cause during the annual Love County Eighth Grade Health Conference.
For the youth, the conference involves a day away from school devoted to listening to experts on making good choices, believing in their own worth and right to self-determination, and developing healthy bodies and strong minds.
Health educator Janie Pennington-Cagle has been in charge of the conference since 2002. “It’s a lot of work but the kids tell us they enjoy the classes and want more.”
Speakers at the most recent conference in October included:
  •  David Burrage, a banker from Atoka, and Anna Reeves, a retired teacher fromLindsay, both of whom lost teenage children to suicide.
  • Latria Perry, a young woman facing prison due to association with drug trafficking;
  • Laura Keith, a health coordinator in Love County who concentrates on ways to “shape your future” through healthy eating and the proper amount of exercise;
  •  Dustin Scott, Marietta chief of police, whose talk for boys challenged them to make good decisions regarding fathering, alcohol, and other choices.
  • Patricia Dewbre, formerly of Lebanon, who advised girls and boys to have respect for one another as equal human beings and not be like her estranged husband, who subjected her to a marriage of violence, then shot and left her for dead before turning the gun on himself and taking his own life.
  • Autumn Cooper, Health Department licensed counselor, and Amber Marr, registered nurse, who offered sound tips for stress relief from fraught situations at home, school, work, and relationships;
  • Cindy Clampet, OSU Extension specialist, on bullying;
  • Steve Hyden, Community Children’s Shelter counselor, on “texting, sexting, and safety” with regard to social media and the internet;
  • Nessa Harrington, Health Department nutritionist, and Kristi Tickel, registered nurse, whose talk, “Confidence Looks Good on You,” advised youth on ways to feel good about themselves and take control of their own lives. 
Host for the conference was Enville Community Church, which dedicated its activities building to the endeavor.
Mercy Health/Love County underwrote the majority cost of the conference, a contribution the hospital has made to the health of the community for more than a dozen years.
The Chickasaw Nation’s prevention specialist Christy Byars distributed backpacks.
Thom Maier of Falconhead Resort and the Summer Playground prepared a trail mix snack to take home.
Homeland Grocery in Marietta donated bottled water and Cash Favers grocery in Madill a fruit tray.
The conference supported Pizza Hut of Marietta with the purchase of the luncheon fare.
All students received a T-shirt purchased from Jim’s Tees that was decorated with a I-Phone image whose various apps were the names of conference topics, and whose tagline was “Download Your Future.”
Karen Stofel of Love County System of Care and Judy Cavnar, retired Health Department health educator, provided volunteer services.
The Love County Community Coalition salutes Janie-Pennington Cagle and the Love County Health Department for their continuing leadership of the annual Eighth Grade Health Conference!