Partnership with James C. Kennedy Wellness Center
This community-university partnership began in 2012 with the implementation of a community health needs assessment conducted in Charleston, Mississippi, by University of Mississippi staff and students, including Center for Population Studies director John Green. The current Executive Director of the James. C. Kennedy Wellness Center, Dr. Catherine Moring, was also a part of the assessment and currently serves as an affiliated research associate with the Center. Since completion of the study, findings have been used to secure external resources for funding that have resulted in the construction of the wellness center and continuous programming, predominantly designed to treat, manage, and prevent chronic conditions as well as to improve well-being and quality of life for individuals across the lifespan. The CPS and wellness center have worked together over the last few years to identify and address community health concerns, reduce the burden of chronic disease, and improve population health. With the addition of a part-time staff member, the CPS will now be able to serve in a larger capacity and assist with program implementation and evaluation as well as research design and dissemination of findings. This partnership is an excellent example of the value university resources bring to communities and the potential to bring real-world experiences to faculty and students.