Daviess Grants at Work

Developing Community Leaders

In 2013, the Daviess County Community Foundation awarded a $5,000 grant to Purdue Extension to help the agency develop community leaders for Daviess County.

The 19 community members involved in the inaugural class of Leadership Daviess County kicked off the program in the fall of 2014. The program consists of 44 hours of interactive educational opportunities to help individuals better understand themselves, their community, and their leadership roles within. The program curriculum, developed by Purdue University, is presented by local community leaders as well as Purdue Extension educators.

Goals for program participants include becoming more knowledgeable about the county, expanding community connections, and enhancing personal leadership skills.

“I was really impressed with the number of individuals who came together, from a wide variety of ages and occupations to be a part of this program,” said Marilyn McCullough of Thompson Insurance in an interview with the Washington Times Herald. “It was neat to see how even with our different backgrounds, we had a lot of the same goals and ideas.”

The program will continue to meet through April 2015. Topics to be covered include diversity, managing conflict, serving on non-profit boards, economic development, education, local government and building a healthy community.

Addressing a Growing Health Concern

A project designed to address a growing concern in Daviess County received a financial boost from the Daviess County Community Foundation in 2014.

The $25,000 grant to Daviess Community Hospital is being used by the hospital to address the problems of teen pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases in the county. Hospital officials say 47 of every 1,000 babies born in Daviess County are born to a girl between the ages of 15 and 19. “We asked people what they considered the No. 1 problem facing our community,” said DCH CEO David Bixler. “They told us teen pregnancy.”

DCH officials believe this will be just the start of an ongoing program to deal with teen pregnancy. “This is not a one-year project,” said Bixler. “This grant helps us get started. That means we will first coordinate the right groups – work with the health department and the schools and the other groups to make this happen.”

While the hospital is acting as the lead agency, the work is part of a larger effort. “We will be hiring somebody to help lead this initiative,” said Bixler. “You’ll see us engage the community more as a part of this. We want to make sure we do this right and that’s why we’re looking forward to working with these groups.”

Teen pregnancy may be a big issue but the hospital chief is positive they can make a difference. “When I look around the table at the people who are part of our collaborative effort and the passion they bring I feel confident we can make a difference,” he said. “The team is involved and engaged in this.”

“Receiving this grant is outstanding,” added Bixler. “It will go a long way toward dealing with this problem.”