Healthy Places ROBESON, BLADEN, AND COLUMBUS Counties
Working in the Southeast Region
Robeson, Bladen, and Columbus counties are located in southeastern North Carolina in the Sandhills region bordering South Carolina. Several University of North Carolina system schools including UNC Pembroke, UNC Wilmington, and Fayetteville State University, and strong community colleges serve this area. Health systems provide critical employment opportunities for community members.
We partner to prompt change.
Robeson, Bladen, Columbus and other nearby communities face many obstacles in improving health outcomes and access to health care. Since 2019, Robeson, Bladen, and Columbus counties and Healthy Places NC have targeted key issues affecting health outcomes: community resilience, substance misuse, and building capacity of systems to address social drivers of health. Poor health outcomes are affected by profound poverty throughout the community. Many areas throughout the southeast region are also vulnerable to natural disasters, including large storms and flooding.
We welcome our new Healthy Places Communities!
The southeastern counties are our newest communities, having joined in 2019. Based on lessons learned from the initial seven communities, we are taking a regional approach with our support. This allows us to partner as we tackle local health issues and position the region to be a key player in state-wide efforts to support access to care and work toward equitable outcomes.
We support the community in their efforts to achieve the following goals:
Local partners are working to increase healthy eating and active living by:
- Supporting grassroots organizations working on increasing community-wide access to healthy foods and opportunities for active living.
- Expanding a youth engagement program that seeks to increase access to healthy foods in underserved areas.
- Creating equitable opportunities for recreation to address gaps in built environment and recreation resources.
Adverse childhood experiences.
Local partners are working to address childhood trauma for children from neighborhoods with low incomes by:
- Supporting community-based research and education efforts that grow awareness of adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress.
- Raising awareness about ACEs and toxic stress and promoting trauma-informed approaches to caring for students in elementary schools.
Local partners are working to reduce rates of substance misuse and overdose deaths by:
- Supporting community-based research that engages residents to collect data, identify gaps, and determine best practices to reduce substance misuse rates.
- Supporting systems change approaches from the community planning process, which may include addressing organizational capacity within health systems, coordination within and across systems, community education and engagement, and advocacy.
- Supporting evidence-informed and evidence-based approaches to prevent substance misuse among vulnerable populations.