Health Dept. approved for AmeriCorps VISTA Program

Staff Report

POMEROY — The Meigs County Health Department (MCHD) has been awarded a position through the AmeriCorps VISTA Program.

Health Department Administrator Courtney Midkiff explained, that the program will allow the health department to expand its community outreach regarding services and events for the MCHD, as well as working with the Meigs Farmers Market, local food pantries, community and school gardens and other projects.

The MCHD applied to the Ohio Association of Foodbanks/Sharecorps to be a first-time host site for an AmeriCorps VISTA and was awarded one VISTA slot for the 2018-2019 program year. Congressman Bill Johnson submitted a letter of support to assist with the application.

According to the job description, the individual will develop and implement marketing and community outreach programs on behalf of MCHD to enhance public health and anti-poverty initiatives including improved access to healthy food options. Work with stakeholders in the community and recruit, educate, and track volunteers to implement community gardens, enhance school gardens, promote the Farmer’s Market, and make fresh produce available at local food pantries. Manage the MCHD social media pages and website, coordinate and participate in community events, survey constituents, make presentations through the county, and develop educational curriculum and materials to increase the awareness of the community to nutritional and food access issues.

The position came about from the collaborative results of Get Healthy Meigs! (GHM); the 2015 Community Health Assessment; 2017 Meigs Co. Community Health Improvement Plan and the MCHD’s Strategic, Branding, Workforce Development; Quality Improvement/Performance Management Plans.

Midkiff explained that current sanitarian Dawn Keller, who has previously worked as a VISTA, suggested the health department look into the program.

The local investment for the program is $750, plus mileage, which Midkiff said could be covered at least partially through another grant.

The health department is currently looking to fill the position which will begin in mid-June and run for one year.

Applicants must have some college experience. To apply, visit

VISTA was created as part of the War on Poverty. President Lyndon Johnson charged VISTA with helping people attain equal opportunities. VISTA’s Mission has remained the same since inception: Eliminate and alleviate poverty. VISTA workers strive for program development, capacity building, and creating sustainable structures.

The Ohio Association of Foodbank sponsors an AmeriCorps VISTA program in which approximately 30-35 workers work on a variety of projects. Its mission is to provide food and other resources to people in need and to pursue areas of common interest for the benefit of people in need. The Ohio Association of Foodbanks is Ohio’s largest charitable response to hunger, representing Ohio’s 12 Feeding America foodbanks and their 3,300-member hunger relief agencies, including food pantries, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters

For more information about the position, contact MCHD Administrator Courtney Midkiff at 740-992-6626 or via email at

Staff Report