Healthy Archuleta features Community Learning and Leadership Circle member Kirsten Derr

Photo courtesy of Food System/Food Equity Coalition
Kirsten Derr

By Rose Chavez | Food System/Food Equity Coalition

The Archuleta County Nutrition Security and Health Equity Assessment, which began in December 2021, continues its ongoing work to engage the community through a community learning and leadership circle (CLLC) which meets weekly.

The CLLC is comprised of a diverse group of community members from Archuleta County who have committed to contributing to the design of the assessment during this first phase of the project, which will conclude at the end of June.

CLLC members engage in learning through module presentations facilitated by Healthy Archuleta and partner organizations on the concepts of nutrition security and health equity.

Each week, CLLC members identify/work on issues resulting from their participation in these learning sessions. These questions are then used to inform assessment with respect to 1) access and utilization of primary/preventive health care (coverage, timeliness, workforce and services) and 2) strengthening our community food system (food production, food processing, marketing and distribution, food procurement and preparation, nutritious food consumption, food safety, food waste prevention and resource recovery).

A community-based participatory approach will be used to capture the voices and lived experiences of people related to access to food and primary/preventive health care in Archuleta County. Additionally, food and health care organizations will have the opportunity to share information regarding primary/preventive health care and food efforts.

Healthy Archuleta shares individual profiles of CLLC community members who serve their community in this capacity. This week, we feature CLLC member and community leader Kirsten Derr:

1. Health is the new wealth. What does this mean for your health and the health of your family in Archuleta County? “Eating and being healthy requires conscious effort. I want my friends, family, neighbors and community to experience the richness of a healthy lifestyle with improved tools, access and education to make it so.

2. What are your ties to Archuleta County? “We have lived in Archuleta County for a year now but know the area well as my dad grew up in Del Norte where we have a family ranch that has been in the family since 1908. My husband, daughter and I have moved here. from Albuquerque to be closer to family and the ranch. I enjoy working as a Doctor of Optometry at Mountain Eye Care where I see patients a few days a week. I have heard so many stories about the area all my life and we are thrilled to now have the opportunity to live here and experience the beauty of the area first hand.

3. What do you see as your role within the CLLC for the assessment of nutritional security and health equity? “I hope to serve as a spokesperson for education, improve communication with health providers, identify barriers, and research potential solutions to improve nutrition security and health equity.”

4. What is your vision of a healthy Archuleta? “Better access to more nutritious foods, education about growing and preparing healthy foods, and better communication and access with healthcare providers are all an important part of my vision for a healthy Archuleta. health.”

5. In your opinion, what is critical in CLLC’s learning and leadership dynamics for this evaluation? “I think it’s so important that I embrace the knowledge I’m gaining with an open mind and heart to better serve the needs of the community. I look forward to hearing what committee members, community members and current leaders have already learned and I hope to take this to the next level Being sensitive and insightful to the people of Archuleta County will allow all of us to experience nutrition security and health equity, which will lead to a stronger community and richer life experiences.

For more information on the Health Assessment, please contact us at [email protected] or call (401) 371-3227. To donate to support the work of Healthy Archuleta, please visit our website, https://www.foodcoalition4archuleta.org/donate.html.

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