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Collaboration - A Saint Joseph Value and Key to Success

Collaboration - a Saint Joseph Value and Key to Success

February 16, 2024 Posted in: Health & Wellness  3 minute read time

The Creating Safer Neighborhoods initiative partnered with 18 different organizations in the Lexington area to bring educational events and programs to vulnerable communities last summer. Growing each year to better serve our community, Demetria Blair, program manager, credits the teamwork and collaborative efforts of all involved to better serve the youth of Lexington. 

“Partnerships help to provide safe spaces and places so that youth can creatively learn, feel supported and find positive outlets for creative expression.” Blair said. “With after school and summer being the most opportune times for negative behaviors and violent activity, a shared commitment in the community means that we are all vested in the success of our city.”

Creating Safer Neighborhoods partners with the Lexington Public Library’s Northside and Village Branch libraries to create after school programs and a new interactive play center called Discover Health. Youth are engaged in science, technology, engineering and math activities through creative outlets. Discover Health is an educational play center that provides exposure to the different types of health care careers, inspiring the next generation of doctors, nurses and technicians.

“I think the most important and most exciting part of this education exhibit is that our kids learn humankindness, they get to learn how to connect,” Blair said. “They learn they are connected to one another and that because they’re connected to one another, they have a responsibility to care for one another.”

A second partnership with Kentucky Health Corp provided an eight-week paid summer internship at Saint Joseph Hospital for high school students from vulnerable backgrounds. The partnership focused on workforce development, starting with early exposure to healthy habits and prevention practices that created an immersive practical experience for participants. 

“This work-based learning initiative inspires youth from vulnerable communities to pursue careers in health care by providing immersive practical experiences that help them understand the enormous opportunities that exist for a brighter, more vibrant future,” Blair said. 

Creating Safer Neighborhoods supported and hosted several summer enrichment programs throughout Lexington this year. Through a partnership with Junior Achievement of the Bluegrass, CHI Saint Joseph Health participated in a weeklong summer camp experience for youth. Youth played the role of a “professional-for-a day” and led jobs, responsibilities and held titles of prominent business leaders. Some of those children took on the role of nurses, respiratory therapists and doctors. 

The initiative also had partnerships with several groups to host summer camps that focused on mental health, physical exercise and academic proficiency. Community Inspired Solutions provided youth a four-week summer camp experience with a focus on mental health, physical exercise and positive peer and adult interactions. Power Scholars Academy through the YMCA provided participants academic proficiency in math and reading. And the Mustang Troop through the Kentucky Horse Park and Kentucky Horse Park Foundation introduced equine education to middle school students. 

“Prevention requires active participation from the community — every person, every entity, every community, every day,” Blair said. “I truly believe that if we collectively care for this generation today, then they will care for our generation tomorrow.” 


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