Area youth receives award at chamber luncheon

| October 24, 2014
Award: Pictured are Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amy Stockdale, Community Improvement Award winner Julia Roberts and Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee Vice President Phil Hunt. Roberts received her award Oct. 23, at the chamber luncheon, which was held at Coshocton Hospital. Beacon photo by Mark Fortune

Award: Pictured are Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amy Stockdale, Community Improvement Award winner Julia Roberts and Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee Vice President Phil Hunt. Roberts received her award Oct. 23, at the chamber luncheon, which was held at Coshocton Hospital. Beacon photo by Mark Fortune

COSHOCTON – Phil Hunt, vice president of the Coshocton County Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee, was honored to present the chamber’s community improvement award to a young, talented member of the community like Julia Roberts.

The high school junior was honored during the chamber’s Oct. 23 luncheon for the teen volunteer fair she organized in September and held at Coshocton’s Central Ohio Technical College. Sixteen organizations attended the event and more than 40 youth came to see how they can help the community.

“Thank you so much for this,” Roberts said. “I feel I am not an individual receiving this, but a representative of all young people in the community who want to make a difference.”

The teen volunteer fair was a way to help Roberts earn her Girl Scout Gold Award and move on to the being an Ambassador, but most importantly connect area youth to organizations they can help.

“I don’t think area youth are being used to their full potential,” she said. “We are creative and excited to help people. During the fair I had teens write down one word that volunteering means to them. Mine was opportunity because youth are the leaders of tomorrow.”

After Roberts received her award, Amy Stockdale, executive director of the chamber, briefly spoke about the growth of her organization.

“We have 30 new members so far this year and they are from referrals,” Stockdale said. “It makes me so happy when people come in and they tell me that so and so told them they needed to join the chamber.”

She also wanted chamber members who attended the luncheon to take note that the third annual Health and Safety Wellness Expo will be held on Saturday, Jan. 17.

“Last year we had 44 different community organizations representing health, safety and wellness and I know this year’s expo is going to be even bigger,” Stockdale said. “Our phones are already ringing with people asking if they can be part of it.”

One local organization that is a big help with the expo is Coshocton Hospital. The chamber’s Oct. 23 luncheon was held there and those in attendance received an update on the hospital’s future plans from Coshocton Hospital Interim CEO Lorri Wildi who came on board in the middle of February.

“When I started we were struggling financially and had to very quickly come up with a strategic turnaround plan,” she said.

The plan is a three-phased approach that began with right-sized the hospital for the services provided, enhancing support services through integration, and service line enhancements to grow the services the community needs including oncology, family practice, general surgery and cardiology.

Phase one of that plan occurred in March when the hospital’s workforce was reduced and the organizational chart was revised to align its structure to the hospital’s size and number of patients. The leadership team quickly moved into phase two of the plan and to evaluate support services. Some changes that occurred have included partnering with recognized leaders in specific hospital support services such as Sodexo, a food service leader, and Comtex, a company that specializes in meeting the quality and infection control specifications for hospital laundry and linen services. These changes have helped the hospital introduce efficiencies that help control costs and while maintaining quality.

Now into the third phase of the plan, Wildi is leading her team in the evaluation of all service lines to determine what is needed to enhance and grow the services needed locally. The hospital is actively recruiting physicians and specialists to provide local access to the care the community members need.

“We want to be able to meet the needs of our community, but also must realize that we can’t be everything to everybody,” Wildi said. “We want to provide the best level of care and highest quality of care that we can. If someone does require care that is beyond our capacity we will help them navigate the complicated health care system that we live in today.”

The meeting was then turned back over to Stockdale after everyone in attendance introduced themselves and gave updates on their businesses and organizations.

“This is my favorite meeting of the year,” she said. “I always leave here with such pride for the community.”

Coshocton County Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee President Jesse Fischer also had a comment to share before the luncheon ended.

“It was nice to see a Coshocton youth here who is invested in the community and cares about it,” he said.

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Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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