To: Daniel Parker, MSP, GAL
From: Herman Hale, RN
Subject: Update - West Ocala Neighborhood PACE EH Project.
The funds secured by the Environmental Health Division of the Marion County Health Department will be used to facilitate a community-driven initiative. This project - West Ocala Neighborhood PACE-EH Project - seeks to collaboratively conduct an assessment, strategically plan and set priorities to address environmental health concerns. The goal of the project is to impact and improve the quality of life of the West Side community of the city of Ocala.
PACE-EH in Marion County has been working hard to reestablish it?s presence in the neighborhood of West Ocala and positive results are being realized. Since the last report, the PACE-EH coordinator has been busy visiting churches and citizens within this community. In an attempt to follow up on a recent mailing to the churches in West Ocala, the PACE coordinator has gone to each church in the community and has either spoken to or left additional information for the pastors. This personal follow-up has allowed the PACE-EH team to speak to individual pastors and citizens about who we are and what we can offer their community.
During the process of making contacts, the PACE-EH coordinator was presented the opportunity to speak with representatives from the environmental group WildLaw, who have teamed up with members of the West Ocala community to form an environmental ?Bucket Brigade?. This contact has proven to be significant, in that, some original PACE CEHAT members are involved with this brigade and the PACE-EH coordinator has been invited to join their project.
Also during the process of community outreach, the PACE-EH coordinator Herman Hale, RN, was able to assist one citizen, by putting her in contact with the Ocala City Works Department. While making visits in the neighborhood, Hale and this citizen began discussing the PACE-EH project and that the community had identified unkempt properties as an issue of concern. During their talk, the citizen voiced concerns about a tree that was hanging over her property and how that tree (from an unkempt property) represented a risk not only to her property, but, her personal safety as well. Having tried various approaches to rectify her problem, the citizen asked if PACE could help her. Hale was able to contact the city of Ocala and after explaining the situation, was informed the city would address the tree. While this event may not seem significant, it does speak to the real intent of the PACE-EH process, which is providing communities with resources, so they are empowered to oversee their own environment.
While the results of the Marion County Health Department?s PACE-EH efforts are not occurring on a grand scale, the PACE team is encouraged by the positive forward progress their efforts are yielding. The team?s consistent approach has generated results, which is generating enthusiasm for this project. The PACE-EH team will continue its plan to improve the quality of life for the citizens of West Ocala and look forward to reporting its continued success.
Past Marion County Updates
Media Coverage (.pdf files)
August 1, 2006 - Royal Oak fined for violations
May 20, 2006 - Unlikely Rebels Defeat Gritty Plant
May 19, 2006 - Company Remains Silent
May 19, 2006 - Air of Suspicion
February 21, 2006 - Pollution concerns Royal Oak neighbors
January 25, 2006 - Ocala to fund charcoal plant emission tests
January 21, 2006 - Royal Oak says no to pollution inspection
January 13, 2006 - Ocala may inspect Royal Oak site
January 5, 2006 - Marion County PACE EH Project Wins Walter Driggers Award
January 3, 2006 - Editorial: Once they are heard, they roar
December 31, 2005 - Soot sleuths: Volunteers monitor industrial plant emissions
August 24, 2005 - Coat of charcoal: Residents concerned with soot from Royal Oak
April 10, 2005 - Unkempt properties, pollution cited in west Ocala survey
August 1, 2004 - West Ocala's health to get a close look