Healthy partnership in Pitt County
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Healthy partnership
in Pitt County

North Carolina Cooperative Extension’s Pitt County Center, in a partnership with other county agencies, educational and health institutions and local citizens, has created a poster and billboard campaign to increase community awareness of health issues and to promote ways to maintain a safe and healthy lifestyle.

Susan Reece, Pitt County family and consumer education agent, solicited ideas from a focus group, including representatives from N.C. State University, East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine, Pitt Community College (PCC), the Pitt County Health Department and elderly citizens to determine the good-health issues to publicize. The group identified health and safety practices such as the promotion of exercise, hand washing and drinking more water and less soda pop; vigilance in wearing seat belts and bicycle helmets; using designated drivers when necessary; regular visits to health care providers and screening for mental and physical problems; and maintaining a healthy diet.

PCC graphic design students became part of the project as they participated in a course requirement to design posters based on three of the focus group’s topics: promotions of hand-washing, water-drinking and driver-designating. A CES advisory committee then consulted Nutrition Partners, a subcommittee of the group Pitt Partners for Health, to make the final poster selection from more than 50 designs submitted by the students. Nutrition Partners funded production of the selected hand-washing and water-drinking promotional posters, which feature the logos of CES, PCC and Pitt Partners for Health.

CES, in collaboration with Nutrition Partners, chose to place the posters on bathroom doors in county office buildings, restaurants, theaters, school cafeterias and at PCC. “These posters have also been placed in the airport, boys and girls clubs, city recreation centers, the library and the bowling alley,” Reece said.

CES negotiated with Fairway Billboard advertisers for a billboard depicting the health messages to be displayed along Greenville’s Memorial Boulevard during a summer month. Fairway agreed to donate the billboard space, Reece said, charging only for the printing and reproduction of images. The first such billboard promotes designating a driver when drinking alcohol, while a future billboard is planned to remind citizens to drink more water.

“The eager involvement of the contributing partners in financial backing and in the poster distribution has been exciting,” Reece said. “So many community businesses, agencies and offices have valued the messages, as reflected in their open willingness to display the posters.”

—Terri Leith


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