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Monday, January 28, 2019

Well Connected Communities Launches Web Site to Help Cultivate Wellness Across the U.S.

The Cooperative Extension System, in partnership with National 4-H Council and support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is working to equip volunteer leaders to help their neighbors be healthier at every stage of life through the Well Connected Communities (WCC) initiative. Recently, a new website for the WCC effort was developed and is now up and running. Visitors to the site can learn more about the public health priorities being addressed by each community and how local health councils, comprised of both youth and adults, are working to develop and implement action plans. The site also features a variety of resource documents that include webinars, curriculum, a communications toolkit and other interactive tools to help build a culture of health. Information on the website, including the resources and community progress, will be updated on a regular basis to track the momentum of this growing effort. Please direct any questions about the WCC to Michelle Rodgers, Well Connected Communities national project director.

2019 Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) - Registration is open for institutional teams for the Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) Conference, sponsored by the Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP). The PILD conference will take place in Arlington Virginia on April 14-17, 2019. A pre-Conference webinar for all registered participants will be held on March 14 at 2:00 p.m. ET. The webinar will help team members prepare for a successful conference and visit to Washington DC. PILD is a professional development opportunity open to all Extension professionals and volunteers interested in learning leadership and advocacy skills that effect public policy issues important to Extension. In addition to nationally recognized keynote speakers, the conference features breakout sessions focusing on successful Public Issues Education programs. PILD attendees will prepare for visits to their federal congressional representatives and senators. For more information and registration details go to

Report to ECOP from the Extension Opioid Crisis Response Workgroup - In previous posts in February and April 2018, the Extension Opioid Crisis Response Workgroup (EOCRW) provided updates regarding its efforts to help develop a strategic plan for Extension’s involvement to help address the opioid crisis. The EOCRW has completed its work, which culminated in a final report for ECOP. In addition, EOCRW compiled resources for those within the land grant system interested in assisting with the crisis. These resources include information about eight opioid programs currently being used within Extension, potential partners and funding sources, extensive literature review, EOCRW planning session report, and summary results of a nationwide survey of Extension leadership to collect information about existing behavioral health programs. These resources are available at the Opioid Response website. Contact Mark Skidmore ( for more information.

eXtension Trains 41 New Innovation Facilitators - eXtension's Impact Collaborative held its Innovation Facilitator Training last week in Atlanta, GA. Forty-one Cooperative Extension professionals representing 28 institutions completed initial learning and application of the Impact Collaborative methodology. Their skills will help them lead innovation skill-building experiences at state or institutional events and at the national Impact Collaborative Summits. Upon completion of the training, eXtension will work directly with its trained Facilitators and institutional leadership teams to design a local event that helps project and program teams find innovative ways to advance local impact. To learn more about scheduling a statewide or institution-wide event, please contact Chris Geith at For a listing of our newest Facilitators, please click here.