Health Care and Wellness

‘Innovations Conference: Common Ground’ Set for March 14

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Mahoning and Trumbull counties continue to rank among the lowest in Ohio for health outcomes and health factors. A collection of local foundations are continuing their efforts to reverse this trend by identifying and nurturing common ground among stakeholders throughout the Mahoning Valley.

The Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley, along with the William Swanston Charitable Fund, the Western Reserve Health Foundation and the Trumbull Memorial Health Foundation, have scheduled “Innovations Conference 2019: Common Ground” for March 14 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center.

The conference will bring together residents, nonprofits and businesses, as well as government and other community leaders to explore how to find common ground and ultimately work together in the drive to address health inequities and achieve a common goal of a healthier Mahoning Valley.

The keynote speaker for the conference is Karen Washington, farmer, activist and co-owner of Rise & Root Farm, as well as co-founder of Black Urban Growers. In 2012, Ebony magazine voted Karen one of its 100 most influential African Americans in the U.S., and in 2014, she was the recipient of the James Beard Leadership Award. Washington will speak on “How Does Food Justice Show Up in Your Work and in Your Community?”

In her address, Washington will raise questions regarding whether our current food system is indeed broken, and if so, how we can work together to fix it.

“The 2018 Conference brought our community together to discover strategies for effectively collaborating and to build the essential skills and tools to help us improve health for all residents,” said Shari Harrell, Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley president. “Yet, collaboration can only be achieved if community partners are truly connected to one another and have authentic relationships that engender real trust. As a continuation of this effort, our 2019 conference will focus on finding common ground. It will explore why this matters, how trusting and productive relationships can be forged and nurtured over time, and what the collective impacts will be in terms of addressing systemic health issues throughout our region.”

This year’s conference will enable attendees to customize their experience by selecting from various sessions to attend throughout the day. Featured topics include the connection between policy and health; how crime impacts neighborhood health; and strategies for leveraging public investment to improve health. A list of program topics can be found at

The conference begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m. Breakfast and lunch will be provided and the cost to attend is $20.

Register for the conference by March 7 at or call the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley at 330 743 5555.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.