The Access for Rural Community Health (ARCH) Coalition is an alliance of over thirty health and community service-based organizations in Hopkins County. We've allied ourselves in order to help Hopkins County and rural communities everywhere become healthier and more prosperous places where all people have a chance to be everything they can be.
COVID-19 RESPONSE: Due to the immense impact of the coronavirus pandemic on our communities, the ARCH Coalition will be modifying our mission for the foreseeable future. We will be focusing on marshaling all possible resources in our communities to meet the most fundamental, immediate needs of our people-food, shelter, child care, physical and mental health and education. When this crisis has passed, we will again start looking to building that healthy, prosperous future for all of our people that remains our goal. If you can help or if you need help, please contact us.
Our Mission Statement:
We exist to bring together all of the organizations that play a role in the health and wellbeing of our community. We will maximize our collective impact by combining our expertise to identify and comprehensively address all of the medical and socioeconomic root causes of poor health in individuals and families. We will work together to create a unified vision for the future and a collaborative, integrated, long-term plan to achieve it.
Our communities, by creating a culture that engenders and optimizes health, wellbeing and prosperity for all, will be places where every individual has an equitable chance to achieve his or her maximum potential as a human being.
We love rural western Kentucky. We love the places and we love the people. We love the way of life. Rural communities like ours all over America are facing new challenges in the 21st century, and we are here to help make sure that Hopkins County and the surrounding region can meet those challenges and build a healthier, happier more prosperous future for all of our people.
Time moves on and the world changes. These simple facts have been true since the beginning of time. Many of those changes over the past century have left rural communities facing health-related, social and economic issues that threaten their vitality, if not their very survival.
Since about 1920, people have been migrating from rural areas to the cities in search of better opportunities and different lifestyles. This migration has left rural communities with stagnant or declining populations who tend to be older, poorer and sicker than those in more urban places. This shift in the characteristics of the rural population has impacted not only the overall health and quality of life of the people, but also the economic vitality of the communities. Many rural communities have also tended to be dependent on a single primary industry or a single employer. When global economic changes cause that industry or employer to shut down, it can be devastating for small communities. Older, less healthy workforces are less productive. They also tend to have less updated skill sets, as many of the younger, more educated people leave. The less productive the workforce, the less money there is in the community and the less tax revenue there is to maintain and expand infrastructure. These factors make many rural communities less attractive for potential employers who are looking for places to establish new businesses. A lack of new and better employment options leads back to less productivity, and the vicious cycle continues.
But it doesn't have to be that way! As the world changes, we all have to adapt, as individuals and as communities, in order to survive. We, here in Hopkins County, are fortunate in that we have more resources than most other communities of our size. We already have much of what we need to build a better, healthier, happier, more prosperous future for ourselves and our children. We are here to help make that happen.
The ARCH Coalition has received funding from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Program and from Barry Eveland. We are grateful for the support.
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