RIVERTON, WY – Central Wyoming College (CWC) has partnered with Fremont County School District #25 to introduce the community to the Unite Wyoming and Circles USA to advance health equity.
Unite Us helps connect people to much-needed resources and services, such as food insecurity, transportation, and housing assistance. Partners in the Unite Wyoming network are connected through Unite Us’ shared technology platform, which enables them to send and receive secure, electronic referrals, address people’s social needs, and improve health across communities. Circles works to end poverty through community partnerships.
“We were contacted by Fremont #25 through a poverty alleviation grant and our Circles USA chapter to provide support to disadvantaged groups,” says Troy L. Archuleta, CWC’s Career Services Director/Cross-Agency Coordinator. “Terri Hays, Fremont #25’s Poverty Alleviation Systems Facilitator, runs the new Circles USA chapter focused on bringing people out of poverty. I was impressed by her and believe Unite Us and Circles will be helpful to our students and the community.”
Together, Central Wyoming College, Fremont County School District #25, and Unite Us will securely connect people in need with community-based resources that can be difficult to navigate otherwise. The network provides a central point of contact where health and social services providers can securely access and refer people to needed services while monitoring progress and measuring outcomes delivered by partners on the network.
“I was hired in January 2022 to create a poverty alleviation program for our community,” says Hays. “Contracting with Circles USA, we have been working on the necessary steps needed to begin a local Circles chapter and signed our contract in August 2022 to create Circles Fremont County.”
The current Fremont Co. poverty rates are 15.99 percent in Riverton; 11.15 percent in Lander; 41.4 percent in Arapahoe; 38.39 percent in Ft. Washakie; 24.24 percent in Ethete; 24.55 percent in Shoshoni; 12.75 percent in Dubois; 19.23 percent in Crowheart; and 8.26 percent in Hudson. Through this partnership, community members can be connected to resources like job training, food programs, and other resources through an outcomes-focused and secure process that will enable people to thrive and live healthier lives.
“Circles supported the CWC RPED (Department of Education Rural Postsecondary and Economic Development) grant that supports our work,” adds Archuleta. “My hope is that other agencies will sign on with Unite Us, a cross-sector collaboration powered by our community.”
Forty-three million Americans live below the poverty line, and 14.5 million children live in poverty. Since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, many healthcare leaders and experts have said the pandemic has vividly illustrated the inequities in health treatment and outcomes among disadvantaged groups.
“The collective goal of our partnership with Central Wyoming College and Fremont County School District #25 is to effectively increase equitable access to care for all residents regardless of circumstance,” said Lisa Ammons, Community Engagement Manager at Unite Us. “Central Wyoming College, Fremont County Schools, and Unite Us will work together to redefine the quality, impact, and intersection of health and social care across this community.”
“We are so excited that our RPED grant is leading to this type of collaboration between CWC and the school district to serve our community better,” says Beth Monteiro, Executive Director, Central Wyoming College Foundation.
Nonprofits, community-based organizations, and other providers who want to connect their clients and patients to Central Wyoming College’s services within Unite Us’ network can reach out to uniteus.com/contact/.