MGCCC hosts governor, legislators for town hall meeting on Health Initiative

February 6, 2015
Gov. Phil Bryant and Dr. Mary S. Graham at the Community Town Hall Meeting

Gov. Phil Bryant and Dr. Mary S. Graham at the Community Town Hall Meeting

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College hosted a Community Town Hall Meeting with Governor Phil Bryant at its Jackson County Campus on Monday, February 2, in support of the Mississippi Girls Health Initiative and Healthy Teens for a Better Mississippi.  The college has partnered with the state to promote the initiative’s goal to reduce unplanned pregnancies among Mississippi’s teens.

In 2012, there were 3,429 infants born to 18- and 19-year-old mothers in Mississippi, which is the largest majority of teen pregnancies in the state.  Of the births in this age group, 982 were born to teens who had previous pregnancies, and 198 had inadequate prenatal care, resulting in 632 premature births, 36 fetal deaths and 435 low-birth-weight babies.

In 2014, the state Legislature passed Senate Bill 2563 directing community colleges and universities to develop an action plan to address the prevention of unplanned teen pregnancies among older teens on their campuses.  The 2015 legislative proposal is to help provide resources for use by the community colleges and universities to implement their plans.

MGCCC campuses and centers provide a Health Clinic to credit students, employees and employee dependents, with $10 regular visits.  Sex education materials and pregnancy testing are included in the services offered. The college plans to extend clinic hours to serve student and employees more days each week.

“With so many young people in our state left feeling limited by unplanned pregnancies and parenthood, we want to offer the resources necessary to move them toward educational success.  This is a serious matter that we take to heart at MGCCC because our focus is on academic success and offering our students the opportunities they need to succeed,” said Dr. Mary S. Graham, MGCCC president.  “We are thankful our Mississippi leaders –Governor Bryant, our legislators and those involved in the Girls Health Initiative- for addressing this important issue.”

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