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Starkville Summit unites town leaders

September 26, 2012

By NATHAN GREGORY
citybeat@starkvilledailynews.com

Leaders from more than four dozen local organizations will convene 11:30 a.m. today at OCH Regional Medical Center to discuss methods to strengthen quality of life in Starkville.

Spearheaded by the Healthy Starkville Committee, the summit is designed to use local resources to strengthen the city’s position in four areas: Physical and emotional health, education, safety and economic well-being.

Healthy Starkville Committee Chair Chris Gottbrath said collaboration between groups who place more emphasis on one of those four areas and recognition that deficiencies in one area can affect the quality of another is how overall improvements can be made.

“Education can be limited by economic development and can be limited by safety. Those four areas tie into one another,” Gottbrath said. “We have people who are working from different directions on each one of these different areas. If we get everybody in the same room we may find there are some synergies between all of them.”

The literary inspiration for holding the summit, he said, was a publication entitled “Forces for Good,” which examines local non-profit organizations and concludes that “key actors from every sector must join together in disciplined collaboration if they want to solve entrenched social problems.”

Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman said he’ll be in attendance and said community leaders from various organizations can potentially be involved in advancing in those four areas.

“Our hopes are that this event will provide a springboard for future grassroots efforts to improve the quality of life in our community,” Wiseman said.

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