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March: Briefly in the News


143-home Habitat for Humanity Subdivision Welcomes First Family with Help of Shelter Insurance

Keneshia and her 13-year-old son, Kendred, celebrated the completion of their very own Habitat for Humanity home, which was sponsored by Shelter Insurance. This is the first of 143 Habitat homes to be built in the brand-new Habitat subdivision off Brown Station Rd. in Columbia. This huge subdivision is in response to the significant need for affordable housing in Boone County. Working on a 50-plus acre plot of land, Habitat for Humanity plans to spend the next several years partnering with local businesses, individual donors, volunteers, and future homeowners to make this area a community of proud families that own their own home. Shelter Insurance, as part of its 75th anniversary, has contributed $50,000 toward this project and dedicated 8 hours of paid volunteer leave for each employee to contribute to this project and others around Columbia.


Groundbreaking Research at Boone Hospital to Reduce Anxiety and Stress 

A new research trial at Boone Hospital in partnership with Healium and GSK Consumer Healthcare has been assessing the impact of mind-powered virtual reality and neurofeedback to improve mood and reduce stress among healthcare workers directly involved in patient care. The study was published in Frontiers in Virtual Reality Medicine. In the 100-employee study at Boone Health, participating healthcare workers were fitted with a portable brain-sensing head strap and portable virtual reality goggles to record the users’ brain patterns associated with stress. They were then placed inside a beautiful virtual environment that responds to the user’s biometric information, modifying the scene if the brain becomes stressed. The experience is powered by Healium’s patented technology that modifies and recommends immersive media content based on brain patterns measured by electroencephalogram. Results show the intervention quickly improved mood, increased feelings of happiness and calm, and reduced tension in as little as four minutes. “Engaging in innovative solutions to provide nurses with a calm, relaxing environment, even for a short period of time is a demonstration of Boone’s commitment to our outstanding nurses,” says Monica Smith, chief nursing officer and chief operations officer of Boone Health. “Nursing is a difficult profession with incredibly high expectations. Providing an outlet for our nurses to rejuvenate and care for themselves is a high priority. We are excited to participate in a study focused on the well-being of our nursing staff.”


Community Raises $5,347 and 20 Barrels of Food for Local Organizations at EquipmentShare Light Show Event

EquipmentShare hosted its annual holiday drive-thru light display to benefit the community and spread holiday cheer. At the event, the community came together to raise $5,347 and 2,000 pounds, or 20 barrels, of food to benefit the Voluntary Action Center Holiday Family Program and The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri. “Last year, the community raised $4,000 for the holiday program and donated 1,462 pounds of food at our light show event,” Danielle Schlacks, a member of EquipmentShare’s executive support team, said. “This year, we wanted to beat that record and help VAC and the Food Bank provide even more essential resources to our neighbors. That’s what this event is about, and we can’t thank the community enough for their donations.” The food donations will be used to feed families and individuals experiencing food insecurity throughout Boone County.


Burrell to Open Temporary Crisis Center in Columbia; Permanent Solution Still
in Works

Burrell Behavioral Health, acknowledging the growing and urgent need for an around-the-clock, crisis-level mental health and substance use treatment center in Columbia, has come up with a temporary solution while awaiting a decision of financial support from the City of Columbia. Burrell will utilize space at its Stephens Lake Clinic (1805 E. Walnut St.) to open a 24/7 rapid access unit until a larger, more permanent solution can be funded and constructed. Burrell anticipates opening this interim solution by July 2022. A rapid access unit will offer up to 23-hours of stabilization for adults experiencing a psychiatric or substance use crisis. This will include medication-assisted treatment for opioid use and connection to Burrell services for psychiatric needs or to Phoenix Programs for long-term substance-use care. The space at Stephens Lake is intended to be an immediate solution for the community as Burrell awaits American Rescue Plan Act funding to put toward a permanent crisis center.


Coil Construction Donates $30,000 in Renovations at Job Point’s Headquarters

Job Point is pleased to announce the completion of renovations on five bathrooms and the installation of a new shower for students at their headquarters at 400 Wilkes Blvd. The renovation work was completed by Coil Construction. Job Point was pleased to partner with Coil Construction for the completion of these vital renovations, for which Coil donated $30,000 in labor and materials. “They have an outstanding reputation for doing excellent work in a timely manner, and with their incredibly generous and gracious donation, the price was right,” Steve Smith, president and CEO of Job Point, said.  “Their team was courteous and efficient, and we are happy with how the project turned out.” 

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