Community Activities in Mississippi

As a study, one of our fundamental values is engaging with the spirited communities that we’ll visit. Check out some of our local community engagement efforts in Mississippi so far!



Panola County Community Engagement Activities (2018 – 2019)

Community engagement activities in Panola County included hosting a focus group in early 2018, holding two county stakeholder meetings, participating in a Juneteenth Celebration in Sardis, MS, visiting the Ministerial Alliance for the Church of God hosted by Brother Raymond, visit to Panola Medical Center (Mr. Quinton Whitwell and Mr. Chris Ware – CEO and COO respectively) as a potential site for the mobile exam unit during the exam phase of the study and formation of the community advisory board and resource support group for Panola County.

loading slideshow...

  • Panola Juneteenth Celebration in Sardis

  • Panola Juneteenth Celebration in Sardis

  • Panola Juneteenth Celebration in Sardis


Oktibbeha County Community Engagement Activities (2018 – 2019)

Community engagement activities in Oktibbeha County included hosting a focus group in early 2018, holding two county stakeholder meetings, participating in a Juneteenth Celebration in Starkville, MS , conferencing in with the Baptist Ministerial Alliance hosted by Reverend James Covington, visit to OCH Regional Medical Center (Mr. Joe Jackson, Dr. Todd Smith – CEO and CMO respectively) as a potential site for the mobile exam unit during the exam phase of the study , visit to local physician offices (Dr. Lee Brandon, Dr. Emily Landrum, Dr. Josh Black, Dr. Jack Hollister and Dr. Drew Anthony) and formation of the community advisory board and resource support group for Oktibbeha County.


Interesting Fact: Dr. Fox’s mother, Eva Mae Fox (maiden name Rice), was a native of Oktibbeha County He has an aunt Martha (at age 95 years) living in the county. Several of his cousins continue to live in that area as well. He and his siblings attended Mississippi State University and go back to Starkville often for family reunions. Also interestingly, Dr. Fox and his family grew up in the Mississippi Delta region (Clarksdale, MS/ Coahoma County). Clarksdale lies very near to Batesville, MS/Panola County. He travelled through Batesville as he and his family went to Oxford (Ole Miss Campus) throughout the 80’s. Dr. Fox often visits Batesville on his visit to his childhood home in Clarksdale and to visit family in Memphis, TN. Dr. Fox sister (Dr. Eugenia Fox), brother (Dr. Edwin Fox) and niece (Dr. Eva Ingram) have assisted on community activities in Panola County.


Go Red Women’s Heart Health Forum in Oktibbeha and Panola Counties (February 2020)

Coming out of the December community advisory board meeting in Oktibbeha County, was an idea posed by member Jacqueline Ellis to have a Go Red event in the county to educate the community about women’s heart health but to also use the event as well to introduce the community advisory board. This concept was supported by other members of the Oktibbeha County community advisory board and when presented to Panola County members, they, as well, felt that it was an excellent idea. The Go Red event was a big success in both counties, and we look forward to working with all the community advisory board members in future events. There was excellent turnout for both county events We were approached by several attendees about their interest in the RURAL Study and wanted to know ways they can join in our efforts to promote the study.

Go Red Heart Health Forum in Oktibbeha County

The event was held on February 22, 2020. The location was the First United Methodist Church Christian Life Center. The event began at 11:00 AM. Mayor Spruill, Mayor Pruitt and Supervisor Orlando Trainer gave the welcome. Jacqueline Ellis gave the purpose of the event. Ms Yulanda Haddix introduced the speaker and Dr. Ervin Fox spoke on women’s heart health and the Go Red initiative. Dr. Emily Landrum introduced Dr. Frances Henderson and Dr. Felicia Caples. Dr. Frances Henderson gave a background of the RURAL Study and Dr. Felicia Caples and Dr. Frances Henderson introduced the community advisory board members. Ms. Erica Owens commented on the benefits of the study to the county. Ms. Eileen Carr-Tabb and Ms. Ann Sansing guided the question and answer session. Finally, the prayer prior to serving lunch was given by Reverend Maurico Clark. Jacqueline Ellis gave closing remarks.

loading slideshow...

  • Table setup for Go Red event
  • RURAL Cohort Study banner

Sponsors for the event:

The Education Association of East Oktibbeha County Schools (EAEOCS), the First United Methodist Church, the OCH Regional Medical Center, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Mississippi State University Extension Services, University of Mississippi Medical Center/University Heart

Go Red Heart Health Forum in Panola County

The event was held on February 29, 2020. The location was the Batesville Lion’s Club. The event began at 10:00 AM. The welcome was given by Mayor Lula Palmer. Dr. Tammy Taylor spoke on women’s heart health and the Go Red initiative. Dr. Kristie Alvarez introduced the Mississippi Core PI, Dr. Ervin Fox. Dr. Fox gave a background of the RURAL Study. Dr. Felicia Caples and Dr. Frances Henderson introduced the community advisory board members. Dr Sonja Fuqua commented on the benefits of the study to the county. Ms. Pat Neal and Ms. Akachi Agor guided the question and answer session. Finally, the prayer prior to serving lunch was given by Reverend Darryl Dixon. Tammy Taylor led door prize give-aways.

loading slideshow...

Sponsors for the event:

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Upsilon Iota Omega Chapter, Day by Day Health and Wellness Center, Delta Cardiovascular Center, First Security Bank, Heavvy Hitter Construction, LLC, Jarva’s Jewelry and Fashion Boutique, MSU Extension Services, NAACP Panola County, North Panola County Resource Development Avant, Panola County Juneteenth, Panola Medical Center, Partee’s Barber and Style Shop, Piggly Wiggly, Ms Annie Rice, Mr. Arrece Webb, Mr. Wady Watters


Frequently Asked Questions