FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 21, 2022
STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Tarleton State University involved Panola County in a community give-and-take at the Turner Alumni Community Center in Carthage last month. The goal was to initiate conversations and an information exchange on crucial health issues.
The event featured a conversation game called Table Topics. Afterwards, participants received information about medical decision making and advance directives plus access to a prepaid notary if they would like to notarize their directives.
“All of the information prepared everyone for situations they may not have considered before. The event helped participants gain access to materials for making their advance care plan and advance directives,” said Tarleton communication Professor Dr. Jennifer T. Edwards, herself a Panola County native and Executive Director of Tarleton’s Rural Communication Institute.
Table Topics events grew out of an NIH-funded research study led by Lauren Jodi Van Scoy, MD, at the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, through her research program, Project Talk. Hospice Foundation of America and the University of Kentucky are partners on the project.
Dr. Edwards said community outreach like Table Topics events is crucial to improving healthcare decisions later in life. The Rural Communication Institute wants to help East Texas communities have conversations like these more often and more easily.