WellsFest Cancelled, Emerging Solutions Project and Flu Fighters Coalition | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

WellsFest Cancelled, Emerging Solutions Project and Flu Fighters Coalition

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wells United Methodist Church in Jackson has cancelled its annual WellsFest events, including the Sept. 22 Art Night, the Sept. 23 golf tournament and the Sept. 26 festival and 5k run. Photo courtesy WellsFest

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wells United Methodist Church in Jackson has cancelled its annual WellsFest events, including the Sept. 22 Art Night, the Sept. 23 golf tournament and the Sept. 26 festival and 5k run. Photo courtesy WellsFest

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wells United Methodist Church in Jackson has cancelled its annual WellsFest events, including the Sept. 22 Art Night, the Sept. 23 golf tournament and the Sept. 26 festival and 5k run.

Rev. Chris Cumbest, minister of Wells United Methodist Church and organizer of WellsFest, and Ken Simon, the 2020 WellsFest Chair, released a joint statement to the community about the decision as part of a press release.

"WellsFest has always been designed to bring the community together for a day of music and family activities in support of a good cause. This year bringing people together physically is just not safe because of the COVID pandemic,” the statement says. β€œIt was a difficult decision, but we feel that it should be clear to the community that we have their best interests and their health at heart in making this decision. The 2020 beneficiary for WellsFest, Grace House, is on board with the decision and will be the beneficiary for 2021 when we plan to be back stronger than ever.”

WellsFest has raised more than $1.5 million for Mississippi nonprofits throughout the event's 36-year history. In 2019, WellsFest raised $63,000 for Extra Table and its mission of feeding the hungry.

Grace House Services, the 2021 beneficiary, provides housing and support services to homeless men, women, and families with disabilities, including HIV/AIDS and addictions.

For more information about WellsFest and Wells United Methodist Church, call 601-353-0658 or visit wellschurch.org. For information about Grace House, call 601-353-1038 or visit gracehousems.org.

Innovate Mississippi and Kellogg Foundation Launch Emerging Solutions Project

Innovate Mississippi and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation have recently launched the "Emerging Solutions" project, which aims to hear ideas from Mississippians about how technology or other new products or services could help Mississippi better respond to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Innovate Mississippi will help develop the most impactful ideas into solutions to aid the people of Mississippi after the pandemic, a release from the organization says.

Innovate Mississippi plans to use the ideas to help develop new products to deploy within the state and to help create new Mississippi-based businesses and jobs.

Anyone with an idea they wish to discuss with the Innovate Mississippi team can visit innovate.ms/solutions and fill out a contact form with their information and basic idea. Innovate will contact idea creators for more in depth discussions on their ideas.

For more information, call 601-960-3611 or visit innovate.ms.

Mississippi Health Organizations Form Flu Fighters Coalition

The Institutions of Higher Learning, the Mississippi Academy of Family Physicians, the Mississippi Chapter-American Academy of Pediatrics, the Mississippi Hospital Association, the Mississippi Nurses Association, the Mississippi State Department of Health and the Mississippi State Medical Association have partnered to form a coalition called Flu Fighters, which seeks to encourage all Mississippians to get their flu shot this year.

Even though the flu shot does not protect against COVID-19, it can help keep Mississippians healthier and mitigate hospitalizations during the pandemic, a release from the coalition says. The most recent flu season saw more than half a million hospitalizations, and hospitals, especially in Mississippi, have been severely overburdened during the pandemic.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that everyone six months and older, including pregnant women, get a flu shot. Individuals that are at most risk for getting severely ill from the flu are young children, pregnant women, people aged 65 years and older and people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease or lung disease. It takes two weeks after getting a flu shot for the body to develop protection against the flu, which lasts for about six months.

Getting a flu shot reduces the risk of being admitted to the ICU with the flu by 82%, the CDC says. Flu shots are available at hospitals, health care providers’ offices, clinics, pharmacies, schools, college health centers and from many employers. To find a flu shot provider in your area, visit vaccinefinder.org.

For more information, follow the Flu Fighters coalition on social media with the #FightFluMS hashtag.

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