Online discussion to focus on “Coming Out of COVID – Better Together” Oct. 21 on Zoom

An online discussion hosted by Mesa County Libraries and the Community Impact Council will focus on how the COVID pandemic has impacted the Mesa County community and how the community can successfully emerge from the pandemic’s chaos.

“State of the Community 2020: Coming Out of COVID – Better Together” will take place on Zoom at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21. To attend, please register via a link on the Event Calendar at The online event is open at no charge to any interested person who would like to attend via Zoom.

Panelists representing a variety of local organizations will discuss the pandemic’s impact on the community’s ability to obtain and maintain access to basic needs and services, such as food, shelter, health care, and education.

Panelists will include Scott Aker, chief operating officer of the Grand Junction Housing Authority; Alisha Wenger, executive director of the Community Food Bank; Dr. Crystal Owens, chief medical officer of MarillacHealth; Michelle Hoy, executive vice president of Mind Springs Health; Joy Hudak, executive director of Riverside Educational Center; and Joe Luis Chavez, community organizer for The Colorado Trust. The panel moderator will be Martha Graf, development specialist for MarillacHealth.



The Community Impact Council (CIC) provides a collective voice and forum for advocacy and education of nonprofits in Mesa County. Each year in its annual State of the Community event, the council chooses a topic that is relevant to Mesa County residents and the CIC’s membership and explores that topic from the perspective of leadership in various vantage points throughout the community. This year, we will also hear from community members who use nonprofit services.

Mesa County Libraries enrich lives and build community through opportunities to learn, discover, create, and connect. The library includes eight convenient locations throughout Mesa County, in addition to the 970West Studio and the Discovery Garden. Mesa County Libraries promise to build community through partnerships, to connect people with life-changing stories, to provide library services equitably, to encourage curiosity and support learning, and to support civic engagement with diverse viewpoints.
Posted in Branches, General, Library News, Programs/Classes.


  1. As a public service institution itself, the library should provide the public with a fair and open representation of research and perspectives on public health matters related to COVID.

    Your review panel featured above appears to be entirely composed of public health officials committed by purse and/or persuasion to official versions of COVID which have been called into question by many dissenting voices, including doctors and health care workers, scientists, journalists, and other professionals worldwide who increasingly have been critical of these official versions.

    Unfortunately, most of this critical information has been distorted and suppressed as ‘misinformation’ by so-called fact-checkers and public health officials who themselves have conflicts of interest due to ties with private interests like those of the pharmaceutical industry standing to reap enormous profits from this claimed crisis of COVID.

    I encourage the library in particular not to participate in such practices of censorship, but stand for a diverse representation of knowledge on urgent matters of public concern related to COVID, not only with this panel discussion but in further commitment to the public interest and good.

    I hope to hear a response from you.

    • Thank you for your comment. The State of the Community Panel is intended to address the pandemic’s impact on basic community needs such as housing, food, health care, and education. Participating panelists are well-qualified and well-positioned to discuss the variety of impacts in Mesa County. We invite all who are interested to join us Oct. 21.

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