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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Thursday June 20th 2024

Are you curious what”'s happening in your “Backyard?” Backyard May Activities & Year”'s Results

by Janice Barbee, Cultural Wellness Center

Have you seen the BYI Health Assessment Report?
Community residents learned about the results of the Backyard Initiative community health assessment in several gatherings in May. The completed report includes the findings and recommendations from 21 Listening Circles and the walk-around survey of 676 community residents, with over 1,000 residents participating. The Citizen Health Action Teams (CHATs) that are now meeting to plan actions for health improvement are making sure that their ideas address the state of health and health concerns reported by residents in this assessment.

A full copy of the report is available at Anyone wanting a hard copy of the complete report can call Ifrah Biyou at 612-262-0667.

A special four-page insert presenting the highlights of the report to the community was published in last month”'s Alley newspaper (May edition). If anyone did not receive this edition and would like a copy of the insert, please call or drop by the Cultural Wellness Center.

On May 6, community residents, Allina employees and youth volunteers from the Augsburg Fairview Academy gathered at the Midtown Global Market to share food and pick up copies of the Alley to distribute the insert door-to-door within the Backyard. Over 60 people participated. When they returned to the market from distributing the insert, people were invited to write comments about their experience.

Backyard Celebration Event
On Thursday, April 29, Allina and the Cultural Wellness Center hosted a community meeting at the Allina Commons to celebrate the progress the partnership has made over the last year. Almost 100 people came from the neighborhood and community organizations. Community residents presented Allina President and CEO Ken Paulus, Interim President of Allina”'s Center for Healthcare Innovation Bobbi Cordano, Director of Community Benefit Ellie Zuehlke, and President of Phillips Eye Institute Bill Kenney with bound copies of all the notes from all the Backyard community meetings since they began in December of 2008 and thanked Allina for investing in the community”'s health by placing community residents at the core of the work.

Community Commission on Health
In the May meeting of the Commission on Health, Mike Christenson, Director of CPED (the City of Minneapolis”' Community Planning and Economic Development) presented information on the economic health of the Backyard area. He showed a slide presentation on such indicators as the number and location of crime, the number and location of foreclosures, and graphs showing job growth, levels of poverty, and changes in numbers of people of different cultures. Several people reported that this information shows more positives about the community than they expected.
Some of the questions raised by community residents were: How many people who live in the community are employed in the community? What about youth job opportunities? When there are new developments happening in the Backyard, how can more people who live in the community be hired to work on them? What money is coming into the community and for what? Who is that money benefitting?

Citizen Health Action Teams
The CHATs have been meeting twice a month to develop their ideas for health improvement and several CHATs will be presenting their projects to the Commission on Health this month to request funding for implementation. Each project must meet 15 criteria:

The project:

  1. Has as its ultimate goal to improve the health of residents of the Backyard, as defined by the Backyard definition of health.
  2. Is planned, developed, and carried out primarily by Backyard residents.
  3. Is inclusive; team members recruit new participants from the community with an interest in the project.
  4. Addresses the results of the Backyard assessment process ”“ the Listening Circles and the Walk-around survey.
  5. Builds the capacity and leadership of Backyard residents ”“ by teaching new skills and/or providing useful information. In other words, the process and the product of the project build health.
  6. Builds on what already exists, creates partnerships with or linkages to other projects/organizations.
  7. Does not duplicate what is already being done.
  8. Has the support of the community: research has been done (a survey or other form of information gathering) that shows there is support for the project.
  9. Creates positive ripple effects that go out into the community.
  10. If the project is culturally specific, it shows how its strategies and goals affect the health of the entire community, and includes ways that the learning from the project can be of use to other cultural communities.
  11. Has clear, feasible goals, with timelines for completing them.
  12. Has a well thought-out plan for achieving its goals.
  13. Has a detailed budget.
  14. Has a structure for documenting the results and the learning and reporting this back to the Commission.

Has a method of showing transparency and accountability to the community. It has a process for keeping clear records of the use of funds and produces a financial report.

It is not too late to join a CHAT or form a new one. We want to involve more community residents in this work. If you have an interest in working with your neighbors on a health-improvement project, and/or if you have a great idea to bring to the dialogue, please join us.

Call the Cultural Wellness Center, 612-721-5745, for more information.

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