NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Saturday May 28th 2022

Keep citizen journalism alive!

Donatebutton_narrow

Sections

Posts Tagged ‘Backyard Initiative’

Backyard Initiative: Communities of Light

Backyard Initiative: Communities of Light

We invite you to participate in the Backyard Initiative Community Health Survey

We invite you to participate in the Backyard Initiative Community Health Survey

A Community and Institution Partnership to Improve the Health and Health Care Experience of the Residents of the “Backyard” Area

By Janice Barbee, Cultural Wellness Center The partners in the Backyard Initiative all see the partnership itself as a major accomplishment of the Initiative. The Partnership Consists of Two Partners: Atum Azzahir is the Executive Director of the Cultural Wellness Center, the community organization that is charged with engaging residents in the Backyard Initiative. She and her staff facilitate the meetings and support the work of the teams of residents in their health improvement projects, called Citizen Health Action Teams (CHATs). She states that the partnership between Allina and the community around Allina headquarters (the “Backyard”) is nothing short of “revolutionary.” She says she often hears community residents express their appreciation and gratitude for what Allina has learned through this partnership and for staying at the table. The partnership consists of Allina Hospitals and Clinics, the Cultural Wellness Center, Hope Community, Portico, and the residents of the neighborhoods around Allina headquarters, including the four neighborhoods of Phillips, Powderhorn Park, Central, and Corcoran. What stands out in everyone”'s mind is the way a major health institution has listened to and supported the leadership of community residents as they take responsibility for their health and the health of the entire community. Community residents often quote what Ellie Zuehlke, Allina”'s Director of Community Benefit said at a community meeting: “Pretty early in the initiative, there was a fundamental shift away from viewing the community as being in Allina”'s “Backyard” to recognizing that Allina is in the backyard of this community. Along with that, we realized that the work is not about improving the health of the community, but rather acting as a resource in a way that helps community residents to improve their own health.” (more…)

“Talking in the Backyard” Gardening Grows More than Food

“Talking in the Backyard” Gardening Grows More than Food

by Ariele Strachan, Cultural Wellness Center The Backyard Initiative (BYI) now has 13 Citizen Health Action Teams (CHATs) implementing health strategies developed by members who are local residents. The Growing the Backyard CHAT was given support by the BYI Community Commission on Health for their Family Garden Project in April of this year and have been working with families on gardening since late May. The Family Garden Project has connected with eight families in the Phillips, Powderhorn, Central, and Corcoran neighborhoods (the Backyard area) and has helped each of them to install a 4x4 foot raised bed garden. The Family Garden Project works with whole families ”” parents, children of all ages, grandparents and other members of the family ”” to make gardening a natural part of everyone”'s day where different gardening activities are less chores and are more activities to bring the family and the community closer together. (more…)

Somali Women”'s Proposal Approved by Commission on Health

Somali Women”'s Proposal Approved by Commission on Health

  By Janice Barbee, Cultural Wellness Center The Backyard Initiative”'s Community Commission on Health approved a proposal of the Somali Women”'s Health Support CHAT (Citizen Health Action Team) on June 2, 2011 to promote communication, understanding, and support among women of the Somali community who have children in the justice system. Their project will educate Somali families about how the justice system works, help to connect women together who have children in the system in order to reduce isolation and social stigma, and help to prevent other children in the community from entering the justice system. The Somali women who presented at the Commission meeting spoke of the difficulty of supporting their children throughout the trial process and incarceration. They also spoke of how their cultural systems of authority, personal accountability, and discipline have been undermined and displaced in the move to the U.S. Understanding the justice system is a crucial first step to rebuilding those systems of authority and supporting their youth. The women plan to create a buddy system where each woman will be linked with another woman when they visit their children in prison and will help each other with transportation. This will create a support system for the women who are now feeling isolated and feel that the legal system is inaccessible and foreign. (more…)

Update on the Backyard Initiative: BYI Citizen Health Action Teams Update

By Janice Barbee, Cultural Wellness Center Every month at the Cultural Wellness Center, members from the Backyard Initiative Citizen Health Action Teams, or CHATs, come together to update each other on their activities and talk about common principles and problems in their community building work. Last month, on February 17, CHAT members discussed what it takes to work together and accomplish what they set out to do. The Backyard Initiative was started two years ago as a community partnership between Allina Hospitals and Clinics and the residents of Phillips, Powderhorn Park, Central, and Corcoran with the goal of improving the health of the community. Most of the work of the Backyard Initiative is carried out within Citizen Health Action Teams, where community members on each team have developed a strategy for improving health and are now in the process of implementing that strategy. CHAT Leadership in the Community Elder Atum Azzahir from the Cultural Wellness Center, the facilitator of the meeting, explained to the CHAT members that the Commission on Health, a body of primarily community members from each CHAT, will be looking at the work of each CHAT this year in terms of how the work contributes to the health of the whole community and involves people from the community. She told the members, “The Commission is going to be asking ”˜Is the CHAT growing in its connection to other people?”' How are you adding to your list of people in the Backyard? Are they connecting to what you are doing, becoming part of what you”'re doing? She then asked the CHAT members to think about their leadership skills and what skills they need to develop to be effective leaders. The CHAT members identified building relationships, identifying resources, strategic planning, and influencing, directing, and organizing people as the set of skills that are needed to do the work. Elder Atum told the group that last year the CHAT members were more focused [...]

Update on the Backyard Initiative “Tell Me a Story” and Diabetes Projects Receive Support

Update on the Backyard Initiative “Tell Me a Story” and Diabetes Projects Receive Support

by Janice Barbee, Cultural Wellness Center In August, the Commission on Health, a citizen group of people who live in the Phillips community or in the Powderhorn Park, Central, or Corcoran neighborhoods, gave its support to two more projects developed by Citizen Health Action Teams of the Backyard Initiative. The Backyard Initiative is a partnership between Allina and the community surrounding Allina headquarters to develop ways to improve the health of the community. Communications/ “Tell Me a Story” CHAT One of the goals of the BYI Initiative is to build the capacity and skills of residents in any ways that will contribute to their overall health. At the CHAT meetings, people often talk about how giving people opportunities to express themselves is a crucial component of health; it is one of the statements in the BYI definition of health.  The “Purpose Statement” for the Communication CHAT is: “Working to lessen or eliminate the divide between people who have information and those who don”'t so that everyone has the opportunity to be engaged in a healthy community.” (more…)

The Power of Story in the Backyard

The Power of Story in the Backyard

by Janice Barbee, Cultural Wellness Center Throughout the process of bringing together residents to work together to improve health in the Backyard area, we are constantly reminded of the importance of story. When the Cultural Wellness Center first convened residents to hear about plans for the Backyard Initiative, residents told many stories ”“ stories about the history of the community, about residents”' relationships with Allina and other organizations, about people”'s hardships as well as hopes. “I see a lot. I see street level negative activity. I see garbage everywhere. I see people struggling. I see people on street corners, standing off the freeway. I see prostitutes. I see people going to work. I see people like Carol and Shirley and Miss Phoebe, people with conviction.” “I see more diverse businesses, more activity up and down Lake Street coming back. I own a business. There are so many smaller, family owned businesses, which is great because they tend to grow and develop the community. I”'ve also seen a lot of manufacturing leave the area, which needs to come back.” (more…)

Teams are “Planting the Seeds” to “Grow Health”

by Janice Barbee, Cultural Wellness Center Community Health Action Teams are “Planting the Seeds”' to Grow Health Residents who live in the Backyard area (East Phillips, Ventura Village, Phillips West, Midtown Phillips, Powderhorn Park, Corcoran, and Central neighborhoods) have been meeting monthly in Citizen Health Action Teams (CHATs) to develop their strategies to improve the health of residents. The Backyard Initiative was initiated by Allina Hospitals and Clinics in the fall of 2008. What was once a project led by Allina is now a community-owned project in which Allina is a major partner. At the July meeting, several CHATs presented an update of their work. (more…)

 Page 1 of 2  1  2 »
Copyright © 2022 Alley Communications - Contact the alley