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

Keep citizen journalism alive!

Donatebutton_narrow

Sections

Posts Tagged ‘Bottom Band’

At the center of all of our work is our Definition of Health

At the center of all of our work is our Definition of Health

Health is a state of physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being. It is not only the absence of infirmity and disease. Health is the state of balance, harmony, and connectedness within and between many systems ”“ the body, the family, the community, the environment, and culture. It cannot be seen only in an individual context. Health is an active state of being; people must be active participants to be healthy. It cannot be achieved by being passive. This issue of The Alley Newspaper is largely dedicated to reflecting the voices and the activities over the past year of the Backyard Initiative.  Each of 12 CHAT teams have contributed their own stories and photos.

The Backyard Initiative: What It Is and Why It Exists

The Backyard Initiative: What It Is and Why It Exists

The Backyard Initiative is a dynamic partnership between Allina Health and its neighbors to improve health and health care in the seven communities immediately surrounding Allina Commons, Abbott Northwestern Hospital and the Phillips Eye Institute. The Backyard Initiative supports efforts to strengthen community health by empowering residents to draw upon their own knowledge, skills, and cultural values to care for themselves, their families, and their neighbors. Research shows that social conditions”“ including isolation and a lack of social support ”“ have a profound impact on our health. By partnering the expertise and resources of health care institutions with the wisdom and experience of residents, The Backyard Initiative is exploring a new dimension to a health care system that will focus on promoting health in addition to treating sickness. Beginning in 2008, Allina partnered with the Cultural Wellness Center, a community nonprofit organization in South Minneapolis, to facilitate the community engagement process. The Cultural Wellness Center has a long history of engaging community residents to improve health through self-study, surfacing and producing knowledge, cross-cultural knowledge exchange, and relationship building. Early in the process, the CWC led a process that engaged residents in developing a definition of health, a definition that became the foundation for The Backyard Initiative.

Themes that Emerged

Themes that Emerged

An assessment team was formed to create a picture of the current state of health and well-being of the residents in the Backyard, engage a broad network of residents in the process, and inform and plan the next steps for The Backyard Initiative. The assessment team included community residents, staff from Allina, the CWC, and Wilder Research. Through 21 Listening Circles and 677 face-to-face, walk-around interviews, three themes began to emerge: The Power of Interconnectedness. Each dimension of health named in the community definition of health is dependent on the others; one dimension of health cannot be understood or addressed in isolation. The Power of Relationships. Relationships impact the determinants of health. People know that they need exercise and healthy food, plenty of rest and occasional check-ups to be healthy, but their relationships are crucial to whether they consistently act on that knowledge. Developing healthy relationships between community residents and health care providers is a powerful factor for improving community health outcomes.

Partners in the Backyard Initiative

Allina Health: The Center for Health Care Research & Innovation researches new care models to transform health and health care and seeks collaborative partnerships as it fosters innovative approaches to providing care. Cultural Wellness Center: is a non-profit community-based organization dedicated to developing cultural approaches for positively impacting health and health care, economic development, and community building. Hope Community: A Phillips community development organization committed to deep community engagement. Hope Community led the process of engaging non-profit organizations in the Backyard. Portico Healthnet: A nonprofit health and human services organization that helps uninsured Minnesotans access affordable health coverage and care.

Highlights of 2011: Strategies & Activities

Community Engagement & Leadership Community Engagement in the BYI is lead and facilitated by the Cultural Wellness Center. The community infrastructure for the initiative consists of three “pillars”: Citizen Health Action Teams (CHATs) Community Com-mission on Health Community Resource Body.  CHATs are formed by residents to design, implement and evaluate prevention and wellness projects. Each project targeted barriers to health, weaknesses in achieving health, and followed the recommendations outlined in the 2009 community health needs Assessment. In 2011, the CHATs held 173 activities in which 1285 residents participated. The following key themes were identified and implemented across the CHATs: Strategies to increase social support within their identified communities; Strategies to increase social cohesion within the Backyard community; Strategies based on their knowledge of problems and solutions and based on their skill set; Inventory of assets based on their social and cultural capitol. (more…)

Evaluation & Learning

Evaluation & Learning

Understanding and sharing our results is a critical component of the BYI. The BYI created an evaluation team that consists of contracted evaluators, the CWC and an evaluation community fellow team to provide objective evaluation for the Backyard”'s resident engagement activities. The Evaluation team worked with the Community”'s Commission to develop a strength-based approach to monitoring and evaluating CHAT health promotion projects. The majority of the work has focused on helping residents develop their own tools for collecting information and understanding their work. A year-end template was developed in conjunction with the Assessment Team and Commission to allow CHATs to report their progress and challenges. The evaluation team also completed a review of several hundred articles in the fields of community building and mobilization for health promotion. The review demonstrated that the BYI is unique among national health improvement projects because in the BYI, the needs assessment, planning and action are generated by the community so that the community is the agent, rather than the target of change. The findings of the review and the foundation year activities have led to the development of a very comprehensive and ambitious evaluation plan for 2012 that will assess how well the partnership idea between Allina and the community is working, the progress of empowering residents to build capacity for health promotion, and the impact of this capacity for actually creating positive health benefits for residents.

Engagement with Organizations

Engagement with Organizations

Under the leadership of Hope Community, the BYI organizational team implemented a plan to research the interests and needs of community organizations in the Backyard area. Hope Community held one to one interviews and listening circles with 34 organizational leaders representing 31 organizations to provide an update about the BYI and hear their issues. Several key themes emerged: Support for the BYI definition of health and its focus on social connectedness as an important strategy to improve health. Organizations feel “silo- d” and isolated as immediate demands and inadequate funding make it difficult to take on new projects. Organizations are overwhelmingly interested in continuing to be involved in the work of the BYI if it is productive and action-focused. In response to resident”'s request for better understanding of available resources from organizations, the first ever comprehensive inventory of non-profits in the Backyard was completed. The inventory yielded a list of 202 nonprofits within the geographic Backyard and upon further analysis; there is now a database of 125 active organizations in the area that are relevant to improving health. CHAT members and other residents in the Backyard will be able to use the inventory to identify and pursue organizations that may be able to support their work.

Health Care Access

Health Care Access

The BYI partners with Portico Healthnet, an organization that assists uninsured Minnesotans access affordable health care and coverage. Portico works to improve community health by enrolling uninsured individuals into Minnesota Care, Medical Assistance and other public programs. Those who are ineligible for public programs are enrolled in the Portico Coverage program. A full-time English-Spanish speaking Community Health Worker is stationed at Andersen Community School in the Backyard to facilitate access to Portico services. In 2011, 436 residents accessed health insurance through public programs. An additional 116 residents were able to access primary and preventive care services through the Portico coverage program. Due to a partnership between Portico and the BYI, Backyard residents have immediate access to the coverage program. There is typically an 18 month wait period for the program.

Sharing our Story

Communication strategies are designed to promote the story and the lessons of the BYI. Multiple vehicles including: print and on-line media, participation in community events, conference and classroom presentations and word-of-mouth are utilized to reach a variety of audiences. Community strategies are designed to encourage residents to tell their stories from their geographic and cultural perspectives through monthly articles in The Alley Newspaper, a community based newspaper in Phillips and participation at neighborhood meetings and events. Residents and staff also participated in the first ever Midtown Global Market Jazz Festival held in July, 2011. Our website, www.allinahealth.org/backyard, was revamped in 2011. sNational communications included a presentation at the national Association for Community Health Improvement conference. An article on the Backyard titled “Being Active in Your Community is a Cornerstone of Good Health” was published on the Institute for Comprehensive Community Development Website by national LISC.

Communications CHAT

The BYI Communications CHAT is proud to be the conduit helping to get the many voices,  images, and wisdom on to these pages.  We hope you will be as inspired by the work reflected on these pages as we were.   Alley Communications, Inc. is the fiscal agent of the Communications CHAT.  For more info: call Susan Gust, Coordinator, 612-414-6623.

Copyright © 2022 Alley Communications - Contact the alley