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First Anniversary, New Director, Commission on Health

First Anniversary, New Director, Commission on Health

by Janice Barbee The Backyard Initiative, a partnership between Allina and the surrounding community, will be celebrating its first anniversary on January 30, 2010. Come to the Cultural Wellness Center to hear about the accomplishments of the past year and plans for 2010. The Backyard Initiative”'s assessment process is already producing a great deal of knowledge. Community residents have conducted 21 Listening Circles, the notes from which are now being analyzed by residents. They will create a report for the community and Allina that will be presented at the January meeting. The walk-around is now over 1/3 completed. Community residents hired by Wilder Research are walking around the Powderhorn Park, Central, and Corcoran and the four Phillips neighborhoods to ask people about their health and the health of the community. Residents designed the questions and they will be interpreting the results. The great majority of residents have been interested in participating, especially as they learn that other residents are asking the questions. New BYI Project Director Allina hired a new project director for the Backyard Initiative in early November. The new staff person, Paula Fynboh, has begun attending Backyard community meetings and meeting with community residents and organizational leaders within the Backyard. She is also participating in the listening circles analysis team. Prior to joining Allina Hospitals & Clinics, Paula was a Project Manager for Grassroots Solutions, a national consulting company specializing in community engagement and also served as the Interim Executive Director with the Phillips West Neighborhood Organization. Paula is also a resident of the Backyard. November Dinner and Dialogue Gatherings Residents met over dinner twice in November. On November 5, the GLBTQ (Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Queer) community hosted the gathering at a home in Powderhorn Park. People told stories of how difficult it has [...]

16 residents will interview 750 households door-to-door by year”'s end

By Janice Barbee The Backyard Initiative”'s Community Interviews are now happening in the Phillips Community and in Powderhorn Park, Central, and Corcoran neighborhoods. Over the past several months, community residents have been meeting weekly as part of the Backyard Initiative”'s Assessment Team. The Assessment Team has been charged by the larger BYI community group that meets monthly to oversee the process of creating a picture of the current state of health and well-being of the residents and families in the Backyard area. Early on in the process, the community had given feedback to Allina that they did not think that a proposed mail survey would be an effective and accurate method for assessing the health of people who live in the Backyard area. They decided that a better process would be to hold a number of Listening Circles where people would give their input in groups, and a Walk-around process where people would be asked questions about their health in a one-to-one interview. The Assessment Team has been designing the details of this assessment process, including choosing the questions for the Listening Circles and the Walk-around. The team members, including Africans, African Americans, Natives, Latinos, and European Americans, have worked hard to ensure that all the questions are based in the BYI”'s definition of health that was first developed by the large group. The questions address physical, mental, and spiritual health as well as personal, family, and community health. The questions focus on what people need as resources for their health as well as what people can do for themselves and each other to improve health. Members of the community have conducted 20 Listening Circles and the notes from these meetings will soon be read and analyzed by community members with support from staff from Allina, Wilder Research, and the Cultural Wellness Center. The Listening Circles included members from the different cultural [...]

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