Healthier Boynton Beach taking a deeper dive…….
Healthier Boynton Beach (HBB) took a deeper dive as it ended year two and entered into year three of the community-driven initiative. The residents are more involved and beginning to recognize HBB as well as its efforts to improve health outcomes for family caregivers. The workgroups are established and meets consistently to discuss ideas and strategies to move the initiative forward. Program providers are providing the needed support to ensure the community are aware of resources and services. It has been a slow start, however progress is being made.
During this period, Healthier Boynton Beach accomplished many of the set goals from the previous period as it continues to work diligently to fine tune the focus and direction of the initiative. Healthier Boynton Beach strengthened its visibility in the community as well as its relationship with community partners and residents. HBB:
• Participated in six community events and engaged over 500 residents.
• Increased the Steering Committee members from 22% residents’ participation to nearly 50%.
• Established functional workgroups that has at least one resident apart of each group.
• Hosted the Fearless Caregivers Conference in Boynton Beach to increase caregiver’s knowledge and understanding of services.
• Developed a Healthier Boynton Beach Caregiver’s Registry to identify and engage caregivers in Boynton Beach.
• Created a Caregivers Assessment tool/survey to identify caregiver needs and wants.
• Hosted two community conversations.
• Provided two mini grant workshops.
Genesis Community Health Center, Area Agency on Aging, Boynton Beach Mental Health Committee, City of Boynton Beach, Pathways to Prosperity, American Association of Caregiving Youth, Community Caring Center, Caridad Center, Boynton Beach Community High School, Sankofe Securities, Inc., St. Paul A.M.E., The Lord’s Place, St. John Missionary Baptist Church, YMCA SPBC, Alpert Jewish Family & Children’s Service, Boynton Beach Fire Rescue, and Boynton Beach Police Department, Kidship Care Program, FAU CARD Program, Trust Bridge, Wellington Cares, Inc., NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), Boynton Bay (55+ Community), Iberia Bank, City of Boynton Beach/Rec & Parks Senior Center, Connect to Greatness,Inc., Alzheimer’s Community Care, HCR Manorcare, Morselife Pace program, City of Boynton Beach Utilities Department, FAU/Charles Schmidt College of Medicine, School District of PBC/Wellness Promotion Taskforce and HealthCorp.
Digital Vibez Inc. and Heart of Boynton Association
- Increase awareness and community engagement (a). Provide 8 – 10 mini grants to local organizations to increase awareness and engagement. (b). Increase the knowledge of Healthier Boynton Beach by hosting (5) events/activities and partner with local community organizations. (c). Complete at least 100 caregiver surveys.
- Increase access to services and resources (a). Distribute 211/Helpline flyers within the targeted zip code 33435. (b). Invite providers to community meetings to present information about their program and services. (c). Identify 100 caregivers in Boynton Beach to register for the Family Caregiver Registry.
- Improve health and wellness (a). Develop caregiver support groups to allow caregivers the opportunity to support each other, reduce stress and share resources. (b). Create opportunities for ongoing physical activities for caregivers in Boynton Beach (line dancing, yoga, 5k walks/runs etc.)
Process and Implementation Outcomes:
Clear, flexible place-based vision
Over the last 6 months, the HBB Steering Committee has been working to solidify the vision as well as outcomes desired for the HBB Initiative. This process was facilitated by Dr. Shelley Robertson and a smaller workgroup was formed to further define the “Changes We Want To See” document to define outcomes. The outcomes measurement has been delegated to a workgroup who reports at each Steering Committee meeting the progress made. Outcomes- clear direction and clarity for community and steering committee regarding HBB’s direction. Outcome witness- with definition for the Changes document, members of the Steering Committee are now on the same page and work to deliver the same ‘message’ within the community.
Diverse community engagement and communication
The Project Director has worked tirelessly to provide constant communication with the community regarding the HBB Initiative. The Project Director has arranged to have Community Dialogs every other month. The purpose of these meetings are to gather the community and share with them progress for the HBB Initiative as well as share information about resources that will benefit the community. Outcome witnessed- increased community interest.
Quality, meaningful collaboration
Over the last six months, the Project Director, with support of the Steering Committee, has done a considerable amount of outreach to various community organizations and individuals to provide education about HBB. The Project Director makes first contact and vets the intentions of the other party. If deemed to be of benefit for the HBB Initiative, the Project Director introduces the organization or person to the Steering Committee by serving as a guest speaker at a monthly meeting or via sending information out to the Steering Committee and subcommittees. Most times the leadership gauges interest of the other party in serving in a volunteer capacity to the Initiative. Outcome- increased diversity within the Steering Committee and increased participation on the sub-committees.
1st Annual Caregivers Recognition Luncheon
Healthier Boynton Beach hosted its first Annual Caregivers Recognition Luncheon on November 9th 2017. The month of November is recognized as National Family Caregivers Month and HBB wanted to show appreciation to the caregivers in Boynton Beach. Each day they silently go about the task of supporting someone in need, most often a family member. They give their time freely, and often spend their own money to ensure their loved one has food, medication, doctor visits etc. It can be a thankless task without even a “thank you” from the person being cared for or other relatives who find countless reasons not to help.
Family caregivers do not seek or expect any form of recognition. They do what they do simply because it needs to be done, and it is the right thing to do. The leadership of HBB wanted to show appreciation and recognize their generosity, hard work and efforts to provide care to their love ones. The Outreach and Marketing workgroup worked extremely hard to ensure the event went well.
Chantelle Brown, a resident and steering committee member opened the event with a warm welcome. She spoke about caregiver experiences and recited a poem titled “A Prayer for the Caregiver” by Bruce Mclntyre. Comedian Rod Z was the Master of Ceremony and he was hilarious. He shared his caregiving experience and how he provided care for his grandfather. He mentioned how it was a great experience and how he learned so much in the process.
The food was delicious and was catered by the Secret Garden, which is an affiliate of the Community Caring Center, a local HBB partner. The decorations were amazing and we appreciate Mary DeGraffenreidt for her work. Mayor Steven B. Grant gave a wonderful message informing everyone about the City of Boynton Beach and Rev. Woodrow Hay graciously blessed the food. The speaker, Debra Lacey-Howard was very informative and inspiring.
There were over 75 attendees, 24 people completed the caregiver’s survey and 32 registered on the Family Caregiver registry. Over all it was a great success and we all look forward to hosting the event again.
Fearless Caregivers Conference 2018
The Fearless Caregivers Conference was held on February 8th 2018 in the “Heart of Boynton Beach” at the Carolyn Sims Center. The conference was well attended and there was great energy in the room. Over 173 caregiver registered and over 150 were present. There were 14 vendors that catered services and support to caregivers. Lots of laughs, wisdom, knowledge and resources were shared throughout the conference. Palm Healthcare Foundation’s Pat McNamara received the Fearless Caregiver Advocate Award on behalf of the Foundation for its support and efforts to improve health outcomes in our communities. It was an awesome day and HBB was delighted to bring the conference to the Heart of Boynton Beach.
Visit the link to view the video report on the 2018 Boynton Beach Fearless Caregiver Conference https://youtu.be/T1ztVSBT6-8
Mini Grant Workshops
Two Mini Grant Workshops were held at the Carolyn Sims Center on February 13th and 15th. There were a total of 21 participants representing local organizations, churches and programs. The workshops were held on different days and times to ensure the opportunity was available for everyone. Kemberly Bush, the CEO of Pathways to Prosperity Inc., facilitated the workshops and provided valuable tips and strategies to grant writing. She reviewed the application for the mini grant and answered questions. The workshops built capacity as well as confidence for each of the attendees.
Community Conversations #1
Healthier Boynton Beach Community Conversation meeting took place on Monday, January 22nd 2018 at 6:00pm at the Carolyn Sims Center in Boynton Beach. There were about 25 attendees. The meeting kicked off with a warm welcome, followed by the blessing of the food by Willie Aikens. During dinner the community discussed their thoughts about HBB. Residents were asked what came to their minds when they thought of “Healthier Boynton Beach”. Their responses were: “HBB connects caregivers to resources, HBB provides services and information, HBB cares, HBB helps you get fit and healthy, HBB provides education”. Some of the residents had an idea about HBB and others had little knowledge about the initiative. The Project Director, Ricky Petty, explained HBB in details to the community as well the mission and accomplishments.
Two Youth Empathizers were present for the meeting and they provided information about Youth Empathizers and answered questions.
Four Steering Committee members were present, Nancy Yarnall, Leigh Routman, Clovis Moodie, Lety Gonzalez.
The presenter for the evening was Genesis Community Health’s, Lwelin Garcia. He educated the community about Genesis Community Health and the services they provide and answered questions. It was very informative and many of people of the group were not aware of Genesis or the services they provided. Mr. Garcia did a great job presenting the program and the community responded well to his personal stories and delivery of his presentation.
The Project Director, Ricky Petty had a debriefing with the community. The feedback from the community was positive. The group enjoyed the food and the structure of the meeting. The members had a discussion about the high volume of crime and shootings in the neighborhood that is a major concern. One of the members asked about a support group and a total of five members agreed to be a part of the group. The community was interested in learning more about Legal Aid and would like them to be a presenter at the next meeting on March 19th 2018.
Community Conversation #2
The second Community Conversation was held on March 19th 2018 at 6pm at the Carolyn Sims Center. There were 20 residents in attendance. The presenter for the evening was Tequisha Y. Myles Esq. from the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County Inc. She provided information about their services and answered questions. After the presentation the group had a discussion about road way safety and speed bumps in the community. They discussed the step and process involved to have a conversation with the City of Boynton Beach regarding this issue.
Powerful Tools for Caregivers Workshops
The Powerful Tools for Caregivers workshops were held at the Carolyn Sims Center during the month of March 2018. Powerful Tools is an evidence-based national program that provide caregivers with the tools and strategies to better handle challenges of caregiving. Maureen McCarthy, Healthy Living Coordinator with Your Aging & Disability Resource Center, facilitated the six week course. There were a total of 13 caregivers that participated in the workshops and the feedback from the participants was positive.
Youth Empathizers group have been active participating in community events. They volunteered with Healthcorps Inc. for Pathways to Prosperity’s “Racing Out of Poverty 5K”event that was held on November 7th 2017. The youth provided healthy information, fruits and waters to participants.
On December 2nd 2017 the group hosted a BBQ/Kickball event titled “Kicking away Stress” with Healthcorp Inc. The purpose of the event was to allow young people the opportunity to reduce stress and participate in a game of kickball. There were 25 youth present for the event. Blair Hirt, Program Coordinator Healthcorp Inc. was present for each planning meeting and provided the youth with great suggestions. They made stress balls and participated in the kick ball game. The event ended with a dance off between Digital Vibez Inc. and one of the youth. The event was a success and the youth had a wonderful time.
On February 8th 2018 the Youth Empathizers had the opportunity to visit the Morikami Museum. The group participated in a mindfulness meditation exercise, walk through the Japanese garden and painted their names in Japanese letters. Palm Healthcare Foundation sponsored the trip and provided the food and transportation. It was part of the “Train the Brain Campaign” in efforts to reduce stress through brain fitness and achieve balance in the lives of Palm Beach County residents and show compassion to individuals with mental health issues.
Let’s Move Challenge
The Let’s Move Challenge is sponsored by the Palm Healthcare Foundation. It is a county-wide challenge to promote physical activity in the daily lives residents. HBB and the City of Boynton Beach led the Let’s Move Challenge for Boynton Beach. It was a great collaboration that had a total of 26 sub-teams that contributed to the 32,227,096 minutes which was record breaking for Palm Healthcare. The City of Boynton Beach came in 3rd place following the City of Delray Beach 2nd place and the Village of Wellington 1st place. It was a fun challenge and win for Palm Beach County as we led the way to become the healthiest county in Florida.
There have been many lessons learned by HBB over the last 6 months. One of the biggest lessons learned was that to get more community involvement takes constant work. One of the goals set for the Project Director’s “Performance Challenge” and agreed upon by the Steering Committee was to increase resident involvement. The Steering Committee and Project Director quickly learned that to fully achieve this goal is a never-ending process. One of the challenges includes the 24/7 role of the family caregivers and their inability to attend meetings and events because of their often dynamic responsibilities at home. Every opportunity to get residents involved was seized.
Top three things you are proud to have accomplished through your work with Healthier Together:
- Completing the Performance Challenge Program and balancing the Steering Committee to nearly 50% residents with lived experiences.
- Establishing active workgroups that involves residents’ participation and increasing awareness about Family Caregivers and HBB through Community Engagement: (Caregivers Luncheon, Fearless Caregiver Conference in Boynton Beach, Mini Grant Workshops and Community Conversations).
- Developing the Caregivers Registry and registering over 50 caregivers.
Top three challenges you have faced with your work with Healthier Together:
- Administrative support for the Project Director- the Project Director is very busy and it is a challenge juggling the workload, attending meetings and completing administrative tasks without an assistant. There were attempts to bring on board a VISTA volunteer, however there were challenges within the process. Having limited support has been an administrative strain on the Project Director, preventing him from effectively promoting the initiative.
- Maintaining the consistency of key community stakeholders and residents due to their rigorous schedule and other priorities.
• Provide mini grant opportunities to local churches, organizations and programs to support the Healthier Boynton Beach initiative.
• Increase the caregiver registry to 150 by registering 100 caregivers during the next six months.
• Complete 100 caregiver surveys.
• Create a Caregivers awareness campaign to bring attention to family caregiving.
• Create a job description and secure administrative support for Project Director.
• Schedule Community meetings quarterly instead of bi-monthly in order to do more effective marketing and increase attendance.