Healthier Neighbors. Challenge Accepted!
Over the past six months Healthier Neighbors (HN) had the opportunity to engage in and complete not one, but two, performance challenges. The first, South Florida Thrives: Community of Practice located in downtown Miami. South Florida Thrives is a performance-driven, challenge-centric professional development and capacity building program designed for Executive leaders committed to social change. HN committed to this year long opportunity designed to identify and overcome one of the main challenges facing our behavioral health initiative; engaging the faith-based community. Through the facilitation of Douglas K. Smith, architect of the NeighborWorks Achieving Excellence program and his colleague Jill Fioravanti, HN was able to successfully integrate our identified challenge:
Between May 2017 to May 2018 under the leadership of group residents, Healthier Neighbors will facilitate a shift within 6 faith-based organizations from an institutional component to a wider community purpose. Increasing the “unchurched” population participation by 10% inclusive of Healthier Neighbors Ambassadors stationed in each institution with media visibility.
In additional to the wealth of knowledge gained among the other 9 challenge participants, new tools were introduced to aid in the work.
Our second challenge was much closer to home and included working alongside each of the Healthier Together communities. This challenge was born out of Florida Thrives, Communities of practice approach; facilitated by Palm Healthcare Foundation’s President and CEO, Patrick McNamara and again, the amazing coach, Jill Fioravanti.
With such success, growth, and tools obtained during the first challenge, HN saw best to structure Challenge #2 around rebuilding the HN Steering Committee (SC). Honestly, we were losing Steering Committee members for a variety of reasons and had to reevaluate how HN positioned itself to be valuable, relevant and worth an investment of time, relational capital or money. As we near closer to “The Middle Years” it is imperative to solidify our foundation in that of a solid team to take the project to the next phase. Healthier Neighbors’ subsequent challenge was that
By June 2018, Healthier Neighbors will create a governance structure and shared ownership which will aid in long-term success and sustainability. We will know success when we have increased the number of Steering Committee members by five people, have shared ownership by leaders as evidenced by formal MOUs signed and HN leader participation and attendance at meetings and events, and have 50/50 representation.
As of our May, 2018 Steering Committee meeting, HN has increased SC attendance. Our goal by April meeting is to officially vote on new members and respectfully remove those who are not able to make the commitment at this time. This is progress! As simple as this process may appear, HN most utilized the “Table Stakes and Differentiators” tool. Looking at each of our constituencies, HN identified the table stake or uniqueness which attracts each entity to the project. However, attraction was not sufficient enough to maintain engagement from members. HN also identified the differentiators, or what this project offered to set it apart from others and we now lead with the identified differentiators.
HN Community Definition of Behavioral Health:
Our vision is that individuals are, and the community is, self-reliant and resilient and have/has balance in body, mind, and sprit. The change we want to see is an engaged and empowered community.
Palm Healthcare Foundations, Community Partners, Children's Home Society of Florida, BRIDGES at Riviera Beach, West Palm Beach Housing Authority, Center of Child Counseling, Northwest Community Consortium Inc., FAU Community Health Center, Mental Health Association, City of West Palm Beach, Riviera Beach CRA, 211, BRIDGES at West Palm Beach, BRIDGES at Northwood, Palm Beach Lakes Community High School, RJ Hendley Christian School, Magellan Complete Care, The Vicker's House, Twin Lakes Housing, Urban Growers, PBC Criminal Justice Commission, Jerome Golden Center, PBC Victim Services, Chrysalis, Ephesus SDA Church, Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, Salvation Army- West Palm Beach, The Go-To Therapists, Health Council of Southeast Florida, Cities United-City of West Palm Beach, A Better Way Home Care, West Palm Beach Police Department, Healthier Delray Beach, Healthier Jupiter, Healthier Boynton Beach, Palm Beach County Food Bank, Sickle Cell Foundation of Palm Beach County, Shiloh Family Worship Center, Kafe Hub, City of Riviera Beach Police Department, School District of Palm Beach County, Live Fresh Palm Beach County, Inner City Innovators, St. George Episcopal Church, Catalyst Miami- Florida Thrives: Community of Practice, Planned Parenthood, Salt 513 Media, The Reentry Center, Palm Beach Atlantic University, First SDA Church of Riviera Beach, Palm Beach County Youth Services, Riviera Beach Heights Community Garden, New Song Church Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies, J.A.Y. Ministries, Trindy Gourmet, Southeastern Conference of Seventh-Day Adventist, Peaceful Zion MB Church, Payne Chapel AME, Trinity United Methodist Church, New Song Church, Kiwanis Club of Riviera Beach, School District of Palm Beach County-HealthCorps, Feeding South Florida, City of West Palm Beach Mayor’s Village Initiative, Roosevelt Middle School
PBC Children's Services Council, St. James Missionary Baptist Church, T. Leroy Jefferson Medical Society, Palm Beach Lakes Community High School-Community School, Riviera Beach Collaborative, Racial Equity Workgroup, Leadership Palm Beach County, City of WPB Summer Jobs Program, St. Mary's Hospital Patient and Family Advisory Council, PBC Health Department-Healthiest Weight Florida, PBC Area Agency on Aging, Twin Lakes Resident Council, John F. Kennedy Middle School, Rico Scholarship Foundation, Riviera Beach Tiki Market, Feeding South Florida, University of Florida-Family Nutrition Program, WPB Youth Empowerment Center, PBC Criminal Justice Commission-Community Engagement Taskforce
- Complete the "Changes We Want to See" document with newly established Steering Committee members
- Sponsored Mental Health First Aid trainers focus on local faith communities
- Network map of partnership-built resources leveraged for the community
Process and Implementation Outcomes:
Trust is built and nurtured
HN trusted the residents and stakeholders to plan a Health Fair based on how they wanted to receive information from service providers. Residents were successful in having service providers adjust their normal standard to what they needed for themselves and their families. HN also received buy-in and support from Riviera Beach CRA and municipality to trust the requests of the residents.Associated Attachments:
Quality, meaningful collaboration
HN is engaged in multiple efforts throughout West Palm Beach and Riviera Beach however, we have been very intentional with ensuring effort is directly linked to resident request and desired outcomes.Associated Attachments:
This is certainly reflected in the make-up of our workgroups. Each workgroup is dominated by residents who schedule, plan, and co-facilitate HN activities. Co-chairs are creating agendas, texting reminders to workgroup members and serving as the main contact for events and activities.Associated Attachments:
As mentioned in the Introduction, Healthier Neighbors is daily learning to lead with our differentiators in order to increase buy-in, productive engagement and resident voice. Utilizing the Table Stakes and Differentiators tool has turned up the heat for Healthier Neighbors. As we enter year 3, HN is more aware of our greatest assets to group residents and varied stakeholders.
Equipping Ministries to Go Deep & Wide
During November the Faith-based Subcommittee embarked on a field trip to Orlando. With 10 persons onboard we headed to meet with other faith leaders for the Deep & Wide Tour . During our time there Author and Pastor, Andy Stanley facilitated a full day interactive lecture providing practical examples on how to:
- Expand the influence of the Church in your community and throughout culture.
- Lead your Church to become more concerned with who you are reaching than who you are keeping.
- Equip your congregation to be the change your community needs.
- Refocus your leadership team around an irresistible faith.
This trip certainly increased Healthier Neighbors as a differentiator. The tour not only served as a bonding experience between varied denominations, but also an opportunity for the faith-based subcommittee members to gain information on best practices around community engagement with individuals not belonging to or connected with a church. Also known as the “unchurched”. The Deep & Wide Tour delivered the promise to “provide an in-depth look at a strategy for creating churches unchurched people absolutely love to attend”. During his presentation Andy Stanley covered the following areas:
1. Learn how to create authentic weekend experiences so impactful that even the most skeptical visitors will want to return the following week.
2. Discover the secrets of building a vibrant, sustained, and growing community that appeals to attendees with little or no church background.
3. Equip your team with a strategy that appeals to a dual audience—mature believers and cynical unbelievers—without “dumbing down” the content
We Are the Champions
The Mayor’s Village Initiative is a City of West Palm Beach initiative which focuses on the plight of African American boys and young men. The goal of the initiative is to prevent and reduce youth violence and to improve the outcomes of African American boys and young men in priority areas of the city. The “village” consists of government agencies, businesses, concerned citizens, the faith community, non-profits, philanthropy, and schools. At this time, the initiative is focusing primarily on the Historic Northwest, Coleman Park and Pleasant City communities in the North End of the city, also priority areas for HN. The Mayor’s Village Initiative is part of a larger national initiative called Cities United – (www.citiesunited.org)
In 2014, West Palm Beach Mayor, Jeri Muoio, made a commitment to create an initiative that would work on reducing violent related deaths and improving the outcomes of African American boys and young men in the most distressed area of our city.
The initiative will work in five focus areas or “pillars”. They are Education, Employment & Training, Reentry/Justice System, Health – Behavioral & Physical, and Crime Prevention/Intervention. Healthier Neighbors has been invited to Co-champion the “Health-Behavioral & Physical” pillar. A key part of the initiative is community involvement and input. Fortunately these are strategies HN is very familiar with.
New Year, New Collaborative
For the new year, a new collaborative effort to improve outcomes for young and the “not so young” in Riviera Beach was formed. Riviera Beach City Councilwoman, KaShamba Miller-Anderson, and Palm Beach County School Board Vice-Chair, Debra L. Robinson M.D., joined forces and invited additional forces to a collaborative table to focus the work of multiple groups and initiatives to improve the life trajectories of young people in Riviera Beach. Healthier Neighbors Project Director, Jeanette Marshall, was invited to facilitate the conversation for over 60 school district employees, local business owners, service providers, and varied stakeholders.
The collaborative prioritizes 5 pillars:
- Kindergarten- 12 Grade
- Business Development
- Youth Development
- Workforce Development
Healthier Neighbors facilitated the force-field exercise which challenged attendees to identify community strengths and assets. Currently Councilwoman Miller-Anderson is scheduling “Talking Tours” throughout the city to gather feedback from residents and learn more about how we can strengthen families to be most successful .
Not Your Ordinary Health Fair
On February 10th HN collaborated with the City of Riviera Beach CRA and municipality to present a Hands on Health Fair at the Riviera Beach Marina. This fair was jam-packed with greatness. What made it so different was the request of the residents, they did not want the ordinary health fair where vendors set up tables and pass out flyers and mini snicker bars. Nope. They wanted a hands on experience.
Residents expressed that instead of utilizing a vendor application fee, the only criteria for vendors was to provide a hands on experience at their booth. For some vendors it was too much of a stretch but there were so many others who were excited about the residents’ requests and quickly phoned/email expressing “I GOT SOMETHING!!” and proceeded to explain what their hands on activity would be. One of our favorites came from our partners Healthy Mothers , Healthy Babies. To continue their efforts in reducing infant deaths due to improper bathing practices, they would set up a bathing station with a doll baby and demonstrate how to properly bathe an infant. The attendee would have a turn to practice it themselves and then receive a pamphlet to reinforce what they learned.
Healthy Neighbors was once again able to value the resident voice and provide what they asked for in a manner that best fit their learning style.
If You Post it. They Will Come.
The HN Faith-based subcommittee, under the leadership of Co-chair Denise Williams, continues to take the lead in many of our events and engagements. In doing so, they have also identified where they fall short in communicating with the community. There is great discomfort with many ministries transitioning from announcing in the bulletin to connecting to their local group residents. HN once again put on our Differentiator Hat and brainstormed how to uniquely impact this issue. The resolve was to begin by hosting a Social Media Workshop exclusive to faith-based communities.
HN’s own social media consultant, Leontyne Brown with Salt 513 Media, facilitated this workshop and covered everything from the myth of the internet being associated with “evil” to how to effectively utilize each social media platform. We shared plenty of laughs that evening as ministry leaders from all denominations learned together. What was most beautiful about that experience was everyone realizing how much they had in common with other denomination trying to accomplish the same task, communicating effectively and efficiently with the world.
HN is most excited about Part II; during this time ministries will share their adventures in internet land and receive more personalized training based on their experiences.
- Behavioral Health was chosen by 3 additional Healthier Together communities and the work, wins, and process will not be identical. Every community’s process will be different.
- Tools work! HN was presented with a variety of tools while engaged in the Performance Challenges. They absolutely helped us accomplish work and concentrate on where our efforts need to go.
- Communication and feedback loops do not decrease as the duration of the project increases. In fact, communication and feedback loops increase due to additional partners and engagement.
Top three things you are proud to have accomplished through your work with Healthier Together:
- HN being called to facilitate community conversations throughout both cities due to our success during sensemaking in year one
- HN residents gradually understanding the strength of their voice
- HN's allignment with community interests
Top three challenges you have faced with your work with Healthier Together:
- Reevaluating the focus and validity of each subcommittee as well as securing a resident co-chair for each.
- Understanding when it's time to move on. A plethora of time can be spent in areas that will not progress the project. Identify when it’s time to shift gears.
- Residents have EBT payment options at local market with healthy foods
- Healthy options are available in the community
- Identifying how to measure impact for each activity associated with the pillars
- Residents are reporting feeling better, accessing healthy options, eating healthier, engaging in healthier lifestyles
- HN participating in the Rapid Results Teams with Leadership Palm Beach County – Education, Mental Health and Reentry