Putting Family Caregiving at the Forefront of Our Community
From the Beginning:
Healthier Boynton Beach (HBB) is a 5-year, community-driven initiative developed by Palm Healthcare Foundation and focused on improving the well-being of an almost forgotten and overlooked population, Family Caregivers in the 33435 zip code, with a special emphasis in census tract 61 also known as “The Heart of Boynton Beach” community.
From the moment Palm Healthcare Foundation announced the Healthier Together initiative, Boynton Beach became interested. At the request of the foundation, community leaders from agencies, churches, government, businesses and residents came together to find out how this initiative could impact the citizens in Boynton Beach.
Through several community conversations, force field exercises, focus groups, and stakeholders meetings we accomplished the following:
- The formation of a Steering Committee and the selection of Co-Chairs
- Identification of a fiscal agent, Pathways to Prosperity
- The hiring of Project Director, Ricky Petty, who is from the Boynton Beach community and is well known and respected. Ricky has come into this project focused on engaging residents in identifying caregiver needs and ways to address them.
- Partnering with Healthier Jupiter to hire a VISTA volunteer, Zetha Wofford.
Excitement! Excitement! Excitement! The community residents are anxiously waiting to see what we can all accomplish by working together around this common issue of Family Caregiving. We’ve been able to keep the community engaged based upon already established relationships and consistency in providing information. We still get the questions: “When are we going to do something?” Everyone wants to see some goals in place (resource guide, support group, etc.) that have been identified by HBB. The collective impact process has been difficult for some to grasp, however, because the issues around family caregiving are so complex and the realization that support is needed, we’ve been successful at keeping people coming to the table until “something happens”.
- Establishing work groups has been the most important accomplishment of this report period. HBB has established 4 workgroups: Marketing and Outreach, Governance, Policy & Advocacy, and Data & Resources. The groups are comprised of Steering Committee members, community members and service providers. Each of the groups has established priority focus areas and is meeting to address those areas respectively. The workgroups are convening and turning conversations into action.
- Each of the workgroups has had its own successes during the reporting period:
- Marketing and Outreach development of a flyer for general audience
- Governance- HBB governing documents developed and approved
- Policy & Advocacy- areas of potential advocacy identified but not finalized
- Data & Resources- Data regarding resources available within the target area
- Identified a targeted area “Heart of Boynton” zip code 33435.
- Established a social media presence for HBB on the following:
Healthier Boynton Beach, having identified are key priority areas of focus, are preparing for our work with Dr. Shelley Robertson to assist in guiding us through the Strategic Planning process around these areas (goals):
- Bring awareness to the issue of Family Caregiving
- Provide education to increase access to services and resources for Family Caregivers
- Promote/Improve health and wellness of Family Caregivers
What are we Working On?
- With the leadership of the Project Director, HBB is continuing to build partnerships and increase awareness of Family Caregiving and the initiative throughout the Boynton Beach area.
- The Marketing and Outreach workgroup is in the development stages of creating marketing materials and educating the community about HBB and expanding the brand.
- Defining what “Family Caregiver” means to the Boynton Beach HBB initiative.
- Increasing social media followers.
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 Commuinty Care, HCR Manorcare and Morselife Pace program.
- Create an awareness campaign strategy.
- Engage 200 residents to increase awareness about Family Caregiving.
- Share HBB concept with stakeholders in the community.
- Attend and participate in community organizational meetings to promote HBB initiative.
- Develop a strategy to allow family caregivers to be recognized.
Process and Implementation Outcomes:
•Residents, stakeholders and professionals determined the initiative focus of Family Caregiving in December 2015.Associated Media:
•A Steering Committee comprised of a diverse group of residents and service providers was formed.
•Healthier Boynton Beach identified Pathways to Prosperity as the fiscal agent.
Trust is built and nurtured
•Over 50 residents were comfortable providing input based on their knowledge and experiences.Associated Media:
•The Steering Committee identified clear objectives and goals.
•Community members are sharing personal stories and experiences during focus groups and meetings.
Quality, meaningful collaboration
•Over 50 residents and professional have been engaged in the process to ensure community involvement.
•Diverse Steering Committee and work groups meet frequently to discuss strategies to move the initiative forward.
•Service providers are invited to make presentations to Steering Committee to make aware of resources.
•Cross partners working together on shared vision.
The Healthier Boynton Beach (HBB) initiative experienced successes and challenges during the first year. Much of the challenges were related to staff turnover. During the interim of the absence of the Project Director, the Steering Committee continued to meet and strategize to keep the initiative moving forward. January 2017, the new Project Director, Ricky Petty, was hired and HBB began to gain its momentum again. The communication within the Steering Committee was improved, the workgroups were refined as roles & responsibilities were identified within the groups and meetings are taking place frequently.
During this reporting period, HBB has facilitated (3) focus groups, engaging over 50 residents, participated in 2 resource fairs and over 10 community events and meetings. Meetings have been conducted with over 15 community partners and service providers to introduce the initiative. In efforts to engage the community and cultivate relationships, the Project Director volunteered with the Community Caring Center to ride in the Veggie Mobile to deliver fresh fruits and vegetables to seniors. During the ride, he was able to meet family caregivers and listen to their stories. It was a great opportunity for him to hear directly from the caregivers and learn about the difficulties and challenges that face each day.
Healthier Boynton Beach was highlighted in the Sun Sentinel and Palm Beach Post. HBB was awarded 2nd place in the Let’s Move Challenge in efforts to promote physical activity, nutrition and healthy behaviors. HBB was a Diamond Sponsor for the Caregiving Youth Institute Conference and received public recognition for its support. HBB will continue to be intentional with its efforts to bring awareness of family caregiving to the residents, stakeholders, city government and churches in the Heart of Boynton Beach.
Be patient and let the process take its course. The HBB initiative is a community-driven process which is a different approach for many communities. HBB will continue to work diligently to build relationships, network, collect data and listen to the community which does not happen overnight and will take time in this process. HBB values the process and will be intentional in our efforts.
Communication is essential. It is KEY in this process and will require different approaches to be effective.
Community Partners are vital. They play a significant role in the success of the overall initiative. They each come to the table with their values and realities.
Residents’ voices must be heard. In this community-driven approach, residents must provide their input and feedback on the direction of the initiative. It is important for us to hear from the residents and understand their needs as they relate to family caregiving.
Top three things you are proud to have accomplished through your work with Healthier Together:
- Steering Committee: Improving the communication within the Steering Committee.
- Workgroups: Refining the workgroups by clarifying roles and responsibilities for each group and identifying participating members.
- Community Engagement: Facilitating 3 focus groups, engaging over 50 Boynton Beach residents participating in 2 resource fairs and over 10 community activities, meetings and events.
Top three challenges you have faced with your work with Healthier Together:
- Communicating to the community what exactly Healthier Boynton Beach is currently doing has been challenging. The collective impact approach is different for many in the targeted community because programs/providers never asked them about their wants and needs. The introduction of this approach can be challenging to grasp in the beginning stages of the process.
- Identifying and defining “Family Caregiver” as it related to our targeted population. Family Caregiver is a broad need to address and will require continuous community engagement to determine the priority area and needs.
- Sustaining momentum has been a challenge. HBB experienced changes with staff turnover which decelerated the process of the initiative.
- Create an awareness campaign to raise awareness about Family Caregivers
- Develop and administer Caregiver Self-Assessment
- Create a Family Caregiver “Registry or Membership
- Work with 211 to develop a Family Caregiver resource guide
- Create Ambassador Program to engage the community in the HBB initiative and promote health & wellness of family caregivers.
- Conduct Community Meetings to educate the community about HBB and resources.
- Initiate planning for the first annual caregiver recognition luncheon.