October 2000

Mission and Ministry Fund—New Initiatives

Healthy Community Coordinating Committee Central Kansas Medical Center Great Bend, Kan. Grant: $25,000 Pawnee and Barton Counties in central Kansas are economically depressed, and while 38,000 people call the area home, outmigration is prevalent. The leadership of Central Kansas Medical Center (CKMC) believes that community esteem can be recaptured through an asset-building approach led by a Healthy Community Coordinating Committee. With this grant, CKMC leaders will form the committee, convene the community and create a coalition to form a vision for achieving meaningful, holistic improvements in the health and well being of central Kansas residents. Along with the director of the Barton County Health Department, CKMC leaders have identified potential committee members and partners from across the two-county area. They will collaborate with two organizations, the University of Kansas Work Group on Health Promotion and Community Development and the Regional Prevention Center of Northwest Kansas, that can provide guidance, proven models and other resources for the initiative. CKMC leaders anticipate that the committee will have its vision in place at the end of year one, and that the process of creating a sustainable healthy community partnership with measurable outcomes will take five to seven years. Healthier Sloan’s Lake Neighborhood St. Anthony Health Foundation Denver, Colo. Grant: $20,800 Centura Health-St. Anthony Central Hospital is located in the heart of Denver’s Sloan’s Lake neighborhood, which includes 7,500 economically and culturally diverse households. As the neighborhood’s largest employer, St. Anthony Central Hospital participated in the Sloan’s Lake Citizens Group, which had a city-supported Healthy Neighborhood Program. However, when the city withdrew funding in December 1999, the group struggled to survive. The members of the Sloan’s Lake Citizens Group aim to reinvent their healthy neighborhood initiative through a new and expanded coalition called Healthier Sloan’s Lake Neighborhood. The new effort will bring together a Coordinating Committee of individuals from all segments of the community to reinvent the neighborhood for the benefit of all of its residents. Because so many members of the committee have expertise in building healthy communities, the committee plans to accomplish steps one through five of the healthy communities process (organize the effort, convene the community, create a shared vision, assess current realities and create an action plan) during its first year and move to implementation during year two. Operation Healthy Communities Mercy Medical Center Durango, Colo. Grant: $33,000 Operation Healthy Communities has been in place since 1994 and has created an index of community health information called Pathways to Healthier Communities, but to date there has been little grassroots involvement in the effort. Mercy Medical Center will facilitate the process of encouraging widespread community ownership of Operation Healthy Communities to create a comprehensive approach to the needs and concerns identified in the index. Operation Healthy Communities has formed a broader Coordinating Committee, including representatives from the City of Durango, Fort Lewis College, LaPlata County and Family Centers, Mercy Medical Center, the San Juan Basin Health Department, the San Juan Mountain Association, the school district, the Southern Ute Indian tribe, the Township of Bayfield and the United Way. To attract more grassroots stakeholders, the committee will hold regional "summit" meetings. At these meetings, stakeholders will revisit the vision of Operation Healthy Communities, review the index, set goals and launch community-based action. The group intends to establish an annual cycle of summit meetings and resulting action plans. Point Breeze Community Network Plus St. Agnes Medical Center Philadelphia, Pa. Grant: $28,100 The Point Breeze neighborhood in South Philadelphia has experienced rapid changes in its economic and racial makeup during the past few years. Members of the community attempted to organize a network called Point Breeze Community Network Plus, but have been unable to begin a community-building process. As a member of the network, St. Agnes will facilitate the formation of a large Coordinating Committee to steer the community-building process, beginning with the hiring of a facilitator. The committee will send letters and response cards to every address in the neighborhood to invite attendance at stakeholder meetings that will engage members of the community in open dialogue. These meetings will provide a means to create a shared vision of the community, and asset mapping will identify community strengths. Long-term goals include analysis of gaps between assets and needs, as well as interventions designed to address those gaps. The initiative will include representation from the neighborhood’s public and Catholic schools, Diversified Community Services, the police department, First Trust Bank, the mayor’s Office of Community Services, Philadelphia’s Anti-Drug/Anti-Violence Network and neighborhood churches.