During Healthy Communities Coalition’s monthly breakfast meeting at the Silver Springs Community Center on Thursday April 14, 2016, the group we will consider the question, “Are we collectively leading our community towards thriving?” Coalition director Christy McGill explains that the discussion will center on whether “our communities and services are creating opportunities for a positive future for all with well marked pathways to higher education, technical training, financial security, and physical and mental wellness.”
Collective Impact: The Coalition is composed of hundreds of community volunteers, dozens of federal, state, local and tribal group partners, a small staff and a board of directors, all working together on common goals related to improving community well being. Complex, serious social problems can be alleviated when nonprofits, governments, businesses, and the public work together around a common agenda to create collective impact.
Convening and Coordinating: One of the purposes of the Coalition is to serve as the “backbone organization” helping to convene diverse groups and to facilitate a coordinated response across multiple sectors for a “collective impact” that accelerates progress. Unlike most collaborations, collective impact initiatives have a common goal, shared measurement, continuous communication, and mutually reinforcing activities among all of the participants.
Examples: For instance, HCC convenes and acts as the backbone organization for the Lyon County Behavioral Health Task Force, the Healthy Food Hub, the Housing, Faith and Community Forums, and the Health and Wellness Hub. The Health and Wellness Hub includes a monthly lunch meeting of a Core Leadership Team with the Safe Schools Healthy Students grant and monthly breakfast meetings for the area’s direct services providers, both faciliated by Dr. Deborah Loesch Griffin of Turning Point, Inc on behalf of HCC.
Healthy Communities also serves as the legal sponsoring entity in Nevada for Remote Area Medical (RAM) visits to Nevada, and helps coordinate local partnerships and volunteer recruitment with the RAM clinics that have provided free dental, vision, and medical services to thousands of Nevadans. In September of 2016, RAM will bring pop-up clinics to Silver Springs, Las Vegas, Tonopah, and Elko. In 2014, RAM partnered with Nevada groups and volunteers and brought free clinics to Las Vegas and Reno, and in 2015 they brought clinics to Yerington, Carson City and Las Vegas.
Healthy Communities’ Subgroups: In addition to partnering with diverse groups, HCC has its own projects and subgroups, including Stand Tall teen leadership and wellness teams in Lyon County schools; School Resource Coordinators based in Lyon County schools; Jackrabbit Junction year-round farmers market; volunteer-powered food pantries in Silver Springs and Dayton; Silver Stage community garden and hoop house; Community Roots nonprofit garden center; Community Harvest CSA fresh food baskets (community supported agriculture); the Weight Loss Support Group in Dayton; monthly free healthy cooking classes in Dayton; Signs of Suicide (SOS) training in high schools in Mineral, Lyon and Storey; student garden clubs in Dayton and Silver Springs; a summer arts and science youth program in Silver City; etc.
Funding, Grant Writing, Grant Management, and Technical Assistance: The Coalition also subgrants funds, and/or writes or manages grants or provides technical support, or funding for staff or consultants, to the following projects or groups:
Basin and Range Organics (BAR_O); Boys and Girls Clubs of Mason Valley; Comstock Youth Works; Central Lyon Youth Connections; Community Chest Inc in Storey County; Lyon County Human Services; Project NO Drugs in Mineral County (through University of Nevada Cooperative Extension); Positive Action youth development program at Walker River Tribe; Lyon County School District, etc.