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This year, M Powered Strategies has been reaching out to communities in need. We were able to send a team down to New Orleans in February and then again this month, to conduct a series of Community Health Assessments (CHAs). Besides enabling community Health Departments to operate at a more optimal level and increase their credibility within the community, communities who complete these assessments are also eligible for accreditation.
Having a neutral third party to guide community members through their CHAs is extremely beneficial. Unfortunately, most communities lack funding to hire third party vendors to provide the facilitation.
Presently, there is an opportunity to win a grant from the Mission: Small Business Program, sponsored by Chase Bank and Living Social. The purpose is to provide grants to small businesses that are influential in local communities, and to enable small businesses to grow. Four to twelve small businesses will be awarded a $250,000 grant to carry out their community work. This grant would enable us to continue our pro bono efforts, not just with the New Orleans community, but with other communities that need guidance in their health improvement initiatives.
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Continuing their work with the New Orleans Health Department (NOLA Community Health Project), Selena Hunn and Nic Turrentine of M Powered Strategies returned to the Big Easy in early June. This was their second trip there, at the behest of Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Health Commissioner for the City of New Orleans, to support the city’s effort to develop a health improvement plan for their public health system.
At Xavier University, Selena and Nic guided Community Health Improvement Steering Committee members and subject matter experts through a series of questions as they rated ten Essential Public Health Services, identified by NPHPSP (National Public Health Performance Standards Program), against a 5-point scale. The objective of the facilitation was to build consensus around the ratings for each aspect of the services and guide the steering committee through a discussion to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities for improvement and community partnerships.
Executives of the New Orleans Health Department were grateful for the generous assistance, professionalism and clarity provided by the M Powered Strategies team. Data collected from the assessment will be used to complete the community health profile and will inform their overall health improvement plan.
“You can draw a straight line from my current position at ICF International to the AMP program,” says Mark Buckley (AMP 2011). Buckley, who works as Acquisition Analyst on a project for the Transportation Security Administration, thanks Jamie McAllister (AMP 2010) for opening the door at ICF. In the current job market, the power of connections cannot be overstated. Without a recommendation from someone on the inside, chances are you won’t even get called for an interview.
It was Mark who reached out to Jamie last September. They met for coffee and not long after that a job opened up on her team at ICF. Of course she immediately thought of Mark and recommended him for the job.
Jamie, who has since had a career change (she works as a Program Management Analyst at XLAlon), keeps active in the AMP network, attending happy hours and even conducting an Acquisitions Training last summer. She says her lines are always open for AMPs who want to pick her brain about career paths and opportunities. “It’s a great network to have because all the AMPs I’ve met are passionate about their work and fun to be around.”