In 2016, staff from the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley participated in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Roadmaps to Health coaching program with a desired outcome to develop a strategy that would enable the foundation to become a more impactful leader and partner in the effort to improve health outcomes for residents in the Mahoning Valley.
During this process, CFMV staff sought additional guidance and feedback from local leadership in public health, community development, planning, health care, and grassroots organizations to help inform what happened next. It quickly became clear that to really make a difference, for the long term, for the most adversely impacted residents, a new approach and way of working together was needed. This was the beginning of the Healthy Community Partnership-Mahoning Valley.
The founding partners of HCP-MV wanted not only to change what community partners worked on, but how community partners work together. Both elements are essential to achieve the long term change needed to improve health, well-being, and health equity for all residents throughout the Mahoning Valley.
With this in mind, HCP-MV developed an organizational structure based on collective impact principles and incorporated a policy, system, and environmental model for change. Using these tools, HCP-MV has brought together a diverse, regional, cross-sector coalition and built strategies that will allow partners to accomplish together examples of change that no one organization can accomplish alone.
These two guideposts serve as HCP-MV’s compass, directing our diverse coalition to act and react based on: what the community tells us are the most important health priorities and how we work together to remove barriers and improve health outcomes. These guideposts have also informed HCP-MV in the development of a Roadmap for Change and Bold Goals to help us along our journey towards becoming a healthier community. These goals and the roadmap are dynamic and will consistently be examined to make sure that HCP-MV is working towards a future that upholds our guiding principles, achieves our mission, and fulfills our pledge to the community.
Everyone has a role to play to make sure that the Mahoning Valley is a place where all residents have the same opportunity to be healthy and live full lives. We are excited with how far we have come, and we look forward to where we will be going.