Toolkit for Community Organizers: Steps for Addressing Chlamydia in Your Community - Step 4: Organize a Coalition - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Step 4: Organize a Community Coalition

Toolkit for Community Organizers:
Steps for Addressing Chlamydia in Your Community

  • Select a project coordinator.
    A project coordinator is essential to building and maintaining a community coalition. Unfortunately, funding does not always allow for this to be a paid position. Consider a lead agency or partner organization that could incorporate this role into an existing position. A project coordinator should possess expertise in the field of adolescent or reproductive health and experience working on coalition building.

  • Identify “champions”.
    You have already identified your stakeholders in Step 2. Now you will need to determine which stakeholders will be most valuable to the coalition, these are your key stakeholders or “champions”. Champions are the people who believe in you and your efforts. These people will be advocates for the group and have influence in the community. Meet with a small group of them to solidify your support. Ask them to participate in your community meetings and invite others they know who may be interested in helping to build the coalition.

Kandiyohi County & CHAS: Forming a local coalition

“Having members representing various aspects of the community is key to involving the community. It allows you to better understand the community, because various aspects are represented at your table.”

Selecting a project coordinator
CHAS had a seventeen year history of serving residents of Kandiyohi County. The coalition had diverse members that were reflective of the community’s culture and values. CHAS had previously established partnerships with schools, hospitals and clinics, county public health and family services, making it an ideal lead agency to build a coalition around chlamydia prevention and control. A long-time KCPH employee was designated the project coordinator. Her expertise in Maternal Child Health, disease prevention and school health with an emphasis on adolescent health prepared her with the skills to take on this project. She also had experience working on coalition building around youth tobacco use prevention. CHAS recognized the importance of having a designated project coordinator whose primary motivation was to engage the community in the project and was able to detach from any personal agenda.

Recruitment
Members of the coalition helped to recruit members of the Strategy Group. Face-to-face invitations were utilized to solicit members for the Strategy Group meetings. Each CHAS coalition member invited 2-3 people from the community that they felt would have an interest in the project and be a positive group member. It was important that the coalition represented the community. Over 100 contacts were made in person, by phone, by letter or during a group meeting. Of those invited, 72 invitation packets were sent to identified stakeholders and stakeholder groups. Individual stakeholders included the County Commissioner, business persons, parents and grandparents. An article "Coalition to launch initiative to prevent chlamydia" was published in the West Central Tribune.

Stakeholder groups receiving an invitation packet:

  • nursing staff at the area medical center
  • staff at area medical center
  • students in nursing and medical assistance programs
  • students who indicated an interest at the health fair
  • county family service and public health departments
  • Community Action agency
  • family planning clinics
  • staff and peer education groups at area high school
  • leaders in the Somali community

Invitation Folder

Partnering Organizations

  1. TeenWiseMN and the University of Minnesota Konopka Institute for Best Practices in Adolescent Health was contracted for completion of the MCP A Special Report: Chlamydia Prevention.
  2. The Konopka Institute also worked on the communication plan and developed tools used in the work plan. Access the communication plan and tools in Step 6.
  3. The University of Minnesota Prevention Research Center (PRC) worked on evaluation of the project. Evaluation is discussed in Step 7 and Step 9

 

Resources:

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Updated Friday, September 16, 2016 at 11:02AM