By: Erin Sanders, CPHMC Operations Management Consultant
On Monday, April 17th awardees from CDC’s National Implementation and Dissemination for Chronic Disease Prevention program convened in Denver, Colorado for their Year 3 meeting. Coalition members from across the country participated in the four-day conference. As Cohort #2 grantees approach the final weeks of their funding period, this conference was a great opportunity to connect both with Cohort #1 agencies, as well as other grantees of the American Heart Association and American Planning Association.
Monday began with a welcome session featuring an overview of initiatives and accomplishments from project leaders at AHA, APA, and NWA. This was followed by a Welcome to Colorado from Karen McNeil-Miller, CEO of the Colorado Health Foundation and a networking reception with stunning views of the Rocky Mountains. Tuesday and Wednesday were filled with a mix of general sessions, facilitated dialogues, open networking opportunities, and a poster session. The general sessions shared accomplishments, partnerships, sustainability work, and innovative approaches; while facilitated dialogue sessions offered grantees space to discuss cross-cutting objectives and topical initiatives; and open networking sessions allowed for awardees to connect with other funders, agencies and coalitions.
NWA was extremely proud to have multiple representatives from the CPHMC project highlight their work during general sessions. On Tuesday morning, Anna-Maria Roaché and Jeanne Mahoney from ACOG participated in the Power of Partnerships Panel, which focused on how collaboration can broaden reach and lead to greater successes when carrying out long-term place-based work. During the Health Equity session, Mary Schultheis and José Rivera from Crescent City WIC identified key challenges and conditions to consider when addressing health disparities at the local level. And on Wednesday, Bhagya Kolli and Amy Funk from the East St. Louis, Illinois project reflected on core initiatives that have been sustained after their funding period and how they maintained key strategies.
Thursday morning featured eight unique options for mobile tours, which allowed sub-recipients from across the country to interact with successful local project staff and inspired new ideas, and approaches that can be proposed or adapted in their own communities. Attendees took to foot, bus or bike to experience mobile tours highlighting projects focused on such broad topics as WIC referrals, the concept of a built environment, overcoming health barriers, improving street and roadway access, downtown bikeability, healthy food procurement and local food hubs/urban farms. Following the tours, attendees gathered one final time for an invigorating closing session with Eduardo Sanchez from AHA.