Community Work Groups Tackle Systems Change
Trenton Health Team (THT) understands factors affecting health and well-being include the environment, economy, education, behavioral health, access to care, and safety and government policies. Our Communities Moving to Action grant enables THT to engage residents, patients and community leaders in assessing community needs, designing strategies and implementing solutions.
Responding to the need for expanded community services prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, THT has been hosting weekly virtual meetings for our Community Advisory Board (CAB) members and other social service providers. Several new members are now joining us to share information, address concerns, and coordinate resources.
Much of our CAB work is organized through work groups focused on specific topics, such as access to healthy food and maternal health. The CAB affinity groups encourage partnerships among colleagues such as community health workers or communications directors across organizations.
Our Food Stakeholders partners recently collaborated to create the Trenton Area Free Food Resource, which lists programs serving children, seniors, families and adults in the Trenton area. An interactive map allows users to find nearby food sites, while a calendar function enables them to set reminders for food distribution events.
Our Maternal Health Stakeholders group includes more than a dozen health care providers and social service agencies serving women, infants and families through prenatal care and early childhood initiatives. These partners meet monthly to share updates about services, such as prenatal care and vaccination availability, and brainstorm solutions to concerns that emerge. Members currently are working to bring a new model of home visits to Mercer County and seeking resources to improve maternal health outcomes.
And our Capital City Communications Group, which includes communication directors from healthcare providers and nonprofits, has become a valued peer networking group where members can share ideas and coordinate messaging around citywide issues such as census participation. The group recently developed a COVID-19 messaging campaign and outreach strategy for the City of Trenton and Trenton Public Schools. Rather than be daunted by restrictions prompted by the COVID-19 crisis, our work groups are finding new ways to collaborate and develop resources to help meet our community’s health needs.