On Friday, November 4th, over 50 business, non-profit and community leaders joined together to kick off the Toms River Family Health and Support Coalition. Students from Georgian Court University and a student ambassador from a local Toms River high school joined us to learn and share their ideas. Congressman Tom MacArthur, Toms River Mayor Tom Kelaher and Toms River Police Chief Mitch Little were also there to support our coalition and help us achieve our goals.
The event was led by the Boundary Spanning Institute Leadership Team of Peter Rosario, Tara Cunningham, Lee Karen, Dr. Teri Kubiel, and Lynette Whiteman, with the support of team coaches Gemma MacCarrick and Tim Brennan.
After networking and enjoying breakfast, everyone rolled up their sleeves and got to work. Each attendee introduced themselves and gave one fun fact that wouldn’t be found on their resumes. This was a great ice breaker and got everyone laughing, comfortable and ready to work together.
The leadership team talked about why we were there and discussed the preliminary health needs in Toms River. Then, we began the World Café process to engage everyone in a collaborative conversation to reveal the most crucial problems and barriers to physical, mental and social health. It was a very successful method that yielded so many ideas we can now build upon and tackle together as a coalition.
Once we discussed the issues, Tara held an interactive discussion with the group from which our mission and vision were born. Each person in the room had input and helped create the foundation of our Coalition – to make Toms River the healthiest community in New Jersey.
Our next step is to hold listening tours across Toms River and learn what health issues the people in our community are facing.
These will be small groups so we can really dig deep into the problems and create a roadmap to finding the solutions.
Peter Rosario, President and CEO of the Ocean County YMCA said, “Everyone in the community is impacted in some way when it comes to health. Our goal is to get the people talking so we can move forward and put our resources in place to make Toms River the healthiest community.”
The World Cafe in action.
Discussing the results of the World Cafe process.
Top photo: The Toms River Family Health and Support Coalition.