What are we all about anyway?
Our community health status improvement initiative, Buffalo County Community Partners, is a county-wide effort located in central Nebraska. Kearney is the county seat and comprises 28,195 of the 40,882 people who live in Buffalo County. The county relies on agriculture, industry and tourism to stimulate growth of the county. Buffalo County Community Partners was one of the first projects of its kind in Nebraska. The partners draw upon old-fashioned grassroots problem-solving, as well as looking to the latest in community architecture, to knit our community together into a creative, future-oriented, inviting place to live and work.
What are we trying to do?
Our vision is that everyone from all corners of Buffalo County work together to improve the quality of life of those who live in and work in this community. Our mission is to assess, promote and strengthen the health of Buffalo County.
How long have we been doing this?
Our project began in the fall of 1994. After 12 months in the planning and assessment stage, the original 25 member Partners Group created five Task Forces (vision element committees) to develop a set of health status improvement goals from issues identified from the community assessment.
Fifteen goals for enhancement of health and quality of life were developed in early 1996. Each goal has a stated outcome, supporting rationale and baseline data and target to be attained for 2001.
15 goal work groups encompassing 200 volunteers attained 50% of these 15 priority health goals by 2001. $290,713 was granted to community coalitions working toward goal attainment. It is estimated that 70,000 people have been served by these grant programs and services per year.
Buffalo County 2010
In 2001, Community Partners asked the community to develop a second round of priority health issues to attain by 2010. Over 500 residents participated in mini-town hall focus groups. The Partners dived into special populations of elderly, youth and minorities. The result of this community process is 10 new priority health goals for attainment in 2010. 56% of the goals were attained by 2010.
Buffalo County 2020
In 2011, Community Partners focused their efforts in developing 5 Strategic Directions for the 2020 Vision: Active Living & Healthy Eating, Eliminate Health Disparities, High Impact Prevention Services, Healthy Homes & Sustainable Communities, and Injury-Free Living. Community Partners emphasizes the need to ELEVATE health issues in Buffalo County, ENGAGE Buffalo County residents in accountability to health, EMPOWER residents in creating positive change in their communities, and EVALUATE progress toward building a healthier Buffalo County.