Be Well Buffalo County’s strategic planning process is officially underway. Over the last year, Be Well has developed a relationship with consultant group, Epiphany Community Services. At their meeting on November 28, 2016, Be Well walked through the first step of Epiphany’s process—a problem analysis session.
A problem analysis is designed to help the group understand what community issues are at play, and how they impact one another. It also dives into the causes of those community issues and validates concerns with specific data. Essentially, it helps to paint a picture not only of the challenges faced by the community, but the causes and conditions that pour into those challenges.
Be Well Buffalo County worked with Heidi Bainbridge from Epiphany to walk through a problem analysis as a group. This allowed the group to identify the primary issues and their causes, rather than relying solely on the consultant team.
Be Well came to a consensus that the primary issue it hopes to address is healthy lifestyles in Buffalo County. While that is a broad challenge, and there are lots of factors at play, the group narrowed the root causes to five: accessibility, nutrition, affordability, community norms and understanding of health.
“These five root causes guided an incredibly productive conversation about the way things are here in our community,” said Becky Squiers, coalition coordinator for Be Well. “We were able to really discuss what’s happening here—good and bad—that plays a role in building individual healthy lifestyles.”
The group will continue to re-visit that conversation and work through the local conditions to lay a strong foundation on which to build a strategic plan for maximizing healthy lifestyles in Buffalo County. Starting at the foundation—conducting a problem analysis—will allow Be Well to make the greatest impact in the most efficient way.