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FD Program Business Plans Reviewed

By Patricia Olson, Director of Programs

“I feel a sense of urgency for the work we in Family Development engage in,” Extension Educator Jamie Bain wrote in her January 9 opening column. “Until all Minnesotans share equally in health and wealth, those of us on the comfortable side of Minnesota’s many gaps cannot rest.”

And resting we are not. This year, Extension Center for Family Development (FD) is implementing a program business planning model. We are doing this to operationalize and realize our promise to help Minnesota families make informed decisions leading to better health, financial security, and well-being. We also aim to be accountable for resources that come from taxpayers and to invest those resources wisely.

Last week, the FD Program Business Plan Review Committee reviewed the 13 program business plans (PBPs) submitted in February. The PBPs represent the wide range of quality programming conducted in our center, focusing on participants who are young to mature and on issues of school disparity, food access, immigrant and refugee health, and mental health. Here’s the full list of PBPs:
  1. Parenting and Coparenting
  2. Food Networks
  3. Cultural Adaptation Programs
  4. Nutrition and Activity in Early Care and Education Settings
  5. Place Based Approach
  6. Building Better Food Shelves
  7. Financial Empowerment/Financial Capability
  8. School Success
  9. Distance Education
  10. Systems Approaches for Healthy Communities
  11. Train the Trainer
  12. Children, Youth & Family Consortium
  13. Later Life Family Issues
The PBPs provide amazing information to use for budgeting, grant writing, reporting, scholarship, fund raising, donor conversations, and more. Here are three examples from PBPs of the striking data that justify our work.

Findings from multiple research articles suggest that general health status of newly arrived immigrants and refugees declines as they try to assimilate and adopt the lifestyle of their new homes (Gele, 2013; Singh, 2010; Toselli, 2008; Wandel et al., 2008).

— Cultural Adaptation Programs PBP

Minnesota, while one of the healthiest states, also experiences one of the greatest health, economic and educational disparities in the country. With rapidly changing demographics (e.g., more racially and culturally diverse, getting younger in urban settings and older in rural settings), the gaps will not close without broader, collective, community-engaged actions. One way we have responded in Health and Nutrition, SNAP-Ed, was to pilot-test community-based, citizen-engaged, collective action efforts around promoting healthy living education and environments.

— Place Based Approach PBP

For the first time in recent history, families with individuals from 65 to 105+ years of age will be more prevalent than those with younger children. A tripling of the aging population by 2050 presents opportunities and challenges.

— Later Life Family Issues PBP

The PBPs are proving their worth already — just last week, I used the abstract from one PBP to propose a conference presentation!

I would like to say a big thank you to those who were on the FD Program Business Plan Review Committee: Trina Adler, Laura Bohen, Michael Brott, Mary Caskey, Darlene Collins, Margaret Haggenmiller, Mary Jo Katras, Ryan Johnson, Heather Lee, Mary Marczak, Ellie McCann, Sharon Mulé, Joyce Serido, and Cassie Silveira.

We are continuing conversations with teams to clarify timelines, tasks, and mission support needed to conduct tasks. Thank you so much to those who worked with us to develop a process and template that supports our programmatic and planning needs. As Jamie wrote in January, “We are more powerful together than individually.”

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