The following blog was written by the Community Health Division at Southwestern Public Health. In May 2023 Collective Results had the opportunity to facilitate an in-person workshop with the community health division at Southwestern Public Health. During the COVID-19 pandemic many public health programs were paused to focus almost entirely on the COVID-19 response. The Community Health Division at Southwestern Public Health has an important mandate to work in schools and in the community on many health promotion and prevention areas including mental health and substance use. The purpose of the workshop was to come together as a division for the purpose of connection, collaboration and to establish a shared understanding of how this important work can move forward. Given that many members of the Collective Results team previously came from a career in Public Health, we were so pleased to lead this workshop and support public health planning that positively contributes to the health of our communities.
As we gradually emerge from the pandemic, Southwestern Public Health and the Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention and Healthy Schools teams are moving to a post-pandemic reality that includes a return to ‘routine’ programs and services delivered in a community significantly impacted by the pandemic. A transformative workshop facilitated by Collective Results was held to discuss A Team Approach to Meeting the Needs of the Community. The event's purpose was to re-establish and build connections between staff, clarify the respective roles of the teams in the division, and understand the teams’ perspectives on our divisional goals and priorities. The event’s activities focused on making connections on the team, data storytelling and identifying the key priorities we want to move on together to promote well-being in our community.
Collective Results is known for its expertise in public health, strategic planning, organizational development and change management. Staff at Collective Results demonstrated patience and understanding as we had to adjust the event date several times to accommodate Public Health’s response to the pandemic. They supported us throughout the planning process, developing an agenda, conducting a pre and post-test survey and developing several tools to facilitate the workshops’ activities. They encouraged us to reimagine our priorities and unlock our collective potential through collaborative activities and practical tools that promoted rich and continuous dialogue.
One of the standout aspects of the workshop was the collaborative environment that Collective Results fostered through structured activities drawing on everyone’s diverse experiences and expertise. This included several team-building activities, such as a data storytelling activity where staff could share the findings of their situational assessments and theory of change models, triggering a further discussion on shared priorities. Several icebreakers further complemented this, creating a fun and interactive environment. Overall the activities created a safe space for staff to share their knowledge and empowered others to share their thoughts and experiences on the key priorities in our community. The facilitators skillfully guided the discussions, ensuring everyone could contribute equally while strengthening the team’s unity and collaboration. The divisional workshop facilitated by Collective Results was a success, reconnecting and empowering our team to work together on priorities that will promote well-being in the community.