Board Minutes: April 20, 2011, 11:30 – 1:00 PM

Cowlitz County Community Network
Board Meeting
CWCOG Meeting Room

Present: Ben Harrison, Ray Van Tongeren, Carmella Bender, Frank Hoetker, Cindy Lopez Werth, Sybil Sides, Barbara Skreen, Sharon Weinhold, and special guest Jennifer Leach

Excused: Julia Bishop, Elizabeth Haeck, Ashley Scott

Unexcused:  None

Quorum: Present

Welcome and Introductions:  Ben Harrison, Chairman, welcomed the Board Members and guest, thanked them for their attendance, and asked them to introduce themselves for the record.

Additions to the Agenda:  None

March 16, 2011 Minutes: Motion to approve the minutes: Cindy; Second: Frank. The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

Legislative Update/Status of Network Funding and Biennial Budget:
Laura Porter sent an email outlining many of the efforts completed and ongoing to obtain funding for the Networks. She reported the meeting with the private foundations was very productive and third and fourth follow-up meetings have taken place with several of the potentially largest contributors. She pointed out that these foundations do not want the government to eliminate funding, but want their funds added to public funds for the Community Networks and the new partnership organization.

Both the House and Senate budgets include $500K for completing the Community Initiative. The Senate Budget includes $1.4M for the Networks that must at least be matched by private funders.  With the match, funding for the Networks from July 2011-June 2012 would be $2.8M or more. The next step is for the two houses to conference and work out the differences between the House Budget and the Senate Budget. Board members were asked to write to their Senators and Representatives and urge them to support the Senate Budget and $1.4M for the Networks. Frank asked how $2.8M compared with previous budgets. Sharon responded that it is about equal to our current budget and counties seem to get funded based on population. Ben added that a problem with declining budgets is the administrative cost ceiling. There are certain administrative costs that we must pay: rent, phone, internet, fiscal agent, audit, etc., and they cannot exceed the administrative cost ceiling. He added that the Cowlitz Wahkiakum Council of Governments, fiscal agent and office space provider, has been very fair with our costs.

NWHF Grants:
The Cowlitz Community Network received a small grant from the NWHF of $3,680. The purpose of the grant will be to give 6-10 presentations to the community on the Cowlitz County Health Rankings Report, Washington State Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) data, and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) data, and show how they may be linked. The presentations will be specifically geared to each audience to facilitate conversations and feedback. The Network website will be instrumental in getting the word out about ACEs and continuing the conversations. The grant funds can be used for publicity, handouts, speaker/facilitator fees, feedback surveys, supplies, door prizes and light refreshments. $480 is set aside for administration and fiscal agent fees. In return, the NWHF asks that we build on partnerships, track attendance at each presentation, and document the results of the conversations in pictures and words. The attendees agreed it is important that we do well on this grant to put us in a positive position for the next grant.

Another NWHF/Kaiser Permanente Community Fund grant opportunity was just announced. This grant will support efforts that take a preventative or “upstream” approach to improving community health and health equity. The grant application can either be for Capacity-Building or Implementation. A Capacity Building Grant is appropriate for organizations that need time to develop their partnerships and strategies, are building expertise in the field, and are not yet able to clearly articulate how their work would improve community health and equity. These grants can range up to $50,000 for up to 18 months. An Implementation Grant is appropriate for organizations that are ready to implement a defined plan of action, with a clear expectation of goals and outcomes. These grants can range up to $200,000 for up to three years.

This is the same grant the Network applied for in 2011 and just missed the funding cutoff. Key dates for applying for this grant are: Information Session, April 26 (Vancouver); Intent to Apply, May 16; Letters of Inquiry, June 2; Invitations to submit a full proposal, August 5; and Full proposals, September 9. Final funding decisions will be made in early December.  The Board decided the Network should apply again for a Capacity Building Grant.
Action: Indicate Intent to Apply for Capacity Building Grant. (Sharon)
Action: Convene Committee to help develop Letter of Inquiry. (Sharon/Board Members)
Action: Contact Sasha and determine when she is available to visit and advise on the grant application. (Sharon)

Budget Update:
Sharon discussed the budget, the Board’s previously approved expenditures, and status. The original amount of uncommitted funds was $16,000. This amount was reduced by about $4,500 due to the budget amendment leaving about $11,500. To date, we have obligated $100 for the Week of the Young Child, $3,000 for the Network Website and database, $100 for brochures, $1,200 for the Network laptop and projector; $400 for testimonials; $3,200 for the Strengthening Families Program, $120 for attendance at the grant meeting, and $700 for the Coordinator pay raise., or about $9,000.  That leaves about $2,500 unobligated.
Action: Closely monitor budget expenditures, review budget status at next meeting, and discuss other Network requirements for possible funding if funding remains. (Sharon/Board Members)

Feedback on Events:
Week of the Young Child, 4/11 – 4/16. Carmella and Sharon shared their thoughts about the Thursday evening panel and Saturday conference. Carmella attended the Thursday evening session, and said the panel was good but attendance was light. She said one of the messages she took away was early life experiences change genetics, making early intervention important. Sharon attended the Saturday conference, said the speaker on ACEs was good as were the afternoon workshops, but the conference was not well attended. There were many competing events during the week, including Earth Day, school district training, and youth sports events.

John Reardon, Bullying. Cindy handed out a flyer announcing the Highlands Neighborhood Matters event on Wednesday, April 20, on “How to Deal with Bullying.” The speaker, John Reardon, is a national speaker and educator and author of All-Star Dads and Diamonds will Sparkle. Mr Reardon also will be speaking at the Kiwanis meeting on April 21 and at Kessler Elementary School in the evening. Cindy also had a flyer about the Open House and Grand Opening of the Highlands Community Center Library. Board members were invited to attend these events.

Strengthening Families Program. Sharon gave an update on the Strengthening Families Program. The program is in its 5th week. There is a core of 5-6 families that participate each week. She commented that we are starting to see positive changes in several of the families. Barbara has volunteered for childcare the first four sessions, and has done a remarkable job of finding fun activities for the younger family members. Jennifer noted that this is a difficult time of the year to keep families engaged in the program because of the nicer weather and all of the spring activities being offered. She stated that often the positive impact of the program is seen not only in the families participating, but there is a ripple effect in the school and community.

Youth Suicide Prevention Program. Carmella relayed there was major concern with the 50% cut in the YSPP budget. She mentioned the YSPP panel scheduled for May 10 at the Presbyterian Church on Pennsylvania Avenue. The Network was asked to provide a panel member to speak on ACEs. Ray asked that Board members be reminded of this event closer to May 10.
Action: Send an email in May to the Board members as a reminder of the YSPP event. (Sharon)

Highlands Partners Café. Cindy provided a handout and details of the Highlands Partners Café, which is scheduled for Wednesday, May 4, at the McClellan Arts Center. Cindy said a goal is to get good participation from Highlands residents. The Network would like a table to discuss ACEs. The topic would be “How your childhood affects who you are.” Cindy said she would take the request to the Planning Committee meeting on April 21. Board members were encouraged to participate in the Café.
Action: Follow up with the Café Planning Committee about the Network request for a table, and send an email in May to remind the Board members of the event. (Sharon)

Let’s Draw the Line.
Frank and Ben reported on the Longview/Kelso event. Swanson Bark has provided a blue wall for a mural, and the committee is looking for two other sites for the art competition.
Sharon reported the Kalama/Woodland Draw the Line youth were scheduled to meet on April 20 with the Kalama City Council for pictures. And pictures will be taken at the Substance Abuse Coalition meeting on April 21. Frank added that he and another person did an inventory of establishments selling alcohol in Woodland and Kalama to make sure they complied with the new sign regulations and encouraged them to display the Draw the Line banner.

Frank’s Testimonials.  Frank receives numerous requests for his testimonial on Darby’s Story, and feedback on the testimonials continues to be outstanding. Upcoming testimonials are planned for Woodland High School, Daybreak, and the Juvenile Detention Center.

Ashley’s Project – Adds and Subtracts. Ashley was not available to give an update.
Action: Contact Ashley, check on the status of the Adds and Subtracts project, and ask what the Network can do to help. (Sharon/Ashley)

NWHF Grant Meeting. Sharon reported on the NWHF grant meeting she attended on April 13. New grant recipients were asked to attend the meeting to kick off their grant, meet other grantees, share accomplishments and ideas, and participate in a communications workshop. She discussed an interactive performance called “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Well-Being” about the life of Lillian Wald that was developed with previous NWHF grant funding. It was performed for the first time at the meeting to demonstrate a different form of communication, and there was conversation after the presentation about how Lillian Wald found “upstream ways” to address health issues. It was inspirational and moving and very well done. Performances can be booked for meetings or events. Ben suggested we may want to consider this as part of a future Network event.
Action: Keep the interactive performance in mind as a possible approach for conversations in Cowlitz County. (Sharon)

Coalition and Committee Participation Reports:
– Jennifer said the Teen Leadership Academy Week will be July 11 -15. The focus this year is middle school students, which may have a bigger impact. She also said a decision was made to postpone the Leadership Academy for two years.

– Carmella told the members that Gena James, primary Youth and Family Link Board Member, has decided to stay at home with her new baby. Carmella will take Gena’s place on the Board.  The Board members are happy for Gena and pleased that Carmella will continue as a Board Member.

Minutes Action Items
-Indicate Intent to Apply for Capacity Building Grant. (Sharon)
-Convene Committee to help develop the Letter of Inquiry. (Sharon/Board Members)
-Contact Sasha and determine when she is available to visit and advise on the grant application. (Sharon)
-Closely monitor budget expenditures, review budget status at next meeting, and discuss Network requirements for possible funding if funding remains. (Sharon/Board Members)
-Send an email in May to the Board members as a reminder of the YSPP event. (Sharon)
-Follow up with the Café Planning Committee about the Network request for a table, and send an email in May to remind the Board members of the event. (Sharon)
-Contact Ashley, check on the status of the Adds and Subtracts project, and ask what the Network can do to help. (Sharon/Ashley)
-Keep the interactive performance in mind as a possible approach for conversations in Cowlitz County. (Sharon)

Meeting Adjourned:

Next Meeting May 18, 2011

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