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Municipal News

 Taking Action for Healthy Communities will serve to inform the decision-making process on grant-making and community initiatives by Jefferson Regional Foundation, a South Hills-based grantmaker.

Jefferson Forum
Real-time polling conducted at the 3rd Annual Jefferson Forum:

The recent daylong conference, held May 10 at the Crowne Plaza South, attracted a capacity crowd of 250 participants interested in improving community health in the South Hills and lower Mon Valley.

Throughout the Forum, participants sent text messages by phone and saw the live polling results while selecting the top three issues on which they would be most excited to work together in the Jefferson area. They voted from a list of issues that included: diversity and inclusion, behavioral health, health equity, food access, workforce issues, and youth development. Three key capacity-building strategies also were identified, including: shared service opportunities, resident engagement, and organizational capacity development.

The Jefferson Regional Foundation has awarded more than $5 million in local grants since 2014 with a focus on increasing health access and prevention, improving outcomes for children and families, and strengthening vulnerable populations and communities.

In addition to live polling, other highlights of this year’s forum included: keynote speaker Gisele Fetterman, founder of the Free Store in Braddock; a Big Idea Poster Fair highlighting exemplary local projects and practices; and the real-time creation of a mural “Good Things Happening in the Jefferson Area” by Emily Marko based on ideas shared by participants.

The day also featured eight highly rated workshops led by experts and local practitioners with sessions titled: Storytelling for Change, Creative Development Strategies, Understanding and Addressing Mental Health, A Creative Model for Community Impact, Strategies for Engaging Diverse Communities, Self-Care for Change Work, Building Community Engagement, and Using Technology for Results.

“I am always impressed by the partnerships and projects that develop as a result of the forum,” said Mary Phan-Gruber, Jefferson Foundation Executive Director. “People continually indicate that networking is a valued opportunity at the event.” Lou Ann Jeremko, Executive Director of the Consumer Health Coalition rates the forum highly, stating, “This is truly one of the best conferences that I attend each year—the networking and commonalities are priceless.”

The Jefferson Forum and Jefferson Community Collaborative are hosted by the Foundation as part of its commitment to convening and information-sharing for the well-being of its 30 target communities. For more information about grant-making guidelines, the Jefferson Community Collaborative, and other activities of the Foundation, visit www.jeffersonrf.org or contact the Foundation at 412-267-6770.

Jefferson Forum.jpg – The 3rd Annual Jefferson Forum brought together a crowd of 250 people with a vested interest in community improvement.

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