Point of View: Now the real work begins

Have you ever worked diligently toward a goal only to find the “real work” on the other side?

When I was a nursing student working toward achieving my BSN degree, the licensure exam felt like the peak of the mountain, the summit I had been aiming for. I thought that once I passed the exam, it would be a downhill coast into the rest of my career.

Instead, I quickly discovered that the “real work” would begin when I stepped onto the floor as a fresh, wide-eyed registered nurse on a Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation unit. The pre-work to becoming a registered nurse was necessary and helpful, but the real work began once I started actually doing the job.

Similarly, completing the 2023 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) took a tremendous amount of effort from stakeholders across the southern Kenai Peninsula. The results and data from this assessment are extremely useful on their own, but the “real work” begins when we put the data into action.

In the public health world, this process is called a community health improvement plan.

During this step of the process, working groups are formed to take the strategic issues found in the data (in this case, housing and communication) and formulate goals, strategies and an action plan related to those issues. The result is the development and adoption of a plan of action including activities, time frames, responsible parties and performance measures.

MAPP has two new working groups that are beginning to create action plans focused on 1) housing solutions for the southern peninsula and 2) communication and information solutions for the southern peninsula.

These groups began meeting the first week of January and will continue to meet once a month until a plan is developed and implemented.

The real work is just beginning — and there is still time to join the efforts! If you have any interest, experience, or ideas for solutions to housing and/or communication and information distribution for the southern peninsula, please consider joining a work group (see meeting details below). For further information, email mappofskp@gmail.com.

MAPP Housing Workgroup Meeting

Next In-Person Meeting: Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 1-2:30 p.m. at Kachemak Bay Campus

Zoom Option Available: Meeting ID: 830 2566 8172 Invite Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83025668172

MAPP Communication Workgroup Meeting

Next in-person meeting: Thursday, Feb. 1 at 9-10:30 a.m. at Kachemak Bay Campus

Zoom Option Available Meeting ID: 815 8103 4075 Invite Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81581034075

Mary Darbonne is a local Homer resident and registered nurse with a background in inpatient nursing and public health nursing. She is currently supporting various community projects for Elemental Consulting, LLC, the coordinator for MAPP.

MAPP, Mobilizing for Action through Planning & Partnerships, is a local coalition that aims to use and build upon our strengths to improve our individual, family and community health. Health is defined broadly to include cultural, economic, environmental, intellectual, mental, physical and spiritual health.