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On this paper we will review the formation of injury prevention coalition in Lincoln state. We will look at the ideal size, effects and impacts, member recruiting process, expectations, advantages and disadvantages of decision making, evaluation, resource management, leadership and organization of Lincoln State Injury Coalition (LSIC).
A coalition should be formed in Lincoln state to successfully tackle mortality rates attributed to injury, which is the fourth leading cause of death of Lincoln resident before age 65 (Turnock, 2009). The focus of LSIC should include primary functions like service delivery, planning and policy development, surveillance and assessment, and education and outreach in the community structures and program. LSIC should have a diverse group of participants with different skills set e.g. planning, project management, grant writing, decision making, communication etc; each member can contribute their particular expertise or resources to facilitate activities. LSIC can address community health hazard concerns while empowering or developing capacities.
LSIC can also solve or improve the problem of high mortality rates attributed to injury by focusing on the risk groups and they can better coordinate services and improve working relationship among organizations. LSIC success is based on its members, recruiting the right member and their retention can make or break the coalition. Members also have to be active participants, communicate effectively amongst the group, mutually agree upon and recognized governance system, ability to recognize and deal with conflicts (Brownson, Baker & Novick, 1999). LSIC may also experience potential drawbacks like, a “slow, consensus-building process for decision making resulting in a weakened position on some issues and differences among the organizations that comprise the coalition may prevent it from taking strong stands on particular matters or moving as quickly as desired (http://www.cwru.edu, 1999). The LSIC and the State Health Department can further decrease mortality rates attributed to motor-vehicle crashes in Lincoln by setting goals and measuring its long term effects in order to measure success.
They should also set and regulate standards for motor vehicles and highways (Turnock, 2009). LSIC is operating on a $100,000 budget, since human labor is the most budget consuming we would have to work with a small group. We might also try recruiting volunteers and compliment them with small incentives. We could also have the health department fund staffing, if the resources are available, which would save the coalition money and in turn create more resources. The media, law enforcement agency, diverse religious organizations, healthcare professionals, substance abuse program organizations, volunteer groups, government agencies, and schools would be invited to the meeting. Recruiting members who have access to bringing in additional funds, individuals who share the same vision and want to institute change, individuals from various cultures and various social classes would also prove beneficial.
Each member must have a defined role, rights and responsibility; these individuals or organizations must also be residents of Lincoln state. The members can represent organizations and individual leadership as long as each individual is assigned role and responsibility (http://www.wch.uhs.wisc.edu). Business organizations or individuals who try to promote their businesses for self gain would probably be avoided. Once the structure of the coalition has been established a committee or board advisory should be elected from the coalition members to take charge. A director or coordinator may also be hired to facilitate the process, this individual should have experience with grassroots community development and posses the ability to motive and inspire its members, demonstrate initiative and drive, possesses knowledge and enthusiasm, good communicator and good organizer.
The Lincoln State Department of Public Health (LSDPH) would be encouraged to be involved due to their expertise and available resources (Brownson, Baker & Novick, 1999). Access to available resource either financial or informational proves vital, so LSDPH should also serve as coalition members. The involvement of the LSDPH may also make the coalition more attractive and credible thereby increasing interest of its members. Clearly stating each members role is crucial, a decision making body should be chosen and these members should make formal decisions relating to injury preventive intervention. Members of the coalition should voice their concerns and issues during meeting.
The decision body can then make decisions on mandatory safety seats for adults (passengers and drivers) and baby passengers and alcohol impairment. Once these decisions have been made the committees can then vote and pass their vote onto the LSDPH. The decision making process could be time consuming and potentially drawback the coalition’s success. Better decisions are made using this style of decision making process and therefore increase the morale of the group ultimately leading to success. The location of the coalition meeting should be easily accessible and close to the LSDPH which lies in the heart of the city. The coalition can be evaluated by using self assessment tools e.g. surveys, for its members. They can evaluate their leaders, committee members, staff, decision process and implementations.
Brownson, Ross C., Baker, Elizabeth A., Novick, Lloyd F. (1999) Community-based prevention: programs that work Gaithersburg, Md.: Aspen Publishers. Turnock, Bernard J. (2009). Public Health: What It Is and How It Works. Public Heath Spotlight on Injury Prevention (pp. 401-411) Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers. “ORGANIZING A COMMUNITY HEALTH ADVOCACY COALITION.” Oct. 1999. 9 Nov. 2012. <http://www.cwru.edu/med/epidbio/mphp439/Community_Health_Coalition.htm>. “Coalition Building.” Wisconsin Clearinghouse for Prevention Resources. 9 Nov. 2012. <http://wch.uhs.wisc.edu/01-Prevention/01-Prev-Coalition.html>.