III. Strategies for Success

For individuals choosing to take this incredible journey, the path may, at times, be difficult. Fortunately, others have journeyed down similar paths and have found strategies that worked. The following pages are intended to help smooth over difficult issues from different perspectives. Good luck on your journey!

Strategies for Success: Community Members

How to get started:
  • Talk to your neighbors, civic leaders, elected officials, and others to see which issues they feel are most pressing and who they feel would be most interested in helping. 
  • Call your appropriate local officials and ask for information about initiatives or activities that are already under way in your community. 
  • Pick up the business section of the phone book and call the outreach officers of local care agencies to help you get your ideas going.

Don't be afraid to:

  • Get to know the people around you.
  • Ask local business and government employees to participate.

Resources (where to get more help):

To find people in your community who can help, try...

  • The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) of your children's school.
  • The local Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, Boys' and Girls' Clubs, neighborhood association, religious group, university or community health clinic, or local community health services office.
  • Nonprofit organizations concerned with the issues facing your community.


Strategies for Success: Health Professionals

How to get started:
  • Speak with your patients about forming local groups to target problems that you think are important in your community.
  • Use your professional contacts, such as medical societies or professional associations, to find other health professionals concerned about improving the health of your community.
  • Contact other health professionals (such as physician assistants, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, dietitians) and the nearest health department about ways in which you can lend support to community-based health issues.
  • Speak to the media, local civic groups, religious organizations, and other concerned citizens about issues that may be important in your community.

image of playground

Don't be afraid to:

  • Carry the themes of your patients' problems over to your coalition work.

Resources (where to get more help):

  • healthfinder®  Web site - the Federal gateway to health information (www.healthfinder.gov).
  • Your local medical school/college or public health library.
  • Hospital research resources.
  • National, State, and local medical associations.
  • Local health department.


Strategies for Success:
Local Government and University Partners

How to get started:image of school
  • Call neighborhood association members or civic groups (for example, Boy and Girl Scouts, Kiwanis) and ask them to sit in on meetings to find out what's important in your community.
  • Go to the local schools and religious institutions to find out if anyone is working with your community on important public health issues.
  • Ask within your department/office/workplace if any of your colleagues are already working to help address issues in your community.

Don't be afraid to:

  • Be explicit about the commitments you can make and those you can't.
  • Listen and act on the basis of community concerns.
  • Explain to the community partners the role of your expertise in the overall process.

Resources (where to get more help):

  • healthfinder® Web site - the Federal gateway to health information (www.healthfinder.gov).
  • Nonprofit organizations concerned with the issues facing your community.
  • The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) of your children's school.
  • References and Resources.

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