Hi, my name is Kathy Comeau
As Program Director for Better Brodhead, my day starts before I get to the office. While sipping on my morning coffee, I look through emails to see if anything needs to be addressed immediately. Then I check the google calendar for my schedule to prepare for meetings I have as well as checking staff schedules to see who is working and what they are working on.
Driving to work takes 10-15 minutes and I sometimes use this time to prioritize tasks for the day. Once at work, in addition to monitoring the progress of our action plan and troubleshooting any challenges that staff have, I update the budget of each grant we have, oversee the data that staff log from activities completed, and keep SWCAP and the Executive Committee of the Better Brodhead board up to date on our work.
Since COVID 19 caused us to work and engage with the community differently, I began writing a quarterly newsletter as an insert into the Independent Register. The date of publication is determined through collaboration with the Independent Register and the Register Print Center. The current newsletter has been submitted for printing. I monitor progress to make sure we meet the deadline for publication. In addition, I write a monthly e-newsletter that is sent out via email and published on the Better Brodhead website. The e- newsletter highlights upcoming activities/events, and the work staff does.
Something that I keep in mind throughout the work I do is sustainability of the coalition after the grants end. One thing that I have decided to promote is training for board members. With board members who are well versed in prevention efforts, the coalition would eventually be able to continue even without paid staff. Recently three board members went to Washington DC for a leadership forum. The agenda for tomorrow evenings coalition meeting includes a report out from each of them on things they learned.
Another opportunity presented itself recently. Better Brodhead was invited to participate in a pilot project to see how coalitions could help address Opioid Use Disorder. There is a opioid crisis in the county, causing many people to struggle with addiction. This project if successful this year, could lead to some additional funding next year for the coalition. Currently in this pilot project, I am collecting data from government sources. I have been emailing people to schedule key informant interviews that will add qualitative information to the data collected. The assessment of data collected will be used to develop a logic model in April. I will meet with staff and any interested coalition members to go over the data and come up with a plan to reflect the needs of the community.
I schedule staff meetings for once a week so that each staff member can talk about what they are working on and coordinating with each other any work on joint projects. This is also a time when we can brainstorm ideas for new activities, and iron out some loose ends. In addition to staff meeting, I also meet with each staff person once a month to discuss progress, any challenges to the completion of activities, and any opportunities to enhance the work under each grant.
Monitoring daily work tasks, overseeing the progress of each grant action plan, supporting staff, maintaining an updated budget, report writing, connecting with current and potential coalition partners, while following a timeline of tasks to meet Federal and State deadlines is all in a day’s work.
-Thanks for reading-