June 7th Call for Community Solutions: Defining and Practicing Wellness & Resilience

by | June 7, 2021 | News, Past Events | 1 comment

“The practices in our system are traditional. They have not evolved to meet the challenges of the 21st-century global economy.”

Fred Brown, President and CEO of The Forbes Funds

The Forbes Funds was joined by special guest, Michele Tedder of the Health Professions Opportunity Grant that recruits and trains students in various health professions at Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC). A recording of this call can be accessed at this link.

Wellness and Resilience at home and at the workplace

In her informative talk, Michele Tedder discussed the importance of wellness and resilience for individuals, teams, and organizations. Their importance and need have only been underscored with the arrival of the pandemic, which has placed enormous pressure on individuals both at home and at the workplace. So what is wellness?

The Wellness Wheel that emphasizes social, career, financial, physical, family, spiritual, and emotional wellbeing.

Michele Tedder defines wellness as “the acts of practicing healthy habits on a daily basis to attain better physical and health outcomes, so instead of just surviving, you’re thriving.” She breaks it down further with a wellness wheel that highlights the different facets of what comprises wellness for an individual. Michele emphasized how if one aspect is out of balance, they all become unbalanced. Moreover, she observed the great impact that the pandemic had on people’s well-being. Still, she noted that it provided a silver lining for individuals developing and formulating healthy habits post-pandemic. So what is resilience?

The traits that help define what is resilience slide.

Michele defines resilience as the ability to bounce back from setbacks and thrive in times of crisis, such as personal or at work. She emphasized that it is a learnable practice based on an individual’s behavior, thought, and practice & it can be intentionally developed. Michele showed a short video to stress her point and highlighted different strategies to build our “resilience muscles,” like meditation.

Michele then dug deeper and explored the 4 S’s or building blocks of resilience. The first was self-awareness, which highlighted a conscious awareness of previous strategies to overcome adversity. The second was strategy, or the specific tools deployed to overcome negative feelings that helped one survive challenging times. The third was support or the people such as friends, family, leaders, support groups an individual could rely on. The final one was solution-seeking behavior, such as problem-solving strategies, learning new skills, or the ability to ask for help. Collectively, Michele said these are the core components of building our resiliency muscles. So, how do wellness and resilience connect with teams and organizations?

Michele discussed the characteristics of resilient teams, which placed great weight on connection, communication, common ground, and collaboration. She said that teams needed to have a sense of community that promotes clear communication and fostered a sense of shared destiny.

Scaling upwards, the attributes of a resilient organization builds on the team. It comprises preparedness, adaptability, collaboration, trust, and responsibility. Michele foregrounded an organization’s willingness to reevaluate practices and to pivot when necessary & not get stuck in office tradition.

This slide discusses developing a wellness playbook that asses, prioritizes, and plans for a viable wellness strategy.

Since resilience and wellness are intimately connected, Michele said that individuals, teams, and organizations should develop a Wellness Playbook. This practice would help in assessing, prioritizing, and planning strategies and goals both at home at the workplace to promote wellness and thus resilience while also building important social connections necessary for both.

If one is interested in building their organizational, team, or personal wellness strategy to please contact Michele. They can do so by phone: 412-983-7661 or by email: nursetedder@gmail.com. You can also follow her on Instagram @coach_tedder. The talk was followed by a brief question and answer session and breakout.

In order to promote wellness adoption in a organization, it is important to identify the individual who champions wellness in the organization and work with them to start the conversation.

Public Policy Updates with Colleen Young

PA Budget Update

The budget proposal from state lawmakers is expected to be announced as early as next week. However, despite a budget surplus of $3 billion and an infusion of $7.3 billion from the American Rescue Plan (ARP), little additional spending is expected to be seen in the near future.

Republicans who control the PA House and Senate do not hear a sense of urgency to spend the money from their local constituents. Rather, the money will be saved to “fill in” future budget gaps and rainy day expenses.

Colleen encouraged local and state-wide nonprofits to create a sense of urgency with local lawmakers. They can do so by sharing impactful stories of the current crisis and the need for dollars into the economy right now. For more information on how to do so, please follow this link.

PA Nonprofit Data Points

PA Nonprofit Data Points to be used in discussion with state lawmakers

Colleen shared data points compiled by the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO). The information stresses the importance of the nonprofit sector in the PA economy and the great need for nonprofits for state spending to continue their mission.

Minimum Wage Research Update

The Keystone Research Group conducted research on who would benefit from a $15 minimum wage and the main takeaways were:

  • 62% are women
  • 76% are age 20 or older
  • 27% are age 40 or older
  • 13% are age 55 or older
  • 38% are working full time
  • 22% are parents

The data disputes the stereotypical notion that the primary beneficiaries of a wage increase are merely teenagers. Therefore, Governor Tom Wolf’s proposal to raise the minimum wage would directly impact 1.1 million workers and would add $4.4 billion dollars into the PA economy.

Broadband Update

The Unserved-High Speed Broadband Funding Program has 5 million dollars available for broadband projects. Nongovernment entities can apply for grants for projects that offer high-speed internet to unserved areas of the state. For more information on grants, please follow this link.

Congressman Mike Doyle who is leading efforts Federal broadband expansion efforts has called on President Biden support plan to bring high-speed internet to under-served areas to aid in the infrastructural transition to 5G. For more information, please follow this link.

Covid Update

The overall number of Covid-19 cases statewide is trending thanks to local vaccination efforts downwards. However, in a recent CDC study, the number of teen infection rates and hospitalization has, in fact, increased while rates among older population groups have stabilized. Therefore teens are advised to get vaccinated. For more information, please follow this link.

There still remains a racial disparity when it comes to vaccination rates. For more information, please follow this link.

Black Equity Coalition

The slide describes the work of the Black Equity Coalition which is conducing a Covid-19 study on Allegheny County's African American population.

The Black Equity Coalition (BEC) is an organization that compromises community leaders, researchers, nonprofits, epidemiologists, and business leaders with a focus on Covid-19. However, the organization quickly realized the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on the health, well-being, and economic stability of people of color. It highlighted the need to address institutional racism and structural impediments that continue to plague Black, undervalued and underserved communities.

Academy for Cause and Community Engagement Leadership (ACCEL)

ACCEL Fundamentals and Advanced ACCEL Application slide.

Maria Paula Quintero announced that ACCEL Fundamentals and Advanced ACCEL applications are open with a 1 July deadline. Nonprofits interested in boosting their marketing & communication skills and creating better fundraising plans should take these courses. For more information about signing up, please follow this link.

Innovation Lab and Equity Hackathon

TFF Innovation Lab and Equity Hackathon last call for applications.

The Innovation Lab is still looking for potential participants to brainstorm innovative solutions to existing challenges and to advance equity in the Southwestern Pennsylvania region. For more information on how to sign up, please follow this link.

“At this moment, how come we are not imaging a reality that works for everybody?”

Fred Brown, President and CEO of The Forbes Funds

Future Events

You can register for future Community Solutions Calls and programming by The Forbes Funds at this link. See you at the next Community Solutions Call or a number of our upcoming events here!

1 Comment
  1. Ali Jaffar

    This was a great Community Solution on mental health and wellness. I walked away with lots of great, tangible action items towards developing my own Wellness Plan for myself and my team. In addition, the research and numbers from Colleen at GPNP with the policy updates were informative in learning about the strength and size of the workforce of the nonprofit sector in Pennsylvania, which comprises 1/6th of the GDP of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

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