Monday, April 15, 2013

Help Me Grow National Forum: Day Two and Three

Thursday, we started early with a networking breakfast.  It was so fun to get to know each other a little better, by dividing up into interest groups.  

For this activity, we played a little game of jenga, stacking blocks and answering the questions that were on them, that went with the group you sat with.  I decided to sit in on Family and Community Outreach, because I feel like that is what I am most involved with.  Other options were, physician outreach, collecting and using data,  or marketing and social media.

In our group, Delaware shared some of their ideas for Family and Community outreach.  They have done an awesome job at creatively getting the word out about Help Me Grow.  Some of them are: Contacting librarians and asking them to display a poster with information, holding a summit for leaders in the community to learn more, and meeting with parent groups to share information.  Right from the start, they had great support from many leaders and physicians in the community.

Great work!

Our Key note speaker was Kerry Patterson, author of Influencer, Crucial Conversations, Crucial Confrontations and more!  

He was absolutely unbelievable!  I took pages of notes, although I don't think you want to hear it all here.  He is actually retired, but agreed to come and speak to us because he believes in what Help Me Grow is, and because is friends with Bill Hulterstrom, C.E.O. of United Way of Utah County.  

I want to personally thank Bill for being the kind of leader that works hard and excels at what he does, and his talent in strategically bringing in other people and trusting them to perform in the areas they focus on.  Because of this, United Way of Utah County, has been a shining example in the community of collaboration and accomplishment.  

Kerry Patterson was engaging, funny, full of facts, and informational.  He kept us on our toes with group questions to figure out at our own tables, and then jokingly let us know why we were wrong.  

He shared that 85% of corporate change efforts fail.
19 out of 20 diet attempts fail
and, 2 out of 3 criminals are rearrested within 3 years.

He stated, "These are overwhelming problems and we have to find a way to overwhelm them back."  He focused on his book Influencer, because we all need to understand how to evoke change within ourselves and others.  The bottom line is that we need to focus on feelings, and how to understand them well enough to encourage people to want to change.  It's not enough for us to "write them a strongly worded memo".  

I would encourage anyone to read this book.  It will help in family, business, community, and anywhere else we need to focus on change, which is everywhere!

Deborah Weiss spoke to us about the HMG Utah Data System, and walked us through each of the options we have decided to use, and why.  It is unbelievable the kind of work and talent that Bruce Brereton has given to us and the children of Utah, by developing the program.  We couldn't be more grateful for him. Thank you!

Some of the fun technology HMG Utah decided to use during this conference, was a text cloud.  Each morning, Deborah would ask a question to the group - and as responses came in on text they would show up on a screen in front of the room.  For example, the first questions he asked was, "Why are you involved with HMG?"  and we had answers and words text in such as, families, children, etc.  The next morning this word cloud became our centerpieces on our tables, such as the one pictured below.

For participating, they were given a cell phone  stand with the HMG logo on it.

We also participated in regional meetings, lunch - of course, and heard information on the efficacy study and policy implications.  Marcia Hughes, Kareena DuPlessis, and Paul Dworkin shared some wonderful updates.  There is so much work that goes on behind the scenes to make sure HMG has studies done, so we can see the actual affect it is having.  It's easy to say that it is making a difference, but it is important for law makers and supporters to be able to see the actual data.

Dr. Paul Dworkin, pictured below on the left, is a brilliant man.  He founded Help Me Grow in Connecticut, and has worked tirelessly to make it available to everyone.  He is also one of the most understanding, pleasant people I have ever met.  He appreciates all input, and works hard to find answers for all involved.  

Visit the Help Me Grow National website HERE to learn more about him, and his amazing work!

Thursday night, we had the Help Me Grow Utah reception.  We were honored to hear Dr. Dworkin and the first lady of Utah, Jeanette Herbert speak.  They were both wonderful!  You can read more about Jeanette HERE.  Jeanette has always worked with children, and served in the community.  We are so grateful to her for taking time out of her busy schedule, to speak to us.  

The picture above is when Barbara Leavitt, asked Jon and I to come to the front, and thanked my husband us for helping out where we could.  We have watched HMG -grow- for the last several years.  We have always believed in the program, and that Utah needed it.  We have been only a small part of many hours devoted to the program.  

Barbara Leavitt actually found HMG online, and did everything in her power to bring it to Utah, because she saw the potential.  (yes, I get the last word because I am writing the blog post) She has been devoted and tireless in bringing this to fruition, because she loves families and children.  Bill has supported her, and has also seen her vision and let her lead the way.  Thank you Bill, thank you Barbara, thank you Jon, and a HUGE thanks to EVERYONE that has had a part in HMG.  Robin Lindsay has stood by Barbara's side from the beginning as well, in being the pediatric outreach manager.  The staff at United Way of Utah County has given everything they have to supporting this cause, and Women in Philanthropy, led by Karen Hill, has devoted time and resources as well, to help fund it.  I am sure there are many more that I am not listing here.  Thank you.

In the end, Barbara thanked the HMG National team for all of their work and devotion to the cause.  Without them, none of us could bring their ideas into our own areas of the country.  I cannot imagine leading this work, and the hours it must take.  

Thank you Dr. Paul Dworking, Joanna Bogin, Elsa Jones and Sara Sibley!

As we mingled, we enjoyed the view from the Wells Fargo Tower in Provo, Utah.  We also enjoyed the tasty food donated and catered by Mary Crafts, a personal friend and mentor.  

Thank you to everyone who chipped in and helped!  I understand I will not be able to mention everyone, and I apologize.  If I forgot you, please comment below, letting us know what you did!

A big thank you to Deborah Weiss, pictured above  - for being so devoted and supportive.  Help Me Grow would not be the same without you!  I'd also like to thank Harper Randall, M.D. for being our Help Me Grow Pediatric Champion!

Friday Morning, everyone was back at it!  
HMG Utah had a tour of their call center and how things are run, a networking breakfast and talk about the next steps for National and Affiliates.  Dr. Paul Dworkin also spoke on policy implications and wrapped up with reflections on the forum.  

Dr. Dworkin is a fabulous speaker as well.  The amount of information he holds in that brain of his, is unbelievable to me (can I say that on here? :)  I have heard him speak many times now, at least ten, and ALWAYS learn something from him.  He never gives the same speech twice, and is always interesting to listen to.  The man is talented.

Eventually, everyone had to leave and fly back home to wherever they came from.  Many friendships have been made, and I have no doubt that with the kind of people I met over the past few days, that we will do exactly what Kerry Patterson recommended, deal with the overwhelming problems in our community and families, by overwhelming them back!

Thanks for visiting Utah!  
I look forward to visiting HMG Florida next year for the next event!

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