MPH 610 AU Week 5 Professional Communication Discussion

Reply 1

Responding to a funder’s decision.

If the results are positive and we receive the grant, as the grant writer, I would call the funding organization to say thank you on the day we received the notification. During this phone call, I would also confirm the cadence of my follow-up communication, depending on the length of the program or the funder’s preference. I would also inquire about the funder’s preferred method of communication (phone call or e-mail). I would follow up my phone call with an e-mail providing the funder with the stakeholder meeting schedule and call-in information.

If we don’t get the grant, I would call the organization to thank them for their consideration and time. I would also ask them for feedback on our grant proposal. My team and I would reflect on their feedback and incorporate it into future grant requests.

Managing a site visit

Getting news about a site visit sounds almost as nerve-wracking as getting news that your organization will be audited. To prepare for a site visit from our funding agency, I would follow the recommendations provided by the grant management software company, eCivis. This organization provides fives tips to help grantees prepare. The first is to find out the purpose of the visit. This would allow me to prepare for a successful visit. Asking about who is coming, who they want to talk to, what type, if any, documentation they want to review are critical pieces of information I would get from the funding agency. Secondly, eCivis recommends notifying everyone involved to ensure everyone is on the same page and can answer the site visitor’s questions. eCivis further recommends the grantee reviews and organizes well for a visit. I would gather all the requested documentation ahead of time and organize it to be easy to follow. If I had to produce a lot of information, I would create a roadmap to guide the reviewer through the information. The fourth tip given is to create an agenda for a visit. I would present it to the site visitor initially and ask for their input. My team and I would be flexible to the visitor’s feedback. Lastly, eCivis recommends helping with logistics, such as transportation arrangements from the main sites to a field site. I would make myself available during the entire site visit. To ensure proper coverage, a second person would be available if I needed to step away for some time.

Reference

eCivis. (2012, June 25). Grants management: Tips for preparing for a site visit. https://www.ecivis.com/blog/bid/106660/grants-management-tips-for-preparing-for-a-site-visit (Links to an external site.)

Reply 2

After submitting the program proposal all of the work is not completed. First the organization needs to seek a follow up on the proposal so that it is not left to be “forgotten”. Three to five business days after the proposal is submitted members of the organization should reach out regarding the proposal submitted. During the follow up questions that will be asked will include topics such as: “Is there any portion of the proposal that needs clarification?”, “Is the budget of the proposal manageable?”, “Does the specific program align with the directions and needs of the community in a way that helps ensure its implementation?”. These questions are meant to get insightful feedback on the proposal that can help the organization make adjustments where necessary in order to see the program implemented. The follow up will also be able to give the organization a better idea of what needs to happen next and a possible timeline for the beginning of the program. After having a follow up on the proposal it is necessary for the organization to keep current and potential funders informed on the program’s timeline. The organization members that originally reached out to these funders will be responsible for keeping the funder informed on new funders, program changes, timeline changes etc. These organization members will ensure that the current funders are feeling comfortable with the program’s progress and happy with their decision to continue funding the project.

Reply 3

This process of writing a proposal for me has had a few difficult parts for me. When I initially chose the topic of preterm birth it was because I am pregnant and wanted to do something related to pregnancy. However the topic chose to be a challenge in itself as there is no one, or even a few causes of preterm birth that are known. The most we know is factors increasing the risk of preterm births. This means that the only thing public health officials can do at this time is battle those risk factors in effort to reduce the rate of preterm births. One of the biggest complications this presents in my project proposal is being able to determine the success of my program. It will be hard to prove statistically that any change in the rate of preterm births is due to the program itself. As the change could be due to an outside environmental factor that the study doesn’t account for. This also means that the statistical integrity of the program will be difficult to prove. However the study will be able to easily prove statistically that there was a change in the rate of prenatal care in the St. Louis area. I also struggled with the budget proposals because I am not a fantastic financial planner for myself and researching possible sources of income was difficult. I would say that the budget was the most difficult. I learned a lot about the importance of careful topic selection, as having a topic that is too broad, or too new to the health world can lead to complications that I discussed in the beginning of my post. I think although the budget planning is the most difficult aspect, I think it will be the most useful on a day to day basis in both my personal and professional life. As I get ready for another move and a new baby budgeting will be a must until we are settled into our new homes. Professionally I want to be a general dentist that plays an active role in improving the overall health of my community and that means understanding how these programs work if I want to eventually be planning them for real.

Reply 4

Writing the proposal to help the homeless was difficult because there has to be an involvement of several organizations. There are many complex problems cause homelessness. They have no money, mental health issues, addictions, no health insurance, and no place to go. The budget had to include an expense to pass out supplies that might not help me reach my goal of helping the homeless community. It would be a gamble. Gaining their confidence was necessary to offer help; this is why I thought that approaching the homeless with some supplies would help me gain their trust. I believe that it is essential to come to them with respect and kindness. Talk to them about the government programs available to help them find a house and later a job. Most importantly, to have the tools to help them apply for the programs.

I found the online mapping help me with brainstorming, and I thought that the best way to help the homeless would prevent it in the first place. I wanted to write a proposal to help the homeless and help the families on the path of becoming homeless. I became too ambitious and developed a proposal for two projects. This idea made a lot of sense to me. Helping families struggling to stay in their homes in the first place would be more productive than waiting until they were living on the streets. I believe that private donations would be easier to obtain to help families at risk of losing their homes.

This assignment provided me with an insight into how many programs are available and already in place to help people. I think that it is not easy to apply. The websites are confusing, and you need a computer to apply online. That is why I felt that I should also include the Ipads and have the right tools to provide computer access to the homeless as part of my budget.

Boote, J. D., Twiddy, M., Baird, W., Birks, Y., Clarke, C., & Beever, D. (2015). Supporting public involvement in research design and grant development: a case study of a public involvement award scheme managed by a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research Design Service (RDS). Health Expectations, 18(5), 1481–1493. https://doi-org.proxlibrary.ashford.edu/10.1111/hex.12130 (Links to an external site

Reply 5

Although it’s been challenging at times, I’ve found the process of writing the program proposal a good educational experience. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the creative aspect of developing a program and finding ways to fund it. I’ve been able to incorporate some of my work experience into these two areas. For example, in the past, I’ve coordinated and facilitated health education programs. I used my experience with class logistics to determine the items and activities to include in my budget proposal. In terms of funding, in the past, I’ve had to be creative in looking for donations for my organization’s activities, such as health fairs.

I really appreciated the exposure to the mind mapping programs. Although the functionality of the free version of the programs was a bit rudimentary, in general, I found it very helpful with brainstorming. I’ve bookmarked the program on my work computer because I plan to use it for brainstorming sessions.
Overall, writing the proposal in sections over the last few weeks helped me incorporate my new knowledge about program development and build new skills at an appropriate pace. The budget proposal was the most challenging, yet I gained the most skills in this area. I found myself revising it several times as I identified additional needs or activities that I needed to account for in my proposal. The calculations were quite time-consuming since I had to account for several variables. Thus, writing a budget proposal is the most useful skill I’ll take from this course. I also discovered that I should have developed my program on a smaller scale, perhaps as a pilot. It would be easier to secure funding to scale it if it was successful because I could present my positive results.

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