Tuesday, January 07, 2014

13 Highlights of 2013 (Accomplishments of Wilder Research and our partners that make us proud)

Here at Wilder Research, we have focused on improving lives, since 1917. We feel satisfaction every time we see our work has helped a child overcome barriers, an older adult  maintain a dignified standard of living, a family move into stable housing, an individual find a much needed job, and someone resolve mental health problems.

We accomplish these results by collaborating directly with hundreds of nonprofit and government organizations each and every year, on 200+ projects.

Here’s my list of 13 of the contributions we made in partnership with others during the past year, that make me proud to take part in this work:

  • Reports from the Minnesota homeless study which became part of the bedrock for the new state plan for ending homelessness.
  • The new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) section of Minnesota Compass, to improve Minnesota’s human capital and reduce the achievement gap – which launched through collaboration with Boston Scientific and a large network of STEM providers.
  • A new School Readiness Report Card, developed in partnership with the Minnesota Office of Early Learning, to monitor the state’s progress toward the goal that all children are ready for kindergarten by the year 2020.
  • Sponsorship by Senator Chuck Grassley (Republican from Iowa) and Representative AndrĂ© Carson (Democrat from Indiana) of a presentation of our report, Childhood Disrupted, with the Volunteers of America, on mothers in prison, to members of Congress in Washington, D.C.
  • Our collaborative efforts focused on engaging community members and businesses to improve transit – such as our work on the East Side with district councils, the East Side Prosperity Campaign, and the East Side Area Business Association, as well as our joint work with Corridors of Opportunity, intending to enhance transit and economic development.
  • Our study of Saint Paul’s Recycling and Solid Waste Management, commissioned by the city of Saint Paul, which resulted in plans for significant changes to the city’s recycling and waste management programs over the next 2-3 years, such as single sort, expanded plastics recycling, and possibly organics recycling options.
  • A national report, Collaboration to Build Healthier Communities, prepared with the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America – along with a local conference on this topic which featured examples of projects in Minnesota which address social determinants of health.
  • Several initiatives with Blue Cross BlueShield of Minnesota Foundation, which have focused on the social determinants of health – offering insight into how we can promote community health.
  • Indicators projects, such as oneMinneapolis and The Central Corridor Tracker, which have enabled organizations such as The Minneapolis Foundation and the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative to shape strategy, monitor change, and focus attention on community needs.
  • Systems we have developed for measuring collective impact: the Homeless Management Information System that last year involved over 250 service providers and more than 650 end-users throughout the state; the Sprockets database, supported by the Wallace and Kellogg foundations, Youthprise, Greater Twin Cities United Way, and many other partners, which adds value to the network of agencies providing out-of-school time activities for children and youth; the Minnesota Kids database, used to promote children’s mental health.
  • Research and evaluation assistance to educational innovations: Generation Next; Northside Achievement Zone (Promise Neighborhood); and Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood.
  • Demonstration of the economic impact of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.
  • Demonstration, for the Mental Health Crisis Alliance, of the impact of community-based crisis stabilization services on healthcare use.

We invite you to visit our website for more details on these and other activities of Wilder Research.

Looking forward to working together with you in 2014. And wishing you peace in the New Year!

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