CIM class asks: how should we think about community data?

community issues management CIMUnited Way’s partnership with Community Issues Management (CIM) gives our region a valuable community tool. CIM’s influence is growing as more people in the Mid-South receive training on what is becoming one of the largest data gathering software mechanisms for health and human service community issues.

Phyllis G. Betts, Director, Center for Community Building and Neighborhood Action (CBANA)

“How should we think about the data?” That was the question Phyllis G. Betts, Director, Center for Community Building and Neighborhood Action (CBANA) and a leader in our local CIM movement, asked a classroom of professionals from the health care field, nonprofits and the corporate sector. The class was held earlier this month at the University of Memphis South Campus. In addition to training, the group also examined the basic drivers for health and health care outcomes in Memphis.

“CIM puts us in a better position to use the data in a practical way. Writing a grant, for example, is a practical way. Grantors always ask for data. The better you can frame the data, the better the position you are going to be in to receive the grant. We are very much focused on data-driven interventions here,” Betts said.

The class explored several CIM-related topics including critical sources of health, health care and risk factors data, and key findings for Shelby County so  grantors and grantees can make a more powerful and collective impact on local issues and challenges.

“We all have different technological ways to access data, but sometimes they are no better than a filing cabinet,” Betts said. “You have a piece here, a piece there, etc. With CIM we are trying to transform the data into more usable information. We must move on from the filing cabinet, put the data together and decide what to do.”

CIM is transforming the way people read statistics and maps as well. The class explored ways to examine specific problems in our community with action steps.

For more information about CIM and how it is involved in our community with United Way, please visit here . To visit the CIM webpage itself, visit www.cim-network.org

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