By Jamie Elliott Cousins
“Every new beginning comes for some other beginning’s end.”
– Lucius Annaeus Seneca
We begin with thanks. Thanks to the communities we’ve had the honor to work with over the past six years to make changes for health. Thanks to the statewide and regional partners who have worked alongside us and taught us. Thanks to the organizations who hosted our program and our local Catalyst Coordinators. And thanks to the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust which provided funding for the Catalyst.
In our final months, the Catalyst program maintained a clear focus on three objectives.
- Wherever possible, we worked to connect our communities with other technical assistance to support them moving forward.
- We spent time sharing what we’ve learned through presentations, a webinar, these blog posts, and more. For example, the Catalyst team presented insights on a webinar for local health departments across North Carolina, and we gave presentations at the Southern Obesity Summit in West Virginia in October.
- And we made time to celebrate accomplishments with the communities, our host organizations, and our partners. This is, after all, an important piece of acknowledging progress and building momentum.
The Catalyst Coordinators did not slow for a minute! Through December, they continued supporting community meetings, assisted with strategic planning, and even attended the opening of a new Story Walk and a new adaptive playground – both of which were co-funded by the Catalyst program. We are proud to share an updated Final Summary of accomplishments and lessons from our work.
For six years, we’ve embodied the name of “Catalyst” and sought to be a resource to our partners to spark change in communities and within our own organizations. It has been dynamic work, as transformation is no small task. It has also been tremendously rewarding and even life-changing for some of us. As the Catalyst closes and we move forward to new endeavors, we remain grateful for the opportunity to have done this work alongside you.
We also remain committed to the belief in communities and inspired by their strength, creativity, and heart. We wish you all the best and look forward to the days when our paths meet again. Until then, catalyze on!