Community Partners was formed by people in the community with the same vision; to recognize health issues in the community and seek answers for how they could be addressed.This model has created a very successful nationally recognized organization. This year we will celebrate 20 years of building partnerships and recognize the many people who had the future in mind to build a healthier Buffalo County.
Twenty years ago, Aug. 14, 1996, the first board meeting of the Community Partners took place. We incorporated as Buffalo County Community Health Partners, which in later years ‘health’ was dropped from the name and a new logo was developed to bring more ‘recognition’ to the partnership.
Since the first board meeting in 1996 there has been an evolution of the organization. The board started as a virtual organization as the members were not certain that the initiative would become a non-profit organization. The board took steps in 2007, to formalize the virtual organization into a non-profit corporation. Their main reason for incorporating was to leverage national grant funding for the work of the coalitions. Coalitions in the ‘90s were called ‘goal work groups’ and were led by board members.
Today the team consists of the same number of board members, relies on volunteers and is data driven, and relies on community participation, but; now it is supplemented by an executive director and six full time staff members. You could say there has been tremendous growth in 20 years.
The very first year we worked with $0 in the budget. Today the budget runs over $750,000 annually, with 75% of the budget derived from local, state and national grants and 25% from our donor family.
A lot of things have changed since 1996, yet one thing has remained the same, the mission of Community Partners, “to assess, strengthen, and promote health in Buffalo County.”