Cultivating healthy food and lifestyles.
HISTORY & BACKGROUND
The Brownsville Wellness Coalition (BWC), a Texas not-for-profit corporation was formed to address our community’s poor health status by providing programs that promote nutrition and healthy lifestyles. Like the entire U.S. border with Mexico, which has some of the worst health outcomes in the nation (Fisher- Hoch et al., 2015), Brownsville has an alarming, above-national prevalence of residents who are overweight (34%), obese (50%), and living with diabetes (28%). Furthermore, Brownsville, Texas, is one of the nation’s poorest cities, with over 31% of families living below the poverty level (Census Bureau’s American Community Survey). BWC grew from the community’s response to our health crisis and many organizations and individuals came together to plan for change including the University of Texas School of Public Health, Brownsville Regional Campus; the City of Brownsville (COB); and Su Clinica Familiar.
Our mission is simple: The Brownsville Wellness Coalition cultivates healthy food and lifestyles. We impact the overall wellness in our community by:
• strengthening the local food system
• improving access to nutritious affordable food
• educating the public to produce, cook and eat healthy local food
• promoting healthy lifestyle choices
• providing opportunities to engage in physical activity
We reach out to high-risk populations through education and behavior change support programs. Our mission directly supports the Imagine Brownsville Comprehensive Plan (imaginebrownsville.com) formally adopted by the City of Brownsville in 2009 and specifically addresses one of the strategic initiatives in the Plan’s Healthcare section: “Promote affordable fruits and vegetables through community gardens and farmers markets that would also promote education on healthy living.” The mission also aligns with State Health Services to “increase consumption of fruits and vegetables” by bringing fruits and vegetables to more places and people, creating new paths for fruits and vegetables to reach the market, and promoting healthy food choices.
The Brownsville Wellness Coalition envisions a future where all community members sustain a healthier way of life. Everyone will have the freedom, opportunity, and tools to be self-sufficient and achieve their best wellness.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2019
Brownsville Wellness Coalition Board of Directors and Executive Director developed this Strategic Plan with assistance from Lee + Associates, a nonprofit consulting firm in San Antonio, Texas. The work and deliberation of the Board and Executive leadership produced
the strategic goals and objectives for the next three years along with an operations plan to ensure accountability for implementation. This strategic plan is an important step toward continued success and provides Brownsville Wellness Coalition with a clear roadmap for strengthening organizational capacity and sustainability.
This plan was developed with involvement and guidance from the full Board of Directors and the organization’s Executive Director. The Board met twice, first to reflect on the vision of the organization and later to determine the strategic goals to govern the strategic plan.
Brownsville Wellness Coalition sought the voice and opinion of its stakeholders, including the Board, volunteers, staff, funders, individual donors, community partners, and City officials in this planning effort. Based on input from its stakeholders, this plan focuses Brownsville Wellness Coalition’s vision and direction towards creating greater impact in the Brownsville community.
Lee + Associates also conducted an organizational scan to review BWC’s structure, systems, programs, processes, people, finances and reputation to explore how these elements currently and potentially could affect BWC’s operations. The survey results and assessment
report were presented at the second Strategic Planning Committee session. The data gathered helped the Board assess both the challenges and opportunities BWC is likely to face over the next three years and set the context for the choices reflected in this strategic plan.
This plan will give BWC invaluable direction toward progress over the next three years. Based on input from key stakeholders, this plan focuses BWC’s vision and direction. BWC will move into a new facility, create a strategic funding plan, build internal capacity and engagement, increase community awareness, and strengthen mission-centered programs.