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OHC ends, but objectives continue

Dear Editors,

As members of the Operation Healthy Communities’ Board of Directors (OHC), we wanted to update you about the future of the OHC organization. Over the past year and a half, OHC has experienced much staff transition, and this fall, the OHC Board decided to go through a strategic planning process to determine whether to stay open or close. The result of this strategic planning process was that OHC should close its doors, and this is planned for the end of this year.

The decision was based on several factors:

-Fund-raising for an organization such as OHC is very difficult. With more than 300 nonprofits in the region, the group felt it made more sense for OHC to close and its programs to continue under other organizations.

- It was felt that many of the original niches and visions of OHC were being addressed and carried out by other groups.

- The healthy community principals can continue without a nonprofit to house them.

We believe that OHC has made a tremendous difference in the community. When OHC opened in 1994, there was no Green Business Roundtable, Sustainability Alliance, Community Summits, regional indicator reports, or a Grassroots Visioning Process. Even facilitation services were rare. These grassroots- and community-based efforts demonstrate that OHC’s objective to create a healthier community will continue, even without OHC.

We are happy to tell you that all OHC programs and projects are expected to continue. We thank the Community Foundation of Southwest Colorado for serving as fiscal agent for the Service Learning Initiative and High School Leadership La Plata. The La Plata County Department of Human Services plans to assist Advocacy for La Plata during its transition, and the Region 9 Economic Development District plans to continue the Pathways to Healthier

Communities Indicator Report. The La Plata County Community Summit will also continue, spearheaded by its coordinating committee.

We gratefully thank all the supporters too numerous to name, staff and board members that have maintained, nurtured and carried out this important work. Our community is truly a better place.

– Sincerely, Matt Kelly, chair, OHC Board of Directors