Neighborhood Organization for Pediatric Asthma Management in the Neighborhood Asthma Coalition: Development

Subcommittees of the all-site council have addressed a number of issues, including: social action activities for implementation by the four neighborhood Wellness Councils; design of educational literature for the Neighborhood Asthma Coalition and other Wellness Initiatives; and planning of Neighborhood Asthma Coalition program activities. These subcommittees all include representation from each of the four neighborhoods as well as from other Wellness Initiative programs, such as woman-to-woman and man-to-man.
An important characteristic of the community organization approach as pursued in the Neighborhood Asthma Coalition is a relative disregard of traditional committee and board structures with elected officers and the like. The mobility and numerous life stressors of those participating in the neighborhood organization often result in inconsistent attendance.

Therefore, organizational structures which are dependent on key individuals become vulnerable to those individuals’ changes in life circumstances. Additionally, highly structured organizations may pose barriers to individuals increasing their participation as their ability or perspectives change and grow. Consequently, organizational structure tends to be simple and informal. Paid staff from the target neighborhoods serve essentially as executive secretaries for neighborhood Wellness Councils. Residents participating in those Wellness Councils take on responsibility and become involved in projects that interest them as they emerge. Sildenafil citrate pink further Thus, for instance, the parents of asthmatic children have become an active component within the neighborhood Wellness Councils and other structures, focusing on specific activities of the Neighborhood Asthma Coalition. As other issues emerge, interested neighbors may come forward to pursue them. Liabilities of this approach include the kind of frequent problems in follow-through and consistency which one would expect in such informality. On the other hand, strengths include (a) great openness both to new members, (b) openness to ongoing members’ growing willingness to take responsibility, and (c) ease of adoption of innovations. Indeed, such informality of organizational structures has been noted within businesses and other organizations as promoting adoption of innovations.

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