Beginning Group 2, looking ahead

Work in the communities is going very well. We have enrolled 33 families in the program across all four communities and to date have successfully completed the program with 23 families. Three of our four communities have finished post-tests and we are now beginning the Group 2 program with just over 20 families. Depending on summer schedules, we may finish with Group 2 families this summer or the communities may decide to finish in the Fall after Summer break. We are waiting to hear from the three community groups how they want to move forward over the summer months, but we anticipate completing Group 2 by October at the latest.
At UNL and UMD, we are currently in the process of developing new generic materials that can be used by various communities to adapt the manuals. Our hope is that these new manuals will continue to evolve over time for use with different communities and age groups, and for different purposes and in different venues.​ These materials include:
​1)    A New Training Manual
​​​​a.     Seven chapters on the program, facilitating, ethics, and data collection.
2)    An Updated Facilitator Manual
3)    Updated Parent and Youth Booklets
4)    A New Activity Booklet
​​a.     Includes examples and ordering information for weekly activities.
We have planned our next team meeting for June 27-28 where we will bring all of our staff, facilitators, and advisory board members together to collaboratively complete our team report and make recommendations for the sustainability plan of the program once the project ends in March 2015. We look forward to sending updates and sharing electronic versions of the new generic manuals after our next team meeting!!

Behind the scenes at University of Minnesota-Duluth

The most important thing to report on at the moment is our appreciation of project manager Devan Crawford. She has tirelessly worked to resolve the international money issues, accounting rules, and all of the associated red tape on top of her other duties.  A current issue we face is navigating our way through 3 ethics review boards (again) — we need to submit new protocol for our planned January program launch and are working with University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Jewish General Hospital ethics review groups.  Fun!
Our Community Advisory Boards, UNL, and UMN will meet via teleconference in 2 weeks for final discussion and hopeful board approval of the questionnaires to be included in the program evaluation. Devan and Les will be meeting in Winnipeg in early December to complete our facilitator and interviewer training sessions (I can’t go due to teaching obligations).  There, they plan to unveil the revised manual (which has changed based on community feedback), reiterate the importance of program fidelity, and train interviewers and the team about research guidelines, interviewing techniques, etc. This will also be an opportunity for our community partners to share experiences and provide recommendations to the University team members.
In closing, our team felt that the last Montreal gathering was incredibly successful – I’m attaching a photo of some of us in attendance.  Hope to see you all soon!
Melissa Walls
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