Prescott’s Vision, Mission for Well-Being Progresses through Pandemic

by Billie Orr, Mayor Pro Tem, City of Prescott, and Lori Kennedy, ERAU Communications Coordinator

In January the foundation was laid for creating Prescott’s Commission on Well-Being. While this had been a goal for Mayor Pro Tem Billie Orr since she first read the Gallup Report on Well-Being in 2017, there were many other pressing issues taking precedence.

Then, with City elections completed, tremendous progress made on preserving the Granite Dells, and a prosperous outlook for economic development and tourism on the horizon, New Year 2020 was the ideal time to finally facilitate the creation of the Commission on Well-Being. The first step was to solidify support from individuals within diverse organizations who had indicated willingness to serve in a voluntary capacity. Mayor Greg Mengarelli supported creating the Commission and appointed nine commissioners who have met twice a month or more to move this effort forward.

First Tasks: Vision, Mission and Outreach

The first tasks were to craft the vision and mission statements and design opportunities for outreach to the community. Several events were planned and opportunities were created to partner with organizations that supported the five branches of Well-Being: Purpose, Community, Social, Financial and Physical. 

Suddenly, though, everything came to a halt in March with the devastating impact of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. Planned events and new partnership prospects were off the table as communal opportunities to gather literally shut down. However, the Prescott Commission on Well-Being understood the merit of measuring well-being during these difficult times of COVID to identify the areas of support needed in the community. 

So, like many organizations, the commission adapted and responded thoughtfully about how to continue community outreach, and the work carried on through technology and virtual meetings.

Webpage and Survey 

The Commission continued to design the Well-Being webpage on the City’s website and the Well-Being Survey. The webpage turned much of its focus to defining the branches of Well-Being and providing a list of resources within each branch. Many of those resources were in response to COVID-related needs in the community. The short survey addresses two or more questions on each branch of Well-Being to gather feedback from residents. There also was the design and printing of a brochure. So, while many of the original plans were altered or discarded, the Commission has made great progress and is poised to respond to the survey results and the many comments from residents. 

The Commission continues to support many organizations that have navigated Prescott through the pandemic. 

An organization that supported children and families in essential services is the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Arizona. Led by Executive Director Nicole Kennedy, the program allowed first responders and health-care workers to tend to community needs, knowing their children were in good hands. 

Another organization directly related to Well-Being is the Prescott Farmers Market, led by Kathleen Yetman. They opened a downtown midweek market on Sept. 2 that will run Wednesdays through Dec. 30. Located at the southeast corner of Goodwin and Montezuma streets, hours are 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Bert Ijams and her team at Meals on Wheels Prescott continued to provide nutritious, freshly prepared meals daily through curbside pick-up and weekly delivery to their homebound clients. We appreciate their volunteers who also provide wellness checks and precious moments of companionship. 

These are all organizations that along with the Commission on Well-Being were nimble and progressed through the pandemic.  

Welcome Dr. Sam Downing

Commission Chairman John Murphy, Vice Chairman Peg Travers and Billie Orr met with Dr. Sam Downing to discuss ideas about how to make an impact and engage the residents who live, learn, work and play in Prescott in the lifelong pursuit of well-being through communication, motivation and action. The Commission is thrilled to announce that Dr. Downing has accepted the request to be an adviser and assist the Commission going forward. Dr. Downing specializes in palliative and geriatric medicine and is currently working on a Geriatric Assessment Center planned for early next year to service our older population.  

Your Help is Requested

Please take a few minutes and complete the Well-Being Survey that can be found at www.prescott-az.gov/city-management/programs/well-being

Photo: Aryan, Rhonda, Teleah & Ellie