24. April 2008

Tags: Health

Last week I had the exquisite pleasure of visiting Red Wing Minnesota, located on the banks of the Mississippi River. The occasion was a "Community Consultation" about the possibility of merging the Public Health and Human Services agencies in the county. This had been tried some 10 years ago in a very "Top Down" fashion initiated by the County Executive. It was a disaster. However, the rational for merger still seemed to make some sense, even if just about everybody thought it was impossible. Eighty five people sat in a circle. Roughly 2/3`s were from the two agencies, and the balance from neighboring counties which had either tried such a merger or were thinking about it. After the brief introduction the people were invited to identify the issues and opportunities for which they had a real passion. Dead silence, and nobody moved - for all of about ten seconds. Then they came and nobody thought it could happen here in Red Wing. They brought their issues, the really deep ones - and everybody had predicted that the conversation could only be superficial. Within an hour they were seriously at work. Intense groups met all over the big room. It got a little noisy and groups naturally cooperated with each other without any help (from me). "We came to talk about the possibility of merger, but I think we have gotten ahead of ourselves. We are merged. Now we have to figure out the details."

N° of Participants
1 day


Sponsoring Organisation

  1. Goodhue County Health Department


  1. Thumb

    Owen, Harrison