At UpPour 2014, The Panhandle Partnership for Health and Human Services received the Mike Yanney Community Award for their powerful work on behalf of Western Nebraska’s children and families over the last 15 years.
Founded in 1998, the Panhandle Partnership is made up of 45-member organizations and agencies—schools, non-profits, healthcare, public health, community action, colleges, community groups whose staff and directors provide 2,300 hours of volunteer time each year.
This volunteer time is used to discuss respite care, training and community
education, early childhood emotional well being, substance abuse prevention,
juvenile justice, transition services for older youth and the latest topic—social
The Partnership is also a Training Academy operated in conjunction with
Western Nebraska Community College. In 2013-14, more than 23,000 contact
hours of training were provided. The Partnership is also known for:
- Creating a Comprehensive Youth Services/Juvenile Justice Plan for all 11 counties, which leverage $257,455 in resources for area youth services
- An effective Prevention Coalition that creates tobacco free places and reduces adolescent use of alcohol and drugs, binge drinking, and drinking and driving
- Innovations such as social enterprise as a new way to explore rural economic and community development
The Panhandle Partnership does not provide services. Instead, the organization exists solely to address community challenges by bringing people together to asses and review data, make a plan for action, find new and existing resources and partners to implement, and provide ongoing collaborative oversight of quality and outcomes. Through collaborative agreements with agencies, the
Panhandle Partnership has been instrumental in developments such as:
- 15 years of Lifespan Respite Services providing an average of 36 hours per month to support home-based caregivers each month.
16 years of commitment to home visitation programs for parents of infants and young children
- Through collaborative work with Dr. Mark Hald, 127 physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, Department of Health and Human Service workers, early childhood providers have participated in education programs on the impact of adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress on child development. And through the collaborative work of nine trained parent educators, 171 parents of 337 children have participated in eight-session Circle of Security Parenting classes.
- Collaborative effort over the last five years to develop innovative systems for rural runaway and homeless youth. In the past five years, 131 homeless youth between 16 and 21 years of age have received supports to find safe stable housing, education, employment and permanent connections in the community.