Prosper Waco takes on Homeless Management Information System

Press release – The City of Waco has contracted with Prosper Waco to administer the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), which is the federally funded program to track homeless populations and to understand their needs.

Prosper Waco will provide data management and a reporting system for participating providers serving Greater Waco’s homeless and low-income population with a variety of services.

“We are proud to begin this new responsibility to provide data coordination for the City of Waco,” said Suzii Paynter March, CEO of Prosper Waco. “We have experience and expertise in handling data but do not provide direct social services.”

“Prosper Waco is a data driven organization and is equipped to oversee the HMIS administrator position. We are confident in the work they have provided within the community and excited to partner with them to assist in data collection for the City of Waco, “said Raynesha Hudnell, Community Services Interim Director.

The Heart of Texas Homeless Coalition uses HMIS to coordinate data upon entry into services, track services provided to people who are experiencing housing instability. This includes people who are “couch surfing,” need rental assistance, live in a shelter, or have no shelter.

Prosper Waco’s Sammy Salazar, community data specialist and HMIS administrator, will manage the day-to-day operations of HMIS. Contact Salazar at HMIS@prosperwaco.org for technical assistance related to HMIS.

One aspect of the Homeless Coalition’s work is the annual Point-in-Time (PIT) count. The 2020 figures revealed 234 people in Waco with housing instability. Prosper Waco will support the PIT count by the coalition and its partners in January.

Homeless services through a variety of providers are funded by private donations, foundations, and the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development. The local continuum of care consists of six counties (Bosque, Hill, Falls, Freestone, Limestone, and McLennan).

City of Waco Launches Free Financial Service to Help Residents Tackle COVID-19 Financial Challenges

Press Release – In partnership with national nonprofit organization the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund), the City of Waco has announced the launch of a free Financial Navigators program to help residents navigate financial issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic in conjunction with community partners: Heart of Texas Goodwill Industries, the Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Grassroots Community Development.

Financial Navigators will be available beginning August 24th to provide guidance over the phone to help residents access available programs and services to manage income disruptions and other financial concerns they may be experiencing at no cost. With one-on-one discussions, they will help to address personal financial issues, identify immediate steps to manage expenses and maximize income, and make referrals to other services such as bill paying assistance, receiving government services and finding food and childcare assistance. The City of Waco will offer these Financial Navigator services in partnership with Prosper Waco.

Council Member John Kinnaird explains, “We know that our citizens are struggling, and in this environment where stress is high and keeping track of all available resources is difficult at best, being able to provide a comprehensive and helpful resource like the Financial Navigators is invaluable. Being able to get those in our community to the help and resources they need in an effective and timely manner is critical to the overall health and well-being of our residents, and this program will greatly help us achieve that goal.”

To access services, residents can visit: finnav.org/interest-waco and fill out a short form, or they can call (254) 753-7337 to sign up. They will then be contacted to begin their personal session. Organizations across Waco can also refer clients directly to a financial navigator. *Information will also be available at covidwaco.com under Community Resources.

The Financial Navigators program is funded in partnership with the CFE Fund, who provided grant funding along with significant technical assistance and training to launch the program. This initiative is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the CitiFoundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and the Wells Fargo Foundation.


“Financial distress is a primary part of the COVID-19 crisis, and we’re pleased the Waco City Council has made this a priority for their residents,” said Jonathan Mintz, President and CEO of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund. “The Financial Navigators program will help Waco residents assess and prioritize their financial concerns and get connected with the correct resources.”

“Communities across the country continue to face significant economic challenges as a result of COVID-19,” said Brandee McHale, Head of Citi Community Investing and Development and President of the Citi Foundation. “To provide residents in the City of Waco with the vital financial tools and support necessary to navigate the financial impacts of the pandemic, the Citi Foundation is proud to partner once again with the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund to launch the Financial Navigators program.”

“The pandemic has clearly heightened awareness around the financial hardships that so many people were already facing here in Waco and deep disparities that exist in society,” said Darlene Goins, head of financial health philanthropy with the Wells Fargo Foundation.  “We applaud the CFE Fund for bringing together the City of Waco, philanthropists, and financial services and other industries to reimagine solutions that can help improve financial stability and resiliency for individuals and families, particularly during this economic crisis.”


Waco leaders stress safe practices & flu shots


By Ferrell Foster

Five Waco civic, health, and school leaders Wednesday encouraged the people of Greater Waco to think of their neighbors and to be careful how they are involved in gatherings and celebrate the Labor Day weekend. They also stressed the importance of getting a flu shot.

With the holiday coming and football season upon us, Mayor Kyle Deaver asked residents to do these activities “smartly and safely” so the community can remain open. “Take care of yourself and take care of each other.” He made the comments during the weekly City of Waco News Conference related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jerry Maze, executive director for Education Service Center Region 12, noted, “What happens in the community shows up in the schools,” and that can be both good and bad. “If everyone works together and makes good decisions, we get better outcomes.”

Dr. Brian Becker, of Ascension Providence Hospital, called special attention to the holiday weekend, noting that following standard safety procedures is important for our public health and to our neighbors.

Dr. Marc Elieson, of Baylor Scott & White-HIllcrest, also spoke to the importance of wearing face masks, distancing, and proper hand hygiene. ”Be wise,” he said.

A number of questions were asked about schools and Baylor. For students, “it’s so much more about what’s happening off campus,” Mayor Deaver said. “We know this is hard; it’s trying for everyone, … but it’s the way we keep schools open and having football” and other activities.

Dr. Jackson Griggs, of the Family Health Center, praised the efforts of Baylor University to test and then isolate students exposed to COVID-19. “I’m impressed with efforts by Baylor to mitigate the risk.”

Current hospitalizations are down some, but the hospital representatives said their in-patient numbers usually lag behind case counts by about a week. And case counts have been rising in McLennan County.

The current “Effective Reproduction Rate” for McLennan County is 1.07, Mayor Deaver said. Anything above 1 means the disease is expanding, not contracting. The Rt is a measure of contagiousness or how many people one COVID-19 person infects.

In his closing remarks, Dr. Griggs highlighted the importance of bringing down the positivity rate. In recent weeks that rate has hovered just under 15% in McLennan County, which is above the state rate. More testing helps identify people with COVID-19 and also lowers the positivity rate. “Anyone with subtle symptoms needs to come in and be tested,” Dr. Griggs said. The first step is to contact your primary care physician.

The head of Family Health Center also emphasized the importance of flu vaccinations. “We need to keep flu rates down this season,” Dr. Griggs said. There’s a lot we don’t know about flu and COVID-19 infections in the same person. “Flu vaccines are imperative.”

It is especially important to promote the flu vaccines in “communities of color” because they have been particularly hard hit by COVID-19 and have “historically lower vaccination rates.” 

The news conference is aired at 1:30 p.m. each Wednesday at WCCC-TV for the public to view.

Ferrell Foster is senior content specialist for care and communication for Prosper Waco. He also serves on the Act Locally Waco Board of Directors and helps the website with blog posts related to health, education, financial security, and equity.

Waco Working Together Website Gearing up to Share Vital Community Information

By Ferrell Foster and Emily Hunt-Hinojosa

Prosper Waco began using the phrase “Waco Working Together” before the tragedy of COVID-19 struck. The pandemic has shown just how important and possible it is for the people and organizations of Waco to work together. It has been great to see how the community has worked together to respond.

In light of the challenges, we are extending our phrase a little — Waco Working Together for a new normal. There is no going back; all aspects of the Greater Waco community are working together to create a new normal, and we think it can even be better than before.

By working together for the common good we do more than rebuild what was going well; we can bring new health and wellbeing to parts of our community that were struggling before the pandemic began.

To aid this collaboration, Prosper Waco has launched a new website — WacoWorkingTogether.org/covid. Check it out, but this is only the beginning.

In the next few weeks, with needed funding, we will move to phase two, which will utilize a web platform called RoundTable, from the Thriving Cities Group. On this platform, Prosper Waco and Thriving Cities Group are building a unique tool specifically designed for Waco. Roundtable supports an interactive map that connects stories with data for a more contextual understanding of our community. By leveraging a common data platform, we can develop a more holistic perspective of Greater Waco.

Key features of Roundtable are:

  1. Display of quantitative indicators across the Waco/McLennan County region searchable by various geographic levels (neighborhood, Zip codes, city, county, etc.). This feature enables everyone equal access to relevant data about our community (population demographics information, as well as data related to education, health, income, employment, and a variety of other topics) to enrich our understanding on issues, pipelines, and opportunities.
  2. A profile system whereby local organizations and groups can input and update their own information. This will enable quick and direct input of information in a changing environment.
  3. A map of the various assets and resources across our community that bring us together

Thriving Cities uses the phrase “human ecology” to speak of how a community works. Just as a biological ecology involves interacting of varied species, a human ecology refers to the interacting of the individuals and organizations in a community. Biological and human ecologies can promote thriving life or hinder it.

The goal of WacoWorkingTogether.org is to help us all see Waco as a human ecology that helps Greater Waco thrive. It will do this, in part, by building a store of information in one place previously unavailable in Waco. Prosper Waco will analyze the data and the information entered by the varied organizations to help all of us to understand our community better and to work more effectively together.

Thriving Cities Group likes to say that a Community IQ exists in every city, but it’s just not together in one place. WacoWorkingTogether.org, powered by the Roundtable platform, will bring the Community IQ of Greater Waco together in one place.


Ferrell Foster is content specialist for care and communications at Prosper Waco. He holds a doctorate in ministry, in which he focused on justice issues. He has been a professional ethicist, minister, and communicator.

Emily Hunt-Hinojosa is director of research and community impact at Prosper Waco. Hunt-Hinojosa holds an Associate Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, where she was employed prior to joining Prosper Waco. She holds a master’s degree and doctorate in sociology from Baylor University.

Prosper Waco Hires Tiffiney Gray as Senior Content Specialist for Health

Press release –

Prosper Waco is pleased to announce the hiring of Tiffiney Gray as senior content specialist for health. In this position, Gray will develop, coordinate and implement projects and initiatives that advance benchmark indicators in health for Prosper Waco. Gray will advance the work of collective impact by strengthening community relationships, networks and partners in the Waco area. In addition, she will be implementing a Collaborative Approach to Public Goods Investment project by researching and designing an effective intervention based on research showing the impact of addressing social determinants to change health outcomes.

“Tiffiney Gray brings experience and leadership to advance health goals for our community,” said Prosper Waco CEO Suzii Paynter March. “Tiffiney will put her experience in medical research and community engagement to use with a national research team studying Waco and 14 other cities for behavioral health practices.”

Gray has formerly worked as a research and development officer at Jackson State University, where she designed and secured funding for programs supporting early childhood education, minority student retention and campus wellness. She was previously director of The Salvation Army Corps Community Center in Jackson, Mississippi, a resource for children and families providing after-school enrichment and cultural programming. Recently, Gray managed multiple community engaged research (CEnR) projects at the Medical College of Wisconsin to include Community Health Improvement for Milwaukee’s Children (CHIMC), Earlier is Better (EIB), and Milwaukee Prevention of Opioid Misuse through Peer Training (Milwaukee PROMPT) with funding support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Foundation, Pfizer Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. At MCW, Gray also supported graduate student and medical resident learning as coordinator for the Community Pediatrics Training Initiative (CPTI) and the Community Health Improvement III Course in the Department of Family and Community Medicine. Gray completed her master’s degree in sociology at the University of Mississippi and has a longstanding passion for social justice and advancing health equity.

Prosper Waco is a collective impact initiative focused on addressing issues facing the Greater Waco community in education, health and financial security. As a facilitator and convener, Prosper Waco encourages collaboration among nonprofits, city and county governments, businesses, foundations and churches. The goal is to build on and increase the effectiveness of current efforts

and to develop new strategies to bring about measurable and sustainable positive change within the focus areas. For more information, please contact Allison@prosperwaco.org

Prosper Waco Welcomes New Director of Research and Community Impact

Press release – Prosper Waco is pleased to announce the hiring of Emily Hunt-Hinojosa as director of research and community impact. In this position, Hunt-Hinojosa will develop and expand a framework for assessing progress toward community goals and will benchmark progress in the Prosper Waco focus areas of education, health and financial security. Her duties will also include linking theory to practice across the community helping to create an overall culture of continuous quality improvement around the larger vision of flourishing that Prosper Waco seeks to promote.

“The story of Waco is increasingly complex. On one hand, there are so many wonderful things happening throughout our city. Strong institutions, increasing diversity, economic growth, development, and collective efforts to do good work are all indicators of progress and prospering,” said Hunt-Hinojosa. “However, too many community members continue to experience insurmountable obstacles to enjoying many of the good things Waco has to offer. I am thrilled to join the Prosper Waco team and look forward to telling Greater Waco’s story in a way that is honest about current social realities and hopeful about our progress toward being a community where all members can thrive.”

Hunt-Hinojosa was most recently employed as a research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture where she pursued academic research regarding the cultural conflicts arising from different perspectives on the purpose of civic education. During her Ph.D. program, she served as a research analyst at Baylor University’s Center for Community Research and Development. In this role, Hunt-Hinojosa conducted a variety of qualitative and quantitative research projects for Waco organizations helping institutions across McLennan County use data to do good better. Prior to graduate studies at Baylor, Hunt-Hinojosa directed a service learning program at Creighton University where she connected college student volunteers with non-profits around the metro Omaha region. Hunt-Hinojosa’s sociological perspective and her previous experience related to assessment and evaluation make her uniquely qualified for her new role at Prosper Waco.

Hunt-Hinojosa has a Ph.D. in sociology from Baylor University specializing in community analytics. She earned a M.A. in sociology from Baylor University and a M.A. in higher education and student development from Taylor University. She also has a bachelor’s degree in social studies education from Taylor University.

“A vital precursor to collective impact is collective understanding,” Hunt-Hinojosa explained. “As a sociologist, I see much of my new role as using data to highlight the pathways and connections between problems and solutions that are not always obvious. Beyond reporting numbers and statistics, I am excited to collaborate with Waco’s leaders to discern our context, celebrate our assets, and imagine our possibilities.”


Prosper Waco is a collective impact initiative focused on addressing issues facing the Greater Waco community in the areas of education, health and financial security. As a facilitator and convener, Prosper Waco encourages collaboration amongst existing nonprofits, city and county governments, business, foundations and churches to build on and increase the effectiveness of current efforts and develop new strategies to bring about measurable and sustainable positive change within the focus areas for the members of our community. For more information, please contact Allison@prosperwaco.org.

Prosper Waco Hires Ferrell Foster as Content Specialist for Care and Communication

Prosper Waco is pleased to announce the hiring of Ferrell Foster as content specialist for care and communication. In this role, Foster will develop, coordinate and execute projects and initiatives that advance benchmark indicators in health for Prosper Waco. He will also implement a network of partnerships to build and strengthen a continuum of care for behavioral health services in Waco while also creating communication plans and coordinating communications projects.

“The best opportunities in life are those you feel drawn to out of your core principles,” Foster said. “I feel this draw to the work of Prosper Waco because of my desire to serve people and their communities, especially those facing serious challenges.”

Foster added that he counts it a great privilege to join Suzii Paynter March, the Prosper Waco staff, and leaders of the Waco community in the important work they are doing. “I’m especially excited about the collaborative nature of Prosper Waco,” he explained. “Communities do not successfully address difficult issues without both leadership and collaboration; I see both of these at work in Waco and in Prosper Waco.”

Foster has professional experience in managing projects and institutional relationships through his work the past 10 years with the Christian Life Commission in Austin. His CLC work has required him to work in a variety of cooperative partnerships related to ethics, justice, human care, and public policy. He has also spearheaded the CLC’s new efforts regarding mental health.

Prior to his work with the CLC, Foster served as managing editor of a daily newspaper, public relations director for a graduate school, and director of communications for statewide organizations in Illinois and Texas. He holds degrees in journalism, political science, and biblical studies. His doctorate from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene focused on justice issues, specifically on African American perspectives.

“An important part of my work with Prosper Waco will be in facilitating collaboration around mental health. This is important to me both personally and professionally,” Foster stated. “I am thankful to be able to come alongside those in Waco who are already working on mental health and be of service to them.”

Prosper Waco is a collective impact initiative focused on addressing issues facing the Greater Waco community in the areas of education, health and financial security. As a facilitator and convener, Prosper Waco encourages collaboration amongst existing nonprofits, city and county governments, businesses, foundations and churches to build on and increase the effectiveness of current efforts and develop new strategies to bring about measurable and sustainable positive change within the focus areas for the members of our community. For more information, please contact Allison@prosperwaco.org.

Mentor Waco Coalition Offering Training for Current and Prospective Community Mentors

Press release

Mentor Waco Coalition, a Prosper Waco working group, has worked diligently to pair the young minds of Waco with community leaders who want to see them succeed. The coalition promotes awareness for current mentoring opportunities in Waco and brings leaders together to educate future mentors.

On October 26, 2019 at 9:00 to 11:30 a.m., the Mentor Waco Coalition will continue to advance that goal with a morning of training for any current or potential mentors in the Waco community who would like to learn more about the difficulties Waco students face and how to help them overcome those struggles. The training will be held at Columbus Avenue Baptist Church, and there is no cost to attend. Pastries and coffee will be provided.

Brittany Fitz, director of Research and Evaluation at Prosper Waco, has attended multiple training sessions and said she believes in the value of these opportunities. “What’s really great about the Mentor Coalition meetings in general is it brings together people that are doing similar work to really make sure that they are common in the best practices,” Fitz said. “So, the upcoming training they have is to address the need that they saw across all organizations.”

With this upcoming mentor training opportunity, Waco leaders from different organizations will discuss their own efforts and the nuances and lessons from their experiences. Training participants will get to hear from professionals who understand the ins and outs of helping the Waco community and ask questions to further their own understanding of the topics offered. Session one choices include: “Behavior/Redirection” led by GL Wiley Elementary Principal Craig Cox, GL Wiley Middle School Assistant Principal Melody Herring, and founder and executive director of the organization Size of a Man Darryl Thomas; or “Bullying/Self Esteem” led by STARRY Team Supervisor Leah Gorham. Session two choices include: “Social Media Tips/Awareness” led by Dr. Soo Battle, a pediatrician and founder of Camp Careful, and Chelsa Ressetar, the director of advancement at Vanguard and a speaker on digital citizenship; or “Human/Sex Trafficking” led by a representative from Unbound.

“I think one of the biggest draws for these presentations is the fact that we not only have great experts in each of the discussion areas, but we are intentionally keeping a large portion of each session dedicated to Q&A,” said the Mentor Waco Coalition Chair, Travis Cheatham. “Any attendee has the ability to connect with and ask direct questions of the presenters. I think all four of these sessions are areas that anyone, including the heads of mentoring organizations, could gain additional insight and experience from.”

This working group embodies Prosper Waco’s core value of collective impact, and with this training, more connections can be made to create a stronger Waco. To register, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mentor-waco-training-conference-tickets-70686642651. Columbus Avenue Baptist Church is located at 1300 Columbus Avenue, Waco, TX 76701. For further information, please contact Travis Cheatham at travis.cheatham@wacoisd.org.

Waco Employer Resource Network (WERN) helps employees stay on the job!

By Sion Firew

The Waco Employer Resource Network (WERN) incorporates community collaboration with uniquely tailored case-management plans to help Waco employees retain their jobs. The WERN initiatives originated from the Prosper Waco working group of the same name and have developed into a stream of connection between employers, employees and local resources. With the help of Goodwill Industries and Caritas, WERN has facilitated crucial communication between the participating Waco employers and their employees while raising employee awareness of local opportunities available to help navigate personal obstacles to successful long-term employment.

The average retention rate for the 16 employers that are active in WERN is currently 61 percent. According to Tiffany Gallegos, the development director of Goodwill in Waco, the employment turnover rate in previous years has been as high as 70 percent.

“We are the first Employer Resource Network in Texas, and that is something I am really proud of,” Gallegos said. “I think this shows how our city is dedicated to moving the needle on keeping people employed and successful in their jobs.”

To have the retention rate increase from 30 percent to 61 percent over the past few years is incredible to say the least, but what factors in particular caused such a shift?

There are numerous WERN programs that are beneficial to those in the workforce, but the addition of success coaches has caused a major shift in the way employers and employees interact and understand one another. Success coaches identify the personal burdens with which an employee might be struggling and find the resources that will allow the employee to keep their job by successfully managing the obstacles they face. Success coaches most commonly aid with accessing resources related to food, utilities, family support, education and financial support.

Caritas success coach Cletha Tyler explained, “We’ve made a difference in many people’s lives. The success coach and the solutions found help them because they fall through the cracks of a lot of other resource options.”

Though many companies have employee assistance programs that provide support, they may not take the hands-on approach of WERN success coaches. Thanks to the WERN success coaches’ ability to craft case-specific solutions and guidance on overcoming personal obstacles to employment, extra steps can be taken to ensure job security. Tyler described how employees who may not have access to the help they need, including food stamps and government housing, can be at risk of losing their job or missing out on promotions. Success coaches step in and create a bridge of understanding in which employers and employees can work together to create compromise and meet the needs of both sides.

“One lady this summer was going to lose her job because she didn’t have anyone to keep her 10-year-old son,” Tyler said. “The employer called me that day and said ‘Look, if she misses work tomorrow, she’s getting fired.’ So, I went out there and I contacted the Waco Boys and Girls Club, and I was able to get her into the summer program. It just so happened that it was around the corner from her house so she could drop her son off

[before]

work.”

This situation with a woman and her son is only one of many in which people feel stuck in their circumstances because they are not aware of or do not have access to the opportunities for assistance around them. Tyler explained that success coaches build a detailed list of resources for these Waco employees. They do not simply tell people to call random 1-800 numbers, but instead refer their clients to local community resources. This local focus is vital to creating the community connections needed for positive WERN results.

Tyler and her colleagues exemplify the resounding theme of community cooperation and individualized case management that WERN upholds. WERN, Goodwill and Caritas have been working to see employees have the opportunity to keep their jobs and advance in their chosen fields. The improved retention rate of employees dramatically demonstrates the effectiveness of WERN’s hands-on, personal approach to helping the employees of Waco. While WERN has done a substantial amount to decrease the turn-over rate, with the help of the success coaches, and cooperation from these Waco companies, even more employees will be able to find resources and have access to job opportunities and promotions that they might not have had otherwise.


Sion Firew is a communications intern at Prosper Waco.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email ashleyt@actlocallywaco.org for more information.

Data makes a difference: Community Health Needs Assessment helps us build a healthier Waco

By Brittany Fitz-Chapman

After over a year of planning, surveying, and understanding, the 2018-2019 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) for Waco-McLennan County is complete and ready to use. Now, I can hear everyone taking a collective sigh as another person from Prosper Waco talks about the importance of data…again. However, the way our community collectively comes together to understand the growing health needs of all residents is unique and should be celebrated.

Since early last year, members of the cross-organizational CHNA task force have met on a regular basis to discuss the specifics of the survey conducted every three years. The goal of the CHNA is to provide a comprehensive and unbiased profile of McLennan County, assess community health and risk factors, and identify access to care issues. Because our community is a part of the City Health Dashboard project, the group concentrated on collecting information beyond just descriptive characteristics like an individual’s height and weight.

This year’s CHNA focused on collecting information that is actionable by the various organizations, coalitions, and workgroups working to improve the health outcomes of residents of McLennan County. This means that every piece of information collected will be used to improve the health outcomes in our community. Having this data allows targeted action plans to be created to make the largest impact possible.

For example, the study found that more than 20% of respondents in Waco-McLennan County do no physical activity during a typical week.  We also know anecdotally that there are limitations to how and when individuals find time to exercise. With this information in hand, one of our working groups, “Live Well Waco” is taking up that cause through their Worksite Wellness Program.  In partnership with the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District, Live Well Waco is working to identify and recognize local organizations and businesses who take steps to improve the health of their employees. This program is just one piece of the puzzle, but helping employers understand the importance of a healthy workforce and helping employees get active goes a long way in our community’s overall well-being.

This result and others will continue to stimulate discussion and planning of projects to address identified health needs. Balancing the data collected with first-hand knowledge and experience will yield the best results for our community. Previous assessments have resulted in targeted health promotions and have supported numerous grant opportunities for the community.

Various community organizations participated in a taskforce to help develop the assessment including Baylor Scott White Medical Center-Hillcrest, Family Health Center, Heart of Texas Mental Health Mental Retardation, Heart of Texas Regional Advisory Council, McLennan County, Prosper Waco, Ascension Providence, and Waco-McLennan County Public Health District.

The CHNA was funded through a collaboration among the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District, Ascension Providence, Baylor Scott & White Health Medical Center-Hillcrest, Family Health Center, Prosper Waco, and Baylor University’s Center for Community Research and Development.

You can find a copy of the full report on Prosper Waco’s “Research” page or visit the pages of one of our partners. And as always, if you have any questions about the report or the data, please reach out to me at Brittany@prosperwaco.org.


Brittany Fitz-Chapman works at Prosper Waco as the Director of Data and Research. She is a graduate of Baylor University.  She holds two master’s degrees and is pursuing her PhD in Sociology at Baylor. She has engaged in community research in Waco and has published professional articles about what makes communities strong. She enjoys exploring Waco with her husband and their two puppies!

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email ashleyt@actlocallywaco.org for more information.