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Vital Signs is a periodic check-up that measures the vitality of the community – gathering data and sparking conversation about significant social and economic trends to tell the story of how the community is fairing in key quality-of-life areas. Vital Signs aims to inspire civic engagement, provide focus for public debate, and mobilize the power of community knowledge for greater local impact. Residents, businesses, community organizations, educational institutions, funding partners, and government leaders use the information in Vital Signs to take action and direct resources where they will have the greatest impact.

The Annual Vital Event provides the basis of CFSEA’s annual granting priorities by determining the community’s greatest needs. Vital Signs allows the Foundation to see where potential gaps are and where funding can have the most impact throughout Southeastern Alberta.

“The goal of Vital Signs is to initiate dialogue and action within the community by producing an overview of community needs based on fact. Vital Signs is a community check that offers insight into how we are doing as a whole, which is why some view it as a report card on how the community is doing.” – Hannah Minor, Vital Signs Community Coordinator

Alongside celebrating the Foundation’s 30th Anniversary, CFSEA is celebrating 15 years of Vital Signs. Medicine Hat’s Vital Signs was produced for the first time in October 2007.  It was extremely well received and even made front page headlines in the newspaper and the top news story on TV and radio. The feedback from those who received the publication was supportive and congratulated the Foundation for bringing so much information about the quality of life in Medicine Hat to the attention of so many people.

Of launching the Vital Signs initiative, Mike Christie, former CFSEA Executive Director, said, “Vital Signs is a natural fit for us because of our broad reach and experience of working with organizations, public, private, and not for profit across all sectors of our community. We intend to use the information we gather to inform our donors of the strengths and issues we face and also to provide valuable information to our grant-making process.”

The Vital Signs program is not just a quality of life report, the report allows the Foundation to investigate what is happening in the community and keep a pulse on key issues and community celebrations. Since 2007, the Foundation has used the Vital Signs report throughout the year as an integral aspect of supporting a vibrant, healthy, and caring community!