Join the Base Building Intensive Group (BBIG) this Winter! Last winter Put People First! PA’s statewide Base Building team put on a program over two months called the Base Building Intensive Group, or the BBIG. We envisioned this group to be a place where people from Healthcare Rights Committees (HRCs) across the state could learn about base building — which is  our practice of getting new members involved in the organization, connecting them to the committees in their area, and deepening their commitment to our work. 

Base building is a central part of what we do in PPF-PA, and our team is dedicated to strengthening this practice in every part of the state. We saw a need to develop base building leaders in each of our HRCs, and also give new members interested in starting committees a chance to learn about how to build up a group in their region. This is all part of our work to make sure that everyone in our organization–from the newest members to the most experienced coordinators–is consistently doing work to bring new people into the organization, sustain their involvement, and strengthen our HRCs.

We brought together around 20 people for our BBIG retreat in Harrisburg in late February 2019, which included trainings on door-knocking, 1:1s, a session on staying organized as a base builder, and some focused brainstorming on developing strategies to reach our base in specific regions. We then returned to our parts of the state, and had biweekly calls to discuss how our base building efforts were going. The calls were a supportive space for people to talk about the challenges of door-knocking and organizing new people, issues they had in their outreach efforts, and questions about how to improve as base builders

They also helped us hold each other accountable to our early base building tasks and gave newer members a supportive environment to coordinate their work. Over the course of several weeks, we built several new base building leaders in our organization — including the coordinators of two of our newest HRCs (in the Mon Valley and Norristown). 

This year, we are planning on making the BBIG even b-b-bigger than last year. If our movement is successful, it will be because each part of the organization developed clear, connected, competent, and committed base builders. As we expand our base building even more next year, our goal is that each HRC door-knock once a month between April and September, with leaders in that HRC coordinating followup with all the new contacts. In order to do this, we will need base builders in each region who practiced their skills in the BBIG during our base building “off-season.” We’ll be meeting from late January to late April. Join us this winter if you’re interested!

Email: if you have more questions, or if you want to get involved!


This content originally appeared in Put People First! PA’s semi-annual newsletter, The Keystone. The Keystone is a great introduction to Put People First! PA, our work, and our community. It’s all written by our members for our own communication and education, and for supporters and new relationships to get to know us better. Each issue features reports from our work, news about our victories, stories about the health care system and the other issues affecting our communities, and poetry and artwork. Check out past and present editions here: Newsletter Archive.

Leave a Reply