Caring Community: Pledge and Promise in Action

Tuesday, January 1, 2013 (All day)

Just two weeks into 2013 and our pledge to caring community thrives. Three of our partnerships with grantmakers illustrate what I mean:

Building Clinic Capacity for Quality: People served by community clinics couldn’t have better friends than the raft of talent assembled in service to BCCQ. Imagine fast appointments and shorter wait times for doctors. Better access to prenatal care. Women’s cancer screening results delivered in days rather than intolerable weeks. People who can afford regular health insurance take such things for granted, but not residents of most poor communities. Leaders from 21 clinic organizations, along with BCCQ’s staff and special consultants, have worked together to better align care delivery for more than 350,000 patients with the quality expected everywhere else. Another group of 23 clinics joins the program in January, bringing to nearly 1 million the number of individuals expected to benefit. Kaiser Permanente Southern California, which in 2007 allied with Community Partners along with Blue Cross Blue Shield, UniHealth Foundation and LA Care, has been forging ahead as sole sponsor and partner. And the results from modest beginnings keep pointing to greater excellence for more people.

Empowerment Congress Leadership Institute: Close to 50 community and elected leaders from eight cities or regions of the country – from a pastor and a police chief, to several city councilmembers, a host of community organizers, two county commissioners and a state assemblyman – gathered to make democracy work better. For the second year running, I’ve had the pleasure of helping facilitate a week of trainings, lectures, peer learning sessions, and hands-on action shaped to strengthen connections between citizens and the officials they elect to serve them. We use the heady phrase “reciprocal accountability” to describe what we’re trying to make happen. Think of “folks working better together” and you’ll get what that means. The whole effort’s an unprecedented alignment of the Empowerment Congress (EC), W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Los Angeles County 2nd District Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Community Partners. We’ll measure success by the extent to which leaders of the eight groups meeting this week in Los Angeles adopt and adapt key EC elements and bring them to life back home.

Annenberg Alchemy Leadership Seminars: CEO’S and board chairs from 160 Los Angeles nonprofit organizations have a rich agenda awaiting them this month in one of two sessions offered through this stalwart series focusing on nonprofit governance and fundraising and developed by Annenberg Foundation. Alchemy is premised on the principle that a crack between professional and volunteer leadership results in a chasm that divides the rest of an organization from meeting its mission. Community Partners provides logistical support and training content going back to early 2010. Now, more than 1,400 executive/chair teams representing more than 600 caring community organizations practice the Alchemy approach and benefit from an innovative Community Partners tool we named the “Civic Power Grid” along with Annenberg’s robust and highly respected Leadership Development Program.

Better health for people, which makes them feel more secure and alive. Greater capacity for civic and organization leaders, which makes them stronger in service to others. That’s the promise caring community achieves when partnerships like these succeed.


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