Momentum Grows with 200 Attendees at 5th Community of Practice
The momentum of the Safety Net Resiliency Initiative continues to build through HealthSpark Foundation’s Community of Practice, which hosted close to 200 guests during the 5th Community of Practice event on February 18, 2020. Guests included staff and board members from human services nonprofits; local, county, state, and federal government; local and regional philanthropy; business owners and Chambers of Commerce; faith leaders; and community advocates.
Foundation President and CEO Russell Johnson welcomed guests to the event, titled “Building Community: People, Power, and Purpose.” In his remarks, Russell called for a shift in how the safety net community frames its work to the broader public:
“As part of the Safety Net Resiliency Initiative, we hope to support a scaled shift that changes longstanding negative perceptions about safety net programs and services. But just changing how we talk about the important contributions of nonprofits isn’t enough and this is where your work is needed. Together we need to shift the narrative from a charity model to a business model that is outcomes-oriented, able to invest in innovation and new capabilities and funded to enable those innovations.”
Montgomery County Board of Commissioners Chair Val Arkoosh also provided opening remarks, calling upon attendees to continue outreach about the 2020 Census. She commended the audience, many of whom are participating in or leading Census outreach activities, for their work to support an accurate and complete count.
The attendees participated in a Community Conversation centered on how the Resiliency Initiative can continue to build a strong, inclusive safety net community in Montgomery County, including how HealthSpark Foundation can support those efforts through investments and future events. Responses will be reviewed and shared with the community soon.
Attendees were able to attend one of five breakout sessions, including:
- Developing Authentic Consumer & Community Engagement Practices, presented by Patrick Walsh and Eli Wenger, Catholic Social Services, and Madlyn Strouse and Melissa Buckminster, Your Way Home LGBTQ Engagement Project.
- Building Leadership Across Places and Spaces. Presented by Jennifer O’Donnell, Leadership Tri-County, and Jim Walters and Toyca Williams, Montgomery County Health & Human Services Emerging Leaders Program.
- Activating Community Power through Collective Advocacy. Presented by George Choe, Jaisohn Center; Bill England, PA Health Access Network; and Joanne Kline, VNA Foundation.
- Building Resilient Community-Based Organizations: Strategies for Nonprofit Boards & Leadership. Presented by Jennifer Pedroni, FMA, and Laura Solomon, Esq., Laura Solomon and Associates.
- Aiming for Organizational Equity. Presented by Ashley Faison, Advocacy/Volunteer Manager; Kelly Grosser, Youth Empowerment Director; Sheri McDonald, Chief Mission Impact Officer; and Stacey Woodland, CEO of the YWCA Tri-County Area.
Three community members provided the plenary session, Mary Onama of Victim Services of Montgomery County, Donna Cooper of Public Citizens for Children and Youth, and Dave Eckert of Access Services.
HealthSpark plans to host its 6th Community of Practice in fall 2020. To be notified of these and other events, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.