Reflections on 2014: By Doug Paterson
This past year was certainly a year of transition for SCHA-MI. Since the departure of Michelle Strasz last spring, the board has spent a tremendous amount of time in self examination of our Mission, Purpose, Identification of primary customers, and establishing a vision for the future. From this came development of a new positon description for the next executive director and new board expectations. Both of these were critical to the future of our organization.
The primary purpose of SCHA-MI is to create awareness among stakeholders and policy makers of the link between a child’s health and success in school. Through better awareness, we can create and advance support for school based/school linked health centers. The alliance’s primary customers are the health centers themselves and the entities that operate them, the state agencies that support our work, and funders and fiduciaries that provide financial support.
The primary functions of SCHA-MI are first and foremost advocacy, followed by technical assistance, and outreach/information/communications. The board also sees a strong need to better consolidate and more effectively use data related to what our members do. Shortly after my arrival in June, SCHA-MI held its summer conference at the end of July that most felt was worthwhile. We will continue to look for more opportunities to provide technical assistance and training in 2015 and have recently created a bi-weekly newsletter that we hope will better keep you up to date and informed on state and national issues affecting our work.
One of SCHA-MI’s goals is to increase our value to our members and be seen as an important partner in the work that is being done in and by school-based/school-linked centers. Another goal is to strengthen our partnership and relationships with our State Agency partners as well as other partner organizations that have similar missions and interests. We want to be a player in the health care and education fields of this state and seen as such.
I will be ending my term as Interim Executive Director of SCHA-MI shortly and am confident that with the above efforts completed that set a clear role and direction for SCHA-MI’s future, a new ED will be able to immediately begin his or her work to meet these goals. I want to thank SCHA-MI’s board of directors for all time they have committed to me and the support they have shown.
As many of you know, I have a long history with SCHA-MI having been at MDCH in various capacities related to Maternal and child Health for almost 35 years, and have watched SCHA-MI grow-up. I have confidence in the future of this organization and look forward to its further growth and development. I have enjoyed my brief stint here, and wish all of you, who work every day to improve the lives of our state’s children, the best for your futures. You are doing extremely important and meaningful work!