Photo: Advancing Mission Thrivability logo, TPF logo, and Mutlicultural Health Institute logo and quote

AMT Consulting Sprint Helps Multicultural Health Institute Strengthen Decision-Making

Posted on September 24, 2021 by Dr. Lisa Merritt, Executive Director, Multicultural Health Institute

Editor's Note: With more than 800 Giving Partner nonprofits in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties, many are not aware of TPF’s Margin & Mission Ignition and Advancing Mission Thrivability offerings. On Tuesday, September 28, and Thursday, September 30, TPF will host a virtual info session for staff, board, and volunteers to learn how these programs might strengthen their organizations. REGISTER HERE


Having participated in several prior workshops offered by The Patterson Foundation, I always felt like we could benefit from one of their “Thrivability” consulting experiences, but somehow, Multicultural Health Institute didn’t meet the qualifications to participate.

I was elated when we advanced to receive consulting support as part of Advancing Mission Thrivability, a “virtual” and abbreviated initiative that helps nonprofits strengthen their decision-making.

At first, because we were so deeply involved in the pandemic crisis response and our usual mission-focused programming, there was push back from the MHI team on whether or not we should bother to participate. Fortunately, we found a mutually agreeable time, which became an important opportunity for us to meet, work through various exercises, and learn from our consultant, Larry Clark, to analyze and capitalize upon our strengths and challenges.

Having protected time once a week for five weeks helped the team focus, and we were able to speak freely about frustrations, aspirations, and actions that could be taken. It helped team members redefine roles and goals.

While it was difficult to decide the best next course of action, we eventually came to consensus, which actually resulted in a breakup of the team, with one member moving on to develop other preferred opportunities while retaining connection in the aspect that seemed to have the greatest mutual benefit and interest.

Based upon the guidance and encouragement received, we could distill our next plan into a demonstration seed grant request that hopefully will lead to a needed, sustainable and self-sufficient Safekeeper Navigator Program. This will also help create employment opportunities while increasing capacity of community members to acquire knowledge of various health conditions and how to best advise people on their wellness journeys to optimize their health.

It is always good to sit with an objective, neutral party, reassess where you are, and decide on the best, sometimes new, course of action. It’s what I do as a clinician with new patients, and it was a great learning experience to turn that lens onto our own organization. It has provided the opportunity to recognize our strengths and bring to light the many needed impacts and goals achieved over the years.

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