Facilitator Cara Conrad-Koupal leads the Promise Community Health Center board in a discussion about mission, vision and value statements during a strategic planning session this spring.
Executive director Nancy Dykstra said the key word in that sentence is “together.” Promise works with multiple nonprofit agencies, public and private health entities and medical providers, and the faith community to address community health needs.
“We are embedded in this community along with our patients, along with our families,” she said. “We walk with them. We work with them. We meet them where they are and deal with the situations that they live with and live in. That’s community health.”
Dykstra said that extends beyond care that doctors, nurses, dentists, midwives and behavioral health specialists provide. It might mean walking someone over to the food pantry or helping them get meal service set up, referring them for heating and fuel assistance, making a call on their behalf to get utilities set up – whatever it takes.
Promise clinic manager Brittany Hamm and board members Emily Mahr, Michele McGill and Don Ortman brainstorm ideas during a small group discussion.
“It’s all of that. That’s what we’re about here,” she said. “At Promise, it’s sometimes being their voice because they don’t have a voice or they don’t know how to have a voice. We embrace all of those things here at the community health center in helping people be healthier and live healthier.”
This spring, staff and board members pondered Promise’s past, present and future as they worked through the visioning process. First, a facilitator led groups of staff members through a process to draft initial mission, vision and value statements and meshed them together to create concise thoughts. Promise’s leadership team then refined the statements. The board further worked through the wording as the opening task of a strategic planning workshop and gave formal approval to them at its next monthly meeting.
In addition to a tag line, the process resulted in mission, vision and value statements.
The mission: “The mission of Promise Community Health Center is to provide accessible, holistic health care that adapts to the needs of the community to improve the well-being of all persons.”
Promise board members Cynthia Porter, Mark Juhl, Grace Rohrer and Kelsey Callens discuss ideas during the planning session.
Dykstra said Promise is delivering on “the promise of a healthier community” when its mission is followed to the fullest. She noted that the mission also promotes flexibility. The “accessible, holistic health care” provided by Promise must continually evolve because the community and people constantly change.
“What a person needs today isn’t what they need tomorrow, and our services likewise constantly need to be looked at in that light and assessed in that light,” she said. “What we think is a good fit for Promise to provide might not be that way six months from now or a year from now. So we’re constantly analyzing if we are delivering the right services for the patients who are coming through our doors or if we need to modify them.”
The value statements fall under three words: Acceptance, teamwork and integrity.
She said those values rose to the surface through conversations by staff members about what they value most in the work they do at Promise.
“That’s why they are our value statements,” she said. “We truly embrace these core values, and we build our service delivery and we build how we evaluate our staff around those.”
Dykstra said the mission, vision and value statements helped set the tone for the board’s strategic planning session and will serve as Promise’s roadmap into the future.
“Identifying these helps set the compass,” she said. “It helps the organization find its core.”