BTW informing change


informing change is excited to share new research and discussion topics that are the result of our work over the past few months. We find these topics interesting and relevant to advancing the philanthropic and nonprofit fields, and we want to share our current learnings with you!

Insights on Change

The Blind Men & the Elephant


BTW Senior Consultant  Naomi Orensten explores how poetry can open a space for broader thinking and understanding to inform more strategic action. The Blind Men & the Elephant demonstrates how our observations are interpretations of our own limited experience. Naomi suggests that in order to get a more robust picture, we need to listen to the full organizational orchestra through deeper inquiry, open-minded thinking and engagement with different perspectives.


Teaching Through Text?


According to a new report by the World Bank, about three-quarters of people around the world have access to a mobile phone. BTW Associate, Jamie Elmasu believes that mobile technology can offer creative ways to deliver information to youth through a medium they already love to use. In her new blog post, Teaching Through Text? Jaime describes a few mobile learning programs and asks how others can create mobile learning applications that are fun and relevant to educating youth.


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A Job and a Chance   


A Job and a ChanceThe Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce (the L.A. Chamber) is one of the nation's oldest and most prominent regional business advocacy organizations. In June 2011, the L.A. Chamber received a grant from the Walmart Foundation to provide summer employment opportunities for underserved 16- to 21-year olds in Los Angeles.


Through this grant, the L.A. Chamber partnered with civic and nonprofit organizations to offer summer work opportunities for 500 youth. In addition to providing participants with financial support, the program offered training to enhance their personal and professional development, including job search training, financial literacy education, life skills, and college and career exploration.


BTW's evaluation, A Job and a Chance, describes the impact of the L.A. Chamber's 2011 Summer Youth Employment Program on the youth participants, and the value of the program for the participating nonprofit organizations and the L.A. Chamber itself. The report concludes with a summary of results from an online survey of the youth participants' experience with the program.


Strengthening Partnerships to Improve Community Health


Over the past four years, the Center for Care Innovations (CCI, formerly the Community Clinics Initiative) has supported creative ways of promoting health in underserved communities through their Networking for Community Health program. CCI, through generous support from The California Endowment, granted nearly $10 million to community clinics across California to strengthen their connections with local partners and improve community health. Read BTW's new report, Strengthening Partnerships to Improve Community Health, to learn more about the Networking for Community Health program or watch a series of short videos to see grantee projects in action as they work to:  


Strengthening Partnerships to Improve Community Health  


The Jewish Resource Specialist Professional Development Initiative


The Jewish Resource Specialist Program (JRS) is a flagship professional development initiative of the Early JRS Year 1 Eval Findings Childhood Education Initiative of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties. JRS was designed to deepen the overall Jewish experience in early childhood Jewish educational institutions and support parents in making Jewish choices for their families.   


A new report presents evaluation findings from the initial implementation of JRS in the 2011-2012 school year, including key achievements and challenges. This evaluation assesses the JRS program overall as a model, focusing on the role JRS played in increasing family engagement in Jewish life at the preschool and in the community, and deepening Jewish learning within the JRS school environment. Finally, this evaluation offers recommendations for early-course adjustments as the program moves forward and poses questions regarding the essence of the JRS model, structurally and programmatically.


Preparing the Clinic Leaders of Tomorrow


California's community clinics require strong, committed leaders who can navigate their organizations through an increasingly complex healthcare system and meet the needs of diverse patient populations. Many current executives are approaching retirement or contemplating other steps in their professional lives, and the majority of these leaders have not yet identified someone to take their place. To address this imminent leadership gap, Blue Shield of California Foundation partnered with the Center for the Health Professions at the University of California, San Francisco to design and implement the Clinic Leadership Institute Emerging Leaders program.


The intensive, 18-month program prepares emerging leaders to move into executive positions within five to eight years in order to sustain a strong and vibrant community clinics field in California. Since the launch of the program in 2008, BTW has conducted a mixed-method, longitudinal study of program impacts. The most recent report, Preparing the Clinic Leaders of Tomorrow, summarizes evaluation findings to date. A companion report, Bridging the Divide Between Leadership Development & Organizational Outcomes, examines how the Emerging Leaders program benefits spread from participants to their organizations through customized leadership projects.


Preparing the Clinic Leaders of Tomorrow          Bridging the Divide  


Events Calendar


Leadership for the New Community Clinics Era:  

Promising Practices, Opportunities and Challenges

2012 CPCA Annual Conference


During an interactive group panel, BTW's Director of Evaluation & Organizational Learning Kim Ammann Howard; Cecilia Echeverria, Program Officer at the Blue Shield of California Foundation; Hermann Spetzler, CEO of Open Door Community Health Centers; and Lauren Hill, Director of Training and Special Projects at Planned Parenthood Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley discussed their experiences supporting, participating in and evaluating a variety of leadership development supports. The panel highlighted lessons learned from the Clinic Leadership Institute, which for the past four years has worked to move emerging clinic leaders into executive positions through a variety of activities and learning modalities. The panel also discussed new leadership support evolving from these efforts including those focused on executive clinic teams and new CEOs and CFOs.


6th International Conference on Health Issues in Arab Communities  


BTW Senior Associate Nadia Salibi recently attending the  6th International Conference on Health Issues in Arab Communities sponsored by ACCESS Community Health & Research Center. Local and international attendees, presenters, exhibitors and partners came together to discuss the health inequities-including social, cultural, and economic factors-facing Arab communities. The conference focused on three important themes affecting Arab communities: social determinants of health, genetics and health on chronic disease, and quality health care. The conferences fostered a forum for collective sharing, learning, and open dialogue to improve health among Arab communities locally and abroad.


Pipeline Promise: Cultivating the Next Generation of Health Leaders

APHA 140th Annual Meeting and Exposition


BTW's Director of Evaluation & Organizational Learning Kim Ammann Howard, will participate in a panel discussion with Cecilia Echeverria, Program Officer at  Blue Shield of California Foundation, and Tracy Macdonald Mendez, an emerging clinic leader to discuss their experiences designing, evaluating and receiving a variety of leadership development supports. The panel will focus on the Blue Shield of California Foundation's signature leadership development program--the Clinic Leadership Institute--and two other leadership support programs that have evolved from these efforts.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

8:30-10:00 a.m.

San Francisco, CA

Register to attend  

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Meet the BTW Team
BTW welcomes Jaime Elmasu to our team as our new Associate! Jamie is committed to working with community partners to research innovative health programming aimed at strengthening community health strategies.
Jamie Elmasu