Leverage Community Partnerships to Accomplish Hospital Goals

Leverage Community Partnerships to Accomplish Hospital Goals

Cultivating strategic relationships can help children's hospitals build successful programs.

As hospital leaders know, there is never enough funding to support every initiative a children’s hospital may want to pursue. Accomplishing goals with a limited budget often requires leaning on resources outside the hospital’s walls.

“Nonprofits want to partner with you and help support your strategic priorities,” says Janel Allen, executive vice president and chief people officer at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska. “Finding and using those partnerships requires time and energy, but it’s another way to acquire the dollars and support you need.”

Allen and her team followed that path in addressing social determinants of health among the hospital’s employees. They invested heavily in programs to assist team members, including nearly $2 million annually to raise employee wages. But they also collaborated with a variety of community organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity and GrOW, a navigator service sponsored by the local chamber of commerce that connects employees with community resources.

“We have certainly used our own resources, but we've also relied heavily on nonprofit organizations within the community to help us with this work,” Allen says.

A crucial aspect of collaborating with community organizations is identifying what each party brings to the table and allowing them to play to their strengths.

“There are so many partners in our community doing great work, so let’s not compete. Instead, let’s come together and make each other stronger,” Allen says. “When you have great partners and you’re working together, that's when the magic happens.”

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