While Anderson hosts Social Innovation Week on campus this week, showcasing the power of business to improve social outcomes and create positive change, I can’t help but reflect on the various organizations I interacted with last week that have health outcome improvement at the forefront of their organizational mission and whose staff work tirelessly to create impact. Last week I had the privilege of attending the first of a series of trainings hosted by UCLA Anderson’s Health Care Institute (HCI) in Albuquerque, New Mexico supported by a five-year federal grant.
In the room sat more than 100 participants representing 27 Head Start and Early Head start agencies, out of a total of 150 agencies that applied to go through the five-year cohort training. The training they received last week was to set them up for success in delivering their own health literacy trainings for low-income families of Head Start. They heard lectures and engaged in workshops on various topics, including: strategic planning, marketing, getting stakeholder buy-in, and creating staff and parent motivation and engagement. They also sat through a mock parent training they are meant to emulate in their communities when they return home.
The Health Care Institute finds its home in the business school because building organizational capacity and strengthening management systems of Head Start and Early Head Start agencies is at the core of the HCI approach. While businesses are looking more and more to support community organizations through funding and partnerships, bringing business rigor to nonprofit organizations is and should continue to be an important element of elevating social change. Adding management best practices to organizations staffed by passionate individuals committed to improving social outcomes is the best recipe for positive social change.
HCI kicked off its first training on April 13th, 2016 in Albuquerque, New Mexico as part of a five-year federal grant from the National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness to improve the health literacy of low-income families across the nation and strengthen management systems within Head Start and Early Head Start agencies. HCI’s strategic management approach to health promotion and disease prevention is designed to assist Head Start and Early Head Start agencies improve the health of their staff, families and children, while bringing a culture of health and wellness to the organization. The five-year grant aims to reach 50,000 Head Start and Early Head Start agencies with trainings on topics such as: common childhood illnesses, oral health, mental health and wellness, nutrition and obesity prevention. The Health Care Institute’s comprehensive training methodology has been proven to strengthen management capacity, create more community partnerships, increase school attendance, increase parents’ work attendance, increase engagement (of staff, parents and their communities), and ultimately improve the health literacy of staff and families.
The Health Care Institute is a comprehensive approach to health empowerment for Head Start parents, children and staff with an array of programs targeting key health issues. It began in 2001 from the vision of Professor Ariella Herman and has taught over 120,000 parents nationwide how to treat everyday childhood illnesses at home, easing the burden on local emergency rooms and clinics. To learn more, visit the Health Care Institute website.