Bronx Community Health Network Case Study

THE NEED

Bronx Community Health Network (BCHN) is a non-profit community-based organization
that sponsors 21 community and school-based health centers in the Bronx. BCHN
collaborates with more than 60 multi-sector organizations to plan and implement
clinical and community programs.

BCHN’s Board of Directors approved a new three-year Strategic Plan, with goals aimed at
meeting the healthcare needs of the Bronx’s most marginalized communities while also
focusing on the stability and health of the organization itself. BCHN’s management team sought
support from gothamCulture to design and facilitate an all-staff retreat that would help them
begin to build a foundation to support this growth and change as they implemented this
strategy. Broadly, the retreat aimed to:

  • Foster team-building interactions and group participation in a fun and relaxing way
  • Celebrate recent accomplishments
  • Improve working dynamics and establish effective communications styles and approaches
    among team members
  • Present infrastructure expansion and reorganization in line with BCHN’s Strategic Plan
  • Explore team members’ work style and professional motivation and how these impact
    personal growth

THE INTERVENTION

Through a dialogue-design and facilitation process, gothamCulture led BCHN through a
discovery process that would help them understand how culture makes or breaks the
implementation of a strategic plan. gC sought to design a group process that was rooted in an
empathetic view of what various staff members may need in order to openly discuss the culture
needed for the organization to achieve its goals. gC facilitated various conversations with the
staff to identify their needs, including a 2-hour, interactive all-staff meeting and a series of
focus groups across different functional areas and leadership levels. gC presented a needs
assessment recommendation to the BCHN management team and facilitated a powerful
dialogue that helped the team take ownership of their role in the current and future state of
the organization. This dialogue led to the design of a retreat process that would help BCHN
management and staff connect on a human level and have tough conversations related to the
changing face of the organization.

THE IMPACT

As part of this process, gC facilitated a one-and-a-half-day retreat with the entire staff and
management team present. Over the course of the retreat, staff and management reflected on
the organization’s past to draw lessons for the future, collaborated to dream up ideas for the
future that would help the organization meet its goals while managing scarce resources, and
participated in a “leader listen in” where staff could speak openly to the management team
about their concerns surrounding changing policies and processes. gC summarized these
conversations and developed recommendations for the continued management of culture as
the organization pursued new goals, then facilitated an action planning conversations with the
management team.

As a result of this work, the management team demonstrated a significant increase in its
executive maturity to identify opportunities to manage organizational culture, to own their role
as leaders in shaping culture, and to empower BCHN staff to provide feedback and implement
change. The management team formed a volunteer committee of staff members that could
provide recommendations and creative problem solving to ensure that changing policies and
processes benefitted staff while acknowledging the scarcity of resources in their environment.
Leaders also identified best practices that they could implement as they communicated
strategic goals and changes with the rest of the organization.