Foundation Planning Task Force To Host Community Conversation

The Foundation Planning Task Force has been entrusted to explore, discuss, and recommend to City Council the nature, scope, mission, and governance of a new wellness foundation for the benefit of Lakewood (for more information, please visit http://www.onelakewood.com/wellness-foundation-task-force/) to be completed within a sixteen – eighteen month time-frame. The task force is in an information gathering phase; below is a summary of their work done in pursuit of completing their task(s) in a timely manner: 

  • Selection of Foundation Planning Task Force: The Mayor and City Council issued a request to the community for residents to sit on a Foundation Planning Task Force in furtherance of Section IV of the Master Agreement. Forty-six applications were received and 17 members were selected for the task force. The first meeting was in January 2017.

  • Chair & Vice-Chair Appointed: Erin Murphy came forward at the beginning to act as Chair of the FPTF and was unanimously approved.  The group subsequently voted to make Dan Cohn the Vice-Chair for the task force.

  • Search Subcommittee: Early work of the group involved forming a sub-committee that was charged with retaining a consultant to assist the FPTF with all aspects of the process of creating the new Foundation. The committee developed an RFP which was sent to ten potential consultants with four chosen to interview. Randell McShepard was retained as a consultant and facilitator for the Foundation Planning Task Force.

  • Task Force Retreat: Mr. McShepard led a retreat of the FPTF on May 30, 2017 at the Lakewood Women’s Pavilion. The retreat included a review of a survey answered by each of the task force members.  Members took some time to get to know each other and then moved into more substantive issues including discussions about how to identify stakeholders and how to gather information about the health needs of the Lakewood community.

  • Community Engagement Subcommittee: The Community Engagement Subcommittee was formed. That group has developed a set of interview questions and has spent the last several months interviewing members of various organizations related to behavioral health, the business community, culture, groups involved with issues of race, ethnicity and diversity, early childhood, faith communities, health, low income, philanthropy, recreation, seniors, women’s issues and youth as well as elected officials. They will present their findings in a report to the FPTF in October.

  • Local Expert Speakers: The FPTF has invited various experts in health and wellness to present and provide background information in areas relevant to the formation of the Foundation. Video recordings of these presentations are on the city website. The speakers have included: 

    • Staff members from the City of Lakewood’s Department of Human Services;

    • Kirstin Craciun from the Center for Health Affairs to discuss the Community Health Needs Assessment;

    • Martha Halko from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, who presented on Building Healthier Communities;  

    • Dr. Jim Hekman, Dr. Judy Welsh and Jenny Evans from the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, who are instrumental in establishing the new Lakewood Family Health Center; and

    • Mitch Balk from the Mt. Sinai Foundation, who spoke about conversion foundations and the lessons they learned in their own process.

  • Foundation Structure Subcommittee: A sub-committee was formed in July to gather information about Foundation funding and options for infrastructure. This information will also include pros/cons of each type of structure.

  • Communications Subcommittee: In August, a subcommittee was formed and given the duty of communicating the activity of the FPTF to the community. The Communications Subcommittee is currently exploring the use of FAQ's as part of its overall communications approach regarding these efforts.

  • Community Forum: On Wednesday, November 15th at Garfield Middle School from 7:00-8:30 pm, the FPTF will be hosting a community conversation to share the findings of the Community Engagement Subcommittee, and other discoveries, up to this point. This will be another opportunity to have an open discussion with the community on the whole process, and get further input from our fellow residents. We encourage all to attend.

In summary, there has been a lot of information gathering done by the FPTF since January. It is expected that the next phase, which will begin after the October task force meeting, will involve decisions related to the formation of the Foundation.

“One of the central tenets of our efforts is community engagement with an eye toward promoting coordination, collaboration, and sustainability; fostering community voice; ensuring the effectiveness of the foundation; and developing models of transparency and accountability that build and maintain community trust.” – FPTF Community Engagement Subcommittee

Mike Bentley is originally from Lakewood and lives here today with his wife, Missy, and sons, James and Alex. In his free time, Mike enjoys gardening and landscaping, golf, Cleveland sports, The Ohio State Buckeyes, and spending time with his family. He is a past board member of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce. He is a current board member of the Clifton Club. Mike is also actively involved with LakewoodAlive, both as a board member and title sponsor for the Front Porch Concert Series. He is also chair of the communications subcommittee for the Foundation Planning Taskforce.

Michael Bentley

Mike Bentley is originally from Lakewood and lives here today with his wife, Missy, and sons, James and Alex. In his free time, Mike enjoys gardening and landscaping, golf, Cleveland sports, The Ohio State Buckeyes, and spending time with his family. He is a past board member of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce. He is a current board member of the Clifton Club. Mike is also actively involved with LakewoodAlive, both as a board member and title sponsor for the Front Porch Concert Series. He is also chair of the communications subcommittee for the Foundation Planning Taskforce.

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Volume 13, Issue 20, Posted 12:05 PM, 10.17.2017