Foundation Planning Task Force Nearing Finish

The Foundation Planning Task Force (“FPTF”)  has been entrusted with exploring, discussing, and recommending 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 to eighteen month time-frame. The task force completed an information-gathering phase, and has begun to work with Kohrman Jackson & Krantz to outline their recommendations for the Mayor & City Council. 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. (NOTE TO HIGHLIGHT AND LINK TO 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 FPTF.

  • 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 presented 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.

    • Kristin Broadbent, President and CEO of Three Arches Foundation (established with the funds from the former Lakewood Hospital Foundation), spoke to the group about their plans to be a grant-making foundation focused on access to care and behavioral health.

  • 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 has implemented the use of a community question submission box, and compiled a list of FAQ's as part of its overall communications approach regarding these efforts.

  • Community Engagement Subcommittee Report: The group interviewed over 85 individuals representing various populations and/or issues that affect residents in Lakewood. The results of the interviews were presented in a report to the full Task Force at the October meeting. In addition, individual Task Force members responded to the same questions asked in the interviews, which were compiled by Task Force facilitator, Randell McShepard.
  • Foundation Structure Subcommittee: This subcommittee presented information on potential structures for the new Foundation to the full Task Force at the October meeting. This presentation began a much broader and more in depth conversation about how to structure the Foundation, which resumed at the November meeting.

  • Community Forum:On November 15th, the FPTF hosted a community conversation, at Garfield Middle School, to share the findings of the Community Engagement Subcommittee, and other discoveries, up to that point. This was another opportunity to have an open discussion with the community on the whole process, and get further input from our fellow residents.

  • Legal Counsel Selection Subcommittee: In January, a group of taskforce members gathered to select counsel based on RFP submissions. The selection committee selected Susan Scheutzow of Kohrman, Jackson & Krantz to lead our efforts to develop a structure, a code of regulations, and submit application to the State of Ohio & IRS for regulatory approval.

  • Foundation Structure: Ms. Scheutzow led a thorough review of available options with the FPTF, along with why each could be considered, at the February 2018 meeting. It was advised that the tax structure of the Cleveland Clinic, along with the Master Agreement that calls for their annual contributions to the foundation, should allow the new foundation to register as a public charity. This structure allows the foundation to put more money to work in the community, rather than potentially pay taxes on revenues. The FPTF chose to move forward with an application, based on this concept, given certain parameters put into place to avoid conflicts of interest, and create greater transparency, which were more prominent within private foundations.

  • Board Structure & Regulations Subcommittee: A subcommittee was formed in February to work with counsel to develop the board selection matrix, along with a code of regulations for the foundation. These are being developed based upon the principals set forth by the Community Engagement Subcommittee report.

In summary, the  FPTF has continued to gather a great deal of information and taken steps in further of defining recommendations over the past 15 months, and looks forward to presenting those recommendations to the Mayor and City Counsel in the coming weeks.

Mission Statement: To advance programs, policies, and practices that inspire a Lakewood community in which health and wellness are reflected in all aspects of life.

Vision Statement: Lakewood is a place where all people achieve their fullest health potential.

“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 and the Lakewood Foundation. Mike is also actively involved with LakewoodAlive, both as a board member, volunteer, 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 and the Lakewood Foundation. Mike is also actively involved with LakewoodAlive, both as a board member, volunteer, 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 14, Issue 7, Posted 7:27 PM, 03.20.2018