NHC 2021-2023 Strategic and Action Plan

NOTE: The below are  priorities, strategies and actions, not detailed work plans. NHC has created a RACI Matrix for internal use to outline who is Responsible, Accountable,  Consulted and Informed for each action. The matrix  includes timelines of when actions will occur. Stakeholders who have defined roles in the matrix include: NHC Executive, Director and Manager; Operating Site Executives, Directors and Coordinators; Members, Alumni, Host Sites, Community Members and the Public. Work plans with timelines and output goals (eg. number of partnerships created, etc.)  will be established for each action with relevant responsible individuals outlined in the RACI matrix. 

NHC will post an annual report on all progress made on the strategic/action plan on the NHC Website between January-February every year starting in 2022. The report will be emailed to relevant stakeholders as well. 

Priority 1: Conduct and respond to equity impact assessments across all components of the  National Health Corps program 

Strategy 1: Collect, analyze, and disseminate baseline demographic data for NHC members, staff, and consultants

Actions:  

  • Collect and analyze demographic data for NHC staff annually 
  • Collect and analyze demographic data for NHC members annually
  • Collect and analyze demographic data for NHC consultants annually

Strategy 2: Launch a study to measure experiences of inclusivity (inclusion) within NHC

Actions:

  • Identify tools available to conduct an inclusivity study 
  • Develop tools to conduct an inclusivity study 
  • Create a survey for NHC staff 
  • Create a survey for NHC members
  • Report findings annually to staff and members

Strategy 3: Conduct an equity impact assessment  of NHC and AmeriCorps policies, procedures, and program design, and report findings

Actions

  • Identify tools available to conduct equity impact assessments
  • Develop tools to conduct equity impact assessments
  • Conduct an equity impact assessment of the NHC Member Handbook, including NHC and AmeriCorps policies embedded within it
  • Conduct an equity impact assessment of the NHC operating site manual
  • Conduct an equity impact assessment of NHC host site recruitment and retention approaches
  • Conduct an equity impact assessment of NHC member recruitment and retention approaches
  • Conduct an equity impact assessment of NHC contracts/MOAs
  • Conduct an equity impact assessment of member and host site support and oversight documents
  • Conduct an equity impact assessment of the NHC training plan 
  • Conduct an equity impact assessment of operating site-specific policies and procedures related to NHC program requirements 
  • Conduct an equity impact assessment of the AmeriCorps Notice of Opportunity for Funding
  • Conduct an equity impact assessment of the NHC program design described in the AmeriCorps grant proposal and program logic model 
  • Report findings of equity impact assessments

Strategy 4: Report NHC anti-structural oppression efforts, successes, and ongoing challenges

Actions

  • Develop tools to track NHC anti-structural oppression efforts, successes, and ongoing challenges
  • Develop tools to gain continuous feedback from members, staff,  host sites, outside service partners, consultant/trainers, community members, and alum
  • Develop and launch an internal/external communication strategy for sharing NHC equity progress with NHC staff, members, host sites, outside service partners, consultants, community members, and alum (include one public-facing annual report)

Strategy 5: Collect secondary and primary data about health disparities and related demographics by NHC operating site city/region

Actions: 

  • Collect and review relevant state, county, and community level health assessments
  • Collect and review ethnographic/social history community assessments and other relevant secondary data 
  • Convene relevant stakeholders, including community members, in different communities in each NHC operating site city/region to discuss and collect their perceptions and knowledge of their community health disparities and related demographics 

Strategy 6: Respond to findings in the equity impact assessments, inclusivity studies, and baseline data collection reviewsActions: 

  • Create work plans and evaluation metrics to respond to equity impact assessment findings
  • Review equity impact assessment findings, spend time in dialogue and reflection, commit to and co-create changes to NHC policies and practices that contribute to structural oppression and/or are based on white supremacy  
  • Host community convenings to review equity impact assessment findings, spend time in dialogue and reflection, and co-create changes to NHC policies and practices that contribute to structural oppression and/or are based on white supremacy
  • Deliver, analyze, document, and engage in a continuous equity impact evaluation improvement process annually
  • Revise NHC member training plan based on annual equity impact assessment findings with a specific training/reflection focus on providing knowledge and skills to reduce health disparities and the structural oppression that contributes to them
  • Revise all NHC training and technical assistance materials used by NHC staff with host sites for cultural relevance, accuracy, and critical analysis of practice methods and policy implementation
  • Revise NHC operating site, host site, and member program materials to appropriately reflect the communities being served 
  • Redesign NHC member committee requirements and implementation model based on equity impact assessment findings to focus on creating and sustaining an NHC program design free of structural oppression and/or white supremacy
  • Convene NHC staff and member committee representatives across Corps every two months to explore and eliminate structural oppression in all aspects of the NHC program
Priority 2: Build partnerships to create and sustain an NHC program free of structural oppression 

Strategy 1: Hire a consultant who has expertise in equity strategic planning using an intersectional framework to assist in creating NHC strategic and action plan for 2021 - 2023 (Completed)

Strategy 2: Create and sustain an NHC alumni board that plays an active role in co-creating an equitable NHC program design

Actions

  • Create Terms of Reference for alumni board members
  • Create selection criteria and committee for choosing alumni board members
  • Convene alumni board quarterly 

Strategy 3: Build capacity of NHC staff to identify, confront, and eliminate policies and practices that perpetuate structural oppression within their organizations 

Actions: 

  • Engage NHC parent, operating site, and host site staff in dialogue and reflection about  organizational policies and practices that are based on structural oppression and white supremacy
  • Design and implement recruitment, hiring, and career development policies and procedures to ensure that NHC staff/consultancy opportunities reach populations who are representative of the communities the NHC program serves, and who have been historically underrepresented in the specific position of hire
  • Design and implement trainings and technical assistance meetings to support NHC operating site staff capacity to address operating site recruitment, hiring, and retention disparities
  • Include discussions about measures to address structural oppression in all aspects of the NHC program at all quarterly NHC Executive leadership meetings 
  • Host convenings with members of the communities where NHC serves to assist NHC staff in identifying NHC policies and practices that contribute to structural oppression and white supremacy and identify solutions

Strategy 4:  Build and strengthen partnerships with local, state, and national organizations to critically examine policies, practices, and expectations of funders (federal, state, county, and private) that perpetuate structural oppression, and to co-create strategies and actions to eliminate them

Actions: 

  • Connect and build relationships with AmeriCorps State and National programs 
  • Participate in AmeriCorps State Service Commission, National Service Task Force, and other volunteer/stakeholder meetings/workshops in states where NHC serves
  • Participate in meetings/events hosted by national service advocacy organizations 
  • Meet with funder leadership to discuss policy and practice requirements that contribute to structural oppression and white supremacy
  • Engage NHC members in dialogue and reflection to gain insight and thoughts on policies and expectations of funders that contribute to structural oppression and white supremacy
Priority 3: Recruit and support host sites that are reflective of and meet the needs of communities  being served 

Strategy 1: Revise host site recruitment strategies and requirements 

Actions: 

  • Create options for how organizations that may not be able to afford the NHC host site financial contribution, but otherwise would qualify, can become host sites
  • Redevelop the NHC host site application scoring process to prioritize positions that address structural causes of health disparities 
  • Redevelop the NHC host site application to assess host site applicants’ commitment to addressing structural oppression and capacity to do so 
  • Facilitate a minimum of one information session and TA meetings annually with potential host site applicants to provide technical assistance on how to submit a successful application
  • Facilitate a minimum of 30 (five per operating site) annual meetings with grassroots community-based organizations that have annual budgets less than $500,000 to explore interest/potential in becoming an NHC host site, and/or an outside service partner 
  • Facilitate a minimum of 10 annual meetings with the national branch of grassroots community-based organizations that have annual budgets less than $500,000 to explore interest/potential in becoming an NHC host site, and/or an outside service partner
  • Engage members of the communities NHC serves to co-create host site recruitment/marketing and retention efforts
  • Develop host site orientation packets that include resources for addressing structural oppression

Strategy 2: Design and implement NHC policies and procedures to support recruitment and retention of NHC members at host sites that reflect and meet the needs of communities being served 

Actions: 

  • Prior to member placement, assess host site requirements related to applicants’ criminal backgrounds and ensure that potential members are not being ruled out due to unduly restrictive application of policies/requirements at potential host sites
  • Assess if host sites have practices in place to support acceptance, inclusion and validation of members placed there 
  • Based on assessment findings, provide technical assistance to host sites with issues related to support, acceptance, inclusion, and validation practices

Strategy 3:  Build partnerships with local, state, and national organizations to identify and engage host sites that are reflective of and meet the needs of the communities being served 

Actions: 

  • Identify and build relationships with relevant state and county public health departments in regions where NHC serves 
  • Identify and develop relationships with organizations that are led by and serve populations who are disproportionately affected by health disparities in the geographic communities NHC serves
  • Identify and build relationships with community-based organizations that focus on social justice, equity, and eliminating structural oppression in communities where NHC serves
  • Identify and build relationships with faith-based institutions that represent members of the geographic communities where NHC serves 
  • Identify and build relationships with trade unions that represent the industries of employed individuals in the geographic communities where NHC serves
  • Connect and partner with State Emergency Management Agencies, State Service Commissions, and the AmeriCorps Disaster Response Unit to create disaster preparedness and response plans for AmeriCorps programs that respond to national public health crises and natural disasters that disproportionately impact communities that have been systematically and historically oppressed

Strategy 4: Create solutions for host sites who require ongoing support of NHC services between program years

Actions: 

  • Identify host sites that have a need for support during the 6-8 week period between NHC program years
  • Explore and create strategies with host sites who express a need for support for continuation of NHC services between program years
  • Explore implementing a pilot at select NHC host sites to overlap NHC service terms with an aim of eliminating the gap in services between NHC program years

Strategy 5: Design and implement annual equity impact evaluations for host site recruitment, selection, and retention efforts

Actions: 

  • Identify tools available to conduct equity impact evaluations
  • Develop tools to conduct equity impact evaluations
  • Conduct equity impact evaluation 

Strategy 6: Conduct an equity impact evaluation of the NHC program design described in AmeriCorps grant proposal and program logic model 

Actions: 

  • Identify tools available to conduct equity impact evaluations
  • Develop tools to conduct equity impact evaluations
  • Conduct equity impact evaluation
Priority 4: Recruit and retain members who are reflective of communities being served 

Strategy 1: Develop a comprehensive and equitable member recruitment plan  

Actions

  • Define “communities being served” with community members, NHC members, and NHC staff
  • Use annual equity impact assessment data to inform targeted demographic member recruitment efforts 
  • Host community convenings with members of the communities NHC serves to co-create member recruitment and retention efforts 
  • Develop and facilitate annually a minimum of two in-person/virtual application technical assistance workshops for interested applicants
  • Co-develop and implement a continuous member recruitment and engagement  improvement plan with NHC members

Strategy 2: Evaluate member application processes for barriers that (re)produce exclusivity in successful NHC candidates 

Actions

  • Review and update applications for gender affirming and inclusive language
  • Make it possible for candidates to self-identify as many demographic categories as possible
  • Pilot a blind member selection process (which allows for the removal of many personal identifiers until the interview)

Strategy 3: Build partnerships with local, state, and national organizations to identify and engage NHC members that are reflective of the communities being served 

Actions: 

  • Connect and partner with relevant state and county public health departments in regions where NHC serves 
  • Identify and build relationships with organizations that are led by and serve populations who are disproportionately affected by health disparities in the communities NHC serves
  • Identify and build relationships with community-based organizations that focus on social justice, equity, and eliminating structural oppression in communities where NHC serves
  • Identify and build relationships with faith-based institutions that represent members of the geographic communities where NHC serves 
  • Identify and build relationships with trade unions that represent the industries of employed individuals in the geographic communities where NHC serves

Strategy 4: Design and implement annual equity impact evaluations for member recruitment, selection, and retention efforts

Actions:

  • Identify tools available to conduct equity impact evaluations
  • Develop tools to conduct equity impact evaluations
  • Implement equity impact evaluations annually 
Priority 5: Raise awareness about and support for National Health Corps 

Strategy 1: Build and strengthen partnerships with organizations to increase NHC’s ability to contribute and respond to national public health crises and natural and/or human-caused disasters that disproportionately impact communities that have been systematically and historically oppressed

Actions

  • Connect and partner with State Emergency Management Agencies, State Service Commissions, and the AmeriCorps Disaster Response Unit to create disaster preparedness and response plans for AmeriCorps programs
  • Meet and partner with relevant stakeholders in Delaware (County Commissioners, Governor’s Office, Senator’s Office, State Service Commission, etc), NHC operating sites, and host sites to create a new NHC program in Delaware where funding has been made available to expand NHC to respond to COVID-19
  • Apply for and provide annual AmeriCorps funding to existing NHC operating sites, with a focus on gaining more funding to address community and member needs that NHC serves
  • Apply for and provide AmeriCorps State Commission formula (state) funding to expand NHC focus, reach, and funding streams 
  • Oversee and administer new AmeriCorps State Commission funded NHC programming
  • Implement new AmeriCorps State Commission funded NHC programming 
  • Engage relevant NHC member committee participants to assist with idea creation, partnership building, and work plans
  • Connect with relevant state and county public health departments in regions where NHC serves 
  • Identify and build relationships with organizations that are led by and serve populations who are disproportionately affected by health disparities in the communities NHC serves
  • Identify and build relationships with community-based organizations that focus on social justice, equity, and eliminating structural oppression in communities where NHC serves
  • Identify and build relationships with faith-based institutions that represent members of the geographic communities where NHC serves 
  • Identify and build relationships with trade unions that represent the industries of employed individuals in the geographic communities where NHC serves
  • Create and implement an NHC alumni board to assist with idea creation, partnership building and work plans

Strategy 2: Develop NHC fundraising and business development initiatives 

Actions

  • Identify financial support for host sites that can’t afford match 
  • Identify financial support to increase members’ stipends
  • Establish fundraising goals based on operating site-identified programmatic needs
  • Research and apply for relevant grants to meet operating site-identified programmatic needs
  • Research and apply for relevant grants to provide funding to support individuals’ successful participation in the NHC program, with a specific focus on supporting the needs of residents of the geographic communities where NHC serves
  • Meet with relevant stakeholders to begin discussing fundraising campaign workplans 
  • Hire assistant/consultant to maintain fundraising marketing
  • Launch annual fundraising campaign that generates funding to support NHC applicants that are residents of the geographic communities where the program serves

Strategy 3: Develop and implement a marketing strategy that represents the NHC program design and values 

Actions: 

  • Convene operating site staff to co-create and implement a marketing strategy
  • Engage members of the community NHC serves to co-create and implement a marketing strategy
  • Develop a new NHC Website that includes content and images that represent the NHC program design and values
  • Redevelop NHC social media strategy 
  • Develop and update standardized NHC host site recruitment marketing materials 
  • Revise standardized NHC member recruitment materials
  • Revise one-page NHC Talking Points 
  • Continue development and publishing of NHC quarterly newsletter 
  • Create and implement member committees to assist with idea creation, partnership building and work plans
  • Visit/meet with offices of elected officials to inform and educate about NHC and program goals to eliminate health disparities
  • Develop template letters to notify elected officials of grant awards and programming in their districts

Strategy 4: Design and implement an annual impact evaluation for fundraising, marketing, and communication initiatives

Actions: 

  • Identify tools available to conduct equity impact evaluations
  • Develop tools to conduct equity impact evaluations
  • Implement equity impact evaluations annually 
Summary of Process to Create Proposed NHC Strategic and Action Plan
  • Late June 2020: NHC staff at HFP created draft strategic and action plan and emailed to NHC 2019 members for comments; 
  • Early July 2020: NHC staff at HFP hosted town hall with 2019 NHC members to receive feedback and proposed revisions for draft strategic plan; 
  • July 2020: NHC staff at HFP revised draft plan based on 2019 member oral and written feedback;
  • July 2020: NHC staff at HFP received written and oral  proposed revisions to draft strategic plan from NHC operating site directors and coordinators and revised draft further based on feedback;
  • July 24, 2020: HFP hired a consultant  to 1) review the draft plan and highlight areas that initiate, reinforce, and institutionalize structural and systemic oppression of individuals providing and/or communities that are receiving NHC services; 2) examine existent and relevant NHC policies and practices, documents and outcome data; 3) coach NHC leadership on issues of systemic and structural oppression; 4) facilitate feedback and dialogue  with NHC staff at HFP and NHC operating site directors and coordinators about the strategic and action plan to ensure inclusivity and representation of voices of those doing the work and those receiving the NHC services; 4) provide NHC with proposed revised strategies and actions and overall recommendations for finalization of strategic plan; 
  • July 27-July 31, 2020: NHC Director, Program Manager and Operating Site directors participated in African American Policy Forum summer camp “Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality: Key Concepts to Sustain and Fight Against Anti-Black Racism”
  • August 2020: NHC Director, Program Manager and Operating Site Directors and Coordinators met to review and discuss draft strategic plan; 
  • September 2020: Consultant facilitated three 2-hour meetings with NHC Operating Site Directors and Coordinators and presented proposed revisions to  strategic and action plan based on meetings; 
  • October 2020: HFP hosted NHC Executive Meeting to present revised strategic and action plan presented by NHC directors and coordinators to receive oral feedback; 
  • November 2020: Consultant presented HFP with final recommendations and proposed strategies and actions; 
  • November 2020: NHC staff at HFP cross check consultant proposed strategies and actions with those proposed from NHC Executives, Directors and Coordinators and finalized draft strategic and action plan
  • November - December 2020: NHC Executive, Director and Coordinators provided final written comments and proposed revisions; 
  • December 9, 2020: Working meeting  with NHC Director, Program Manager, and operating site directors and coordinators to finalize draft strategic and action plan; 
  • December 2020: Draft plan emailed to all 2020 Members for comments;  
  • December 16 & 17, 2020: NHC Director and Program Manager facilitated two town hall meetings with 2020 members to receive proposed revisions and feedback about plan;  
  • December 29, 2020: Proposed Strategic and Action Plan posted on NHC Website for public review and comment. Targeted emails with proposed plan  sent to 2020 members; 2019 members;  2020 host site supervisors, and NHC member and host site supervisor alum.
  • January 25, 2021: Public comment period closed. 
  • January 25, 2021-February 11, 2021: NHC  Executive, Director and Program Manager drafted a RACI chart for NHC Operating Site Directors/Coordinators to review and propose comments/edits/additions. Along with individual review and feedback, the NHC Director and Manager and NHC Operating Site Directors and Coordinators met twice on January 25th and February for 2-3 hours to discuss and finalize stakeholder roles,  proposed timelines for completion of actions, and any other comments/concerns prior to finalization of Draft RACI Chart. 
  • February 13, 2021: NHC Director shared the finalized RACI Chart draft with all NHC Operating Site Executives for review and proposed edits/additions for consideration prior to finalization. 
  • March 2021: Strategic/Action Plan finalized and published on NHC Website, including all public comments received.