Still a Unicorn? Strategic Questions Facing Health Leads
Mitroi, Lavinia R.
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AbstractHealth Leads is a Boston-based non-profit seeking to standardize patient screening for basic needs in the health sector. For almost two decades, the organization’s name was synonymous with their Co-Founder/CEO Rebecca Onie and their Help Desks—physical spaces in a hospital or clinic where college student volunteers helped patients fill “prescriptions” for food, electricity, and other essential needs. In 2015, Health Leads pivoted away from replication of their Desk Model to pursue sector-wide change, through a new strategy known as the Grow & Catalyze (G&C) Plan. At the close of this plan, the organization was left with numerous questions regarding the G&C Plan’s success and their new role in the sector. They also faced a historic leadership transition as Onie departed Health Leads to start a new policy initiative. This DELTA Project evaluates the implementation and results of the G&C Strategy at this inflection point for the organization. Through a seven-month immersion at Health Leads, I gathered both quantitative and qualitative data drawn from internal documents, staff interviews, and participant observation. The following is an analysis of the G&C Strategy through the lens of key frameworks in the field of non-profit strategy, followed by a presentation of strategic options for the organization’s next move. As Health Leads decides on their next strategy, I recommend they adapt and scale the original Desk Model, building on existing skills and leveraging the core offering that brought them renown in the first place- the narrative of the Help Desk.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:37945566