Online Program

Strategic mission investment at the March of Dimes: A chapter perspective

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 9:30 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

Tracey Reed, BA, East Region, March of Dimes Foundation, Pine Brook, NJ

Kelly Ernst, MPH, MCH Impact, March of Dimes Foundation, White Plains, NY
Norm Hess, MSA, Chapter Program Support, March of Dimes Foundation, White Plains, NY
Scott Berns, MD, MPH, FAAP, Chapter Program Support, March of Dimes Foundation, White Plains, NY
Background & Significance:

The Strategic Mission Investment (SMI) planning process and implementation have improved the way MOD works in the community, and how program initiatives are conceptualized and implemented in chapters.  This new approach has spurred a revamping of program planning and grant-giving, and has helped transition chapters from being merely a funder to being an investor and full partner with its funded agencies and programs. 


The SMI process guides chapters to adopt a maximum of three core priorities, which gives permission to discontinue or avoid activities that are not central to those core priorities.  Through this rigorous planning process, community volunteers and staff have built partnerships with local and state health departments, hospital associations and individual hospitals, community members and health care providers.  By utilizing both an up-down approach and a down-up approach, best practices are shared throughout the organization, including state-based chapters, regions of multiple states, and nationwide.  


The Electronic Program Information Center and Centralized Pregnancy Outcomes Database, the two March of Dimes information systems for chapter programs, have supported chapter, regional, and national efforts by providing longitudinal information that helps drive planning decisions and assists all levels in managing the implementation and funding of those plans.


This presentation will delineate the focused Strategic Mission Investment process. March of Dimes Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait® program to eliminate elective deliveries before 39 weeks gestation, will be described as an example of collective impact on reducing preterm birth.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Administration, management, leadership
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Discuss how strategic change in a national organization can be beneficial for field staff while allowing for flexibility and local control. Describe how national and field entities can work collaboratively to create change in policies and practices to improve program effectiveness and efficiency. Discuss how program data can effectively help end users manage program initiatives at the local level.

Keyword(s): Management, Community Health Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been with the March of Dimes since 1995, and currently serve as a Regional Program Director, working with chapters in 24 eastern states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. I provide consultation and technical assistance to chapters on strategic mission investment, grantmaking, development of funding applications, and program development.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.