Reflections on a New Year and One Year Anniversary as Co-CEOs
Statement by: Jen Leosz and Dixie Casford, Co-CEOs of Mental Health Partners
It has been a year since we humbly and happily accepted the opportunity to be co-CEOs at Mental Health Partners (MHP). When we accepted this role, we did so with our eyes open to the organization’s strengths and challenges as the leading behavioral health expert in Boulder and Broomfield Counties.
In our first statement as CEOs, we expressed the hope our staff, clients, community partners, and donors would embrace this progressive leadership model. We also invited each of these groups to work alongside us as we implemented new initiatives to keep pace with the rapidly evolving healthcare industry, committed to relying on staff’s expertise and passion to provide feedback, input, and expand reach, and pledged to focus on strategy, goals, vision, and partnerships. Above all, we focused on investing in each other to move confidently into the future.
Then, in March 2020, the world as we knew it changed.
In face of so much fear and uncertainty due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, mounting social justice incidents, a turbulent election, natural disasters and more, it would have been understandable if, as an organization, we chose to ride out these crises with minimal involvement and remaining insulated to our clients and staff.
- Instead, we embraced our mission even more fiercely as the safety net mental health and addiction recovery provider for Boulder and Broomfield Counties.
- Instead, we found ways to continue providing our clients and community the appropriate level of care to free up space in Emergency Rooms and other primary health facilities.
- Instead, we reached out to the most vulnerable populations, and those who became vulnerable this year due to situations beyond their control.
- Instead, we, collectively, chose action and connection.
As we look back on the goals outlined in our message from last January, it is clear these choices led to us reaching many of our goals – in some instances despite of, and in some instances because of – these unprecedented times. Goals reached include, but are not limited to:
- Providing continuity of care and updated information to our clients through new initiatives, technological advancements, enhanced safety precautions and timely communication
- Invested in an organization-wide Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive journey
- Renewed our focus on strategy, goals, vision, and partnerships by making quick decisions to safeguard the organization’s stability
- Offered supportive resources and trainings on timely topics and issues to our staff
- Met our goals for the year’s key fundraising and philanthropic efforts
- Worked closely with a landlord in Broomfield to help design a space for our clinic in their new building. Our space is set to open in the next few weeks!
- A multitude of other tasks, projects, and decisions carried out by staff across the organization that made each day a little easier than the one before for their colleagues, clients, and community members
Last, but not least, as we reflect on this past year, we want to thank you for embracing us as leaders of MHP and in the behavioral health community. We knew this is not because of what we accomplished as CEOs, but because of what our staff and community partners were able to accomplish together. It has been a privilege and honor to witness this collaboration and encouragement, as well as the important work our staff carry out each day for our clients and the community.
We look forward to another amazing year, together. We wish everyone a safe, and healthy, new year.
Jen and Dixie