60 seconds with ... LeadingAge Chairman David Gehm

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LeadingAge Chairman David Gehm
LeadingAge Chairman David Gehm

Q: You addressed the LeadingAge annual conference shortly after the government shutdown ended. How do you respond to nonprofit leaders discouraged by the political climate?

In this difficult time in our nation's history, we are being called to lead the way in addressing some of our nation's greatest challenges. It's up to us to innovate in service delivery and collaborate with our communities for real solutions. Our policymakers need real solutions that will require us to take risks and lead.

Q: So what are some steps long-term care leaders can take to lead? 

At your next board meeting, consider launching a community needs assessment. When you draft your next strategic plan, focus on those who can't pay, as well as those who can. 

Q: How can nonprofit leaders hope to win policymakers' support for these efforts?

When you're meeting with state and federal legislators, remind them that not-for-profits are doing things that no one else would, and doing them better than anyone else can. Many of our organizations were founded as community-based groups focused on meeting needs that by definition were unprofitable for commerical enterprises to address.

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