AHCH’s Mission (Re)Statement Leads With Compassion and is Driven By Equity

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The Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless (AHCH) Board of Directors is thrilled to share our newly restated mission with you, our valued donors, our valued partners, staff, clients, funders, and friends.  In 2019, the AHCH Board of Directors charged Jenny Metzler, AHCH’s Chief Executive Officer, alongside AHCH staff, to revise the organization’s mission statement. For AHCH, now is the perfect time to update the mission statement to reinforce our commitments to diversity and equity while upholding our vision to living is a world without homelessness.  Later that year, AHCH  received notice of an upcoming operational site visit and in March 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic brought the project to a halt for another year. To fulfill the Board’s request, work on this meaningful project resumed late in 2021 and was undertaken in phases by a committee made up of staff members from across the agency who were excited to engage in this project and share their perspectives on the critical work of AHCH and how to tie it together through the reinstated mission. To learn more about how this process was carried out, please read below.  PHASE 1: INVITE TO REINVENT  In October 2021, Jenny sent out an open invitation to AHCH staff to create a committee for the revision of the mission statement and a commitment from those who were willing to participate in the project, create workgroups, and see the project to its completion. The staff-driven committee was comprised of members from various programs including myself, Jeremy Yazzie, Communications Associate; Ashley Langlinais, Human Resources Generalist; Chris Ruggeri, Information Technology Manager; Eddie Aranda Gonzalez, Contract Analyst; Larry Lovato, Pharmacist Clinician; Matt Frahm, Resource Center Coordinator; Michelle Martinez, Business Systems Manager; and Rachel Biggs, Chief Strategy Officer. We were charged to reevaluate the AHCH mission statement – not to change our mission. As the previously used statement remains true and relevant, the words used needed clarity to guide and galvanize us, and to engage our partners and supporters.  During our virtual work sessions, I contributed my views on how the current mission statement has the mention of diversity and equity as an add-on rather than the lead. During my experience thus far at AHCH, first as a volunteer for two years, then as a staff member with the Fund Development Team for multiple years, diversity and equity have always been the lens with which we meet our mission. My recommendation to lead with diversity and equity was considered and eventually adopted, only secondary to why we are here: to end homelessness.  PHASE 2: BRAINSTORM TO BOLSTER By December 2021, the committee had convened twice, virtually, and completed working sessions with some preparation of input in between group sessions.  In a face to face sit down with Jenny, she asked me to expand on why I felt strongly about leading with diversity and equity in the revision. As a queer person of color, I exist at the intersection of identities, therefore, when there is a space, like AHCH, that is created and fostered to cultivate my passions for philanthropy and meet my calling to help those in need, it’s only fundamental a revision should include and be representative of, someone like me.  PHASE 3:  RESTATEMENT REINVESTED At the December 2021 Board of Directors meeting, the Executive Committee presented the revised Mission Statement for approval.  The proposal forwarded by the committee and work group (identified above) was accepted and adopted unanimously by the AHCH Board of Directors with tremendous appreciation for the work of the group and excitement about this restatement. Our mission and our vision: “To live in a world that is just and without homelessness,” have been reaffirmed and validated by our experiences during the ongoing pandemic these past couple of years.  The why was to look at possible language revisions to the statement itself so that the mission would be less wordy, is dynamic, and can be understood by all. Therefore, AHCH’s mission restatement is:

“Fueled by compassion and driven by equity, we lead boldly, create exceptional health care experiences, and raise voices to end homelessness.”

ADOPTED DECEMBER 2021

The mission restatement encompasses our priority to embrace equity and diversity among our workforce, fortifies our advocacy, and social justice values, and it galvanizes our supporters and donors to keep investing in our mission to end homelessness.  An AHCH staff member said, “It’s more dynamic and therefore an emotive call to action.” 

AHCH Chief Executive Officer Jenny Metzler concluded, “It ties to our Operating Framework around the Structural Determinants model of health, it represents our programmatic and whole-person integration philosophy of care.”  When I am acknowledged for my participation in this committee, I am filled with gratitude. The restatement recharges my commitment to help those who are experiencing homelessness and for that, I am not only prideful, but feel valued.  For more information, visit abqhch.org or call (505) 767-1172. Don't forget to follow AHCH on social media for updates and news.  

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