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Bert Nash Center’s Strategic Plan Is “A Living, Breathing” Document

An organization’s strategic plan can sometimes end up on the shelf, neglected, or worse, forgotten. When the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center began work on its current strategic plan in 2021, the organization’s leadership team wanted a plan that was constantly evolving and changing.

View the strategic plan online:

“Ours is a living, breathing plan,” said COO Stephen O’Neill. “We wanted a process that was top down, bottom up, and middle out, all at the same time. We have a continuous quality feedback loop.”

To develop its strategic plan, every Bert Nash Center team member participated in the process. The process also included surveys of the staff, clients, and community partners. “We took all of that information and that’s what informed our strategic plan,” O’Neill said. Community feedback is important to the Center’s strategic planning process. There are feedback forms and a drop box available in every Bert Nash Center building. The form is also available electronically and on the Center’s website. In addition, community members can send their feedback to Two public feedback fairs are scheduled for June 13 at the Lawrence Public Library from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. and from 4-6 p.m.

The Center’s strategic plan is rooted in the five pillars outlined in the book “Hardwiring Excellence” by Quint Studer. Those pillars are people, service, quality, finance, and growth.

“We organized all of our goals into one of those five pillars,” O’Neill said. “We ended up with eight strategic plan goals. The strategic plan cascades all the way down through the organization, with every team having its goals and objectives.”

Instead of sitting on a shelf, the Center’s strategic plan is live at

“Anybody can go there and see how we’re doing on a quarterly basis,” said Bert Nash Center Data Quality Analyst Tim Nolte. “We are working on sharing information as regularly and as transparently as possible.”

Some of the goals on the strategic plan that have been accomplished include:

  • Creation of the Assertive Community Treatment team

  • Implementation of the Mobile Response Team

  • Becoming a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic

  • Achieving a three-year accreditation from CARF — the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.

Another goal — implementation of a new electronic health record — will go online later this month. Since implementing the strategic plan, the Center has onboarded more than 100 new employees and grown its budget from $12.5 million in 2018 to $37 million.

Every year starting in June or July, the Center’s leadership team will begin working on its concurrent business planning and budget process.


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