Generating ideas, connections, and action

Alumni Support and Evaluation: Kristine Maltrud, M.P.H., Healthy Native Communities Partnership, Inc.

In 2004, Kristine Maltrud was Coordinator for the Healthy Native Communities Partnership (HNCP) Learning Team, based in New Mexico.  HNCP is a non-profit organization based on the Navajo community of Shiprock, New Mexico, that supports capacity building, leadership development partnership, and networking so that Native communities are better prepared to realize their own vision of wellness.  During a series of internal meetings, the Learning Team recognized they would benefit from reaching out to learn from other leadership development organizations. Kristine did some research and found Leadership Learning Community (LLC) on the web, which was listed as an organization that specialized in leadership evaluation. 

 

Upon finding LLC, Kristine contacted Deborah Meehan, LLC’s Executive Director, and made plans to travel to Oakland to meet with LLC.  HNCP was interested in learning more about how to expand support for alumni of their program.  They recognized that the one-year fellowship program, while highly valued, does not enable fellows to reach their full support.  Learning from others about how to provide continued support and access to resources post-Fellowship was a top priority when Kristine traveled to Oakland.

“When I went to the meeting in California, I got so much information back regarding alumni support.  We knew it was important in the leadership research we had done… I got to dive deeply into that world and hear from all different kinds of programs about what worked and what didn’t.  The thing that was really good about that is that I felt there was some learning across programs about the importance of alumni support, resources for alumni support that crossed all of the programs.”

 

Over the past few years, HNCP has been developing its alumni support program known as the Native Wellness Resource Network.  The Healthy Native Communities Fellowship program is now a 2-3 year program with a small but committed group of alumni focusing on keeping track of community change beyond the first Fellowship year.  The HNCP Learning Team, led by Nina Wallerstein and Becca Rae at the University of New Mexico’s Public Health program, is also conducting extensive case studies of two HNCP communities.

 

The HNCP Learning Team and Curriculum Committee have built partnerships and identified issue areas around which the alumni come together.  They are considering webinars and regional/national meetings as they move forward.   LLC has been integral to their alumni development process through meeting attendance, webinars, conference calls and ongoing communication with Deborah Meehan and Claire Reinelt.

 

“I was able to show our administrative team