First Year Cleveland

First Year Cleveland

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Biomedical Research Building
11000 Cedar Avenue - 4th Floor Cleveland, OH 44106

Phone 216-368-4837
Home About Us 2021-2023 Equity Strategic Plan

FYC Equity Strategic Plan 2021-2023

First Year Cleveland (FYC) retained the Center for Achieving Equity (CAE) to engage the FYC Executive Committee, staff, partner organizations, committees, and action teams in a process to develop a strategic plan rooted in, and in service of equity. A strategic plan is a process that allows organizations to look ahead toward their vision and identify strategies that will best enable them to meet their mission. CAE will work with FYC to complete three strategic planning activities:

  • Equity Assessment, which will explore and document how well FYC’s current structure, work culture, practices, partnerships, and activities embody and advance equity.
  • Strategic planning, which will: a) reflect on how FYC has worked to meet its mission over the past three years, b) document the current state of the organization and identify areas of strength and opportunities to advance mission alignment, and reduce threats, and c) create a bold strategic vision and a framework, organizational structure, and action plan to implement, communicate, and manifest that vision.
  • Evaluation, which will document how well FYC fulfilled the previous strategic plan and provide a guide to track progress and performance on the new strategic plan.

As a collective impact initiative, FYC is committed to engaging many partners and stakeholders, including both organizational partners and community residents, in the strategic planning process as possible to ensure the resulting vision, priorities, and action plan for the next three years enables partners to create a future where “every baby born in Cuyahoga County will celebrate their first birthday”.

We invite you to share in the progress of the plan on this page, which will be updated periodically over the next several weeks. We also welcome your feedback, thoughts and questions. Please proceed to our feedback form.

January 11, 2021

On January 11, 2021, Sandy Chappelle and her team from the Council for Achieving Equity, along with members of the strategic planning design team, presented findings and recommendations related to First Year Cleveland's 2021-2023 strategic plan. This same group will present to the Executive Committee on January 13. 

We encourage you to view the slide deck used during the presentation.

December 18, 2020

The strategic planning design team has been working diligently, reviewing information gathered during the SWOT assessments, surveys, interviews with all levels of stakeholders, and feedback gathered during stakeholder meetings. On January 11th, design team members will join The Center for Achieving Equity consulting team to share proposed mission and vision statements, values, operating principles and strategic priorities, all informed by feedback from First Year Cleveland stakeholders. If you're interested in joining this Zoom meeting, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., please register here. There will be ample time for discussion. 

All concepts proposed by the design team will then be presented to our Executive Committee in mid-January for their review and approval. 

The design team has also put together a second video, highlighting some of their proposed content and direction, and we invite you to view the video on our YouTube channel

After viewing the video, we ask that you complete this survey, providing any thoughts, concerns or suggestions you may have. We hope you’ll take the time to assist us with these actions, as continued feedback during the planning process is critical to our success. 

Please complete the survey by Monday, Dec. 21, at 5:00 p.m. Feedback gained from this survey will be used in the final Design Team meeting to be held Dec. 22. 

We encourage you to get or remain involved, as the new strategic plan will guide the important work of First Year Cleveland, and our ongoing efforts to decrease infant deaths and eliminate racial disparities.

November 20, 2020

First Year Cleveland's 2021-2023 equity strategic planning process continues to move forward. Launched in August 2020, the first two phases of the planning process, Kickoff and Structure and Partner Engagement and Equity Assessment, are nearly completed. Final interviews are being completed, yielding additional information on equity and the political, community, and funding environments in which FYC operates.

Individual interviews, SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Threats and Opportunities) assessments, and an equity assessment have yielded valuable results which are being further analyzed in the third phase, Determining Strategic Vision and Focus. Phase four of the process will produce an implementation plan and an evaluation framework. The timeline for all phases is:

  • Phase 1 - Kickoff and Structure – COMPLETE
  • Phase 2 - Partner Engagement and Equity Assessment – COMPLETE
  • Phase 3 - Determine the Strategic Vision and Focus (November – December 2020)
  • Phase 4 - Develop Implementation Plan and Evaluation Framework (January 2021)
  • Phase 5 - Final Strategic Plan (January 19, 2021)

Strategic Planning Design Team

A strategic planning design team, including partners from health care, social services, policy makers, community organizations, advocates and parents, is considering feedback from the community and reviewing local and state infant mortality data as well as data from Ohio cities and cities outside Ohio. The Design Team will be developing recommendations for FYC’s mission, vision, values, goals, strategic priorities, strategic actions, and measures of success. Framing this work will guide the articulation of FYC’s theory of change and operating principles.

Chip Allen
Ohio Department of Health
Mitchell Balk
Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation
Akram Boutros, MD
Matt Carroll
Cuyahoga County
Dan Cohn
Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation
John Corlett
The Center for Community Solutions
Marcia Egbert
The George Gund Foundation
Diane Gatto
Positive Education Program
Al Grimes
Cuyahoga County Fatherhood Initiative
Kevin Kelley
Cleveland City Council

Michael Konstan, MD
CWRU School of Medicine
Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew, MD
Allegheny Health Network
Jazmin Long, MSSA, MNO
Birthing Beautiful Communities
Stan Miller
Rust United Methodist Church
Frances Mills
City of Cleveland Dept. of Public Health
Margaret Mitchell
YWCA Greater Cleveland
Angela Newman White
Cuyahoga County Board of Health
Sabrina Roberts
Cuyahoga County
Natoya Walker Minor
City of Cleveland 


Prior to gathering for the first time, the Design Team was provided with a number of brief pre-reading assignments to help guide the environmental context for creating First Year Cleveland's strategic plan over the next three years. We encourage you to read these pieces as well, to help help broaden your knowledge in this area. 

Let's Level the Playing Field with Vitamin D 

What do we know about infant mortality in the US and comparable countries? (Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker)

Ohio county reduced its infant mortality rate after listening to Black moms

The Best and Worst Cities for Black Women (Bloomberg)

Pregnant Women's Risk of Preeclampsia Drops with Daily Baby Aspirin (Health News; NPR)

Physician-Patient Racial Concordance and Disparities in Birthing Mortality for Newborns (PNAS)

Environmental Toxins (Lead and Arsenic) and Link to Birth Outcomes

Dr. Arthur James' Testimony Before the City of Cleveland Health and Human Services Committee


Throughout this process, the Design Team is working with FYC staff and the FYC community. The Design Team is committed to sharing its progress and eliciting your input throughout this process.  The Team will be sharing updates via this page, including highlights of decision points and brief videos about its activities. Please bookmark this page and visit often. 


November 17, 2020

To date, four SWOT sessions, 31 individual interviews, and an equity survey completed by 30 stakeholders have yielded important themes. Components of the equity assessment were embedded within each of these activities. In the next phase of work, these results on a broad array of issues will be further analyzed and will inform the examination of FYC’s strategic focus areas, vision, and values.

Strategic Planning Design Team

A strategic planning design team was formed in early November, comprised of stakeholders from throughout Cuyahoga County – government, nonprofits, those who've experienced pregnancy and infant loss, and more. This design team will help guide forward progress and will serve as an integral part of the strategic planning process. 

The graphic and video below are two tools that were used by Design Team members to provide background before proceeding to an important survey tool. The survey results helped to ensure a comprehensive, informed process that is guiding ongoing Design Team activities. 

We welcome your feedback and questions. Please proceed to our feedback form.


Share This


Photo Gallery

1 of 22