Episode 7 of the More than Health Care: A Community Health Conversation podcast is now available on the Alliance’s website and on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. Every other week, a new episode uncovers keys to collaboration and holistic health in pursuit of improved health outcomes and lower costs for all.

Eric Schindler, president and CEO of Child & Family Resources, presents the metaphor of "sitting at the kids' table" that expresses his frustrations. “I’ve just come to believe that we are so fragmented as a nonprofit sector. Every mom-and-pop shop–big, little, medium–has to do things their own way, nobody wants to play together nicely in the sandbox,” said Schindler. “So, no one pays attention to the nonprofit sector, we don’t get voices at the table.”

He feels that when nonprofits operate loosely, as individual entities, it doesn’t allow the sector to leverage its strengths and move forward with one powerful voice. Because of this, Schindler believes the sector’s knowledge and expertise are often dismissed or ignored – like kids sitting at a separate table at a holiday celebration.

Throughout Arizona, Child & Family Resources provides early childhood care and education, family and community support, and prevention programs for families and teens. However, despite 30 years of demonstrating its expertise through connecting with the needs of its community, Schindler laments that state government doesn't collaboratively work with the agency. His frustration stems from knowing that his organization’s counselors build relationships with those they help in a manner that state employees cannot emulate. The government's contracts for services are often mandated rather than negotiated which does not allow for the optimum of care. "The healing, the ways to keep that person from another E.R. visit, from another overdose, from another bad repercussion of their trauma history and their background . . . no one else knows how to do that," said Schindler. "That's the medicine, the pill that we can apply and should be applying to healthcare that the other side hasn't recognized or said is fine."

Schindler feels that solutions may come from integrated healthcare models being developed that step away from the fee for service model. He emphasizes that coming together and capitalizing our strengths and experiences with the right leadership and a national agenda will shake the status quo and ultimately provide better care and opportunities for each community nonprofits serve. If that doesn’t happen, Schindler feels the nonprofit sector will remain fragmented and at a disadvantage.


Listen to Eric Schindler provide additional insight into how he feels nonprofits should move forward for a strong future with a greater voice by listening to Episode 7 of the More than Health Care Podcast available through the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities website or subscribe on the Apple Podcast, Google Play, or Spotify apps.

For more on information and insight, watch Schindler’s Snapshots presentation, Sick and Tired of Sitting at the Kids' Table where he goes into detail on his current frustrations and possible remedies for future success.

About the Podcast
While many are realizing that collaboration and holistic approaches are the solution, the health care and human services sectors are struggling to find the right formula to realize the full potential. The More than Health Care podcast is designed to help organizations overcome barriers to partnerships resulting from cultural differences, financial pressures, and rules and regulations.  

In addition to showcasing inspiring examples of integration from across the country, featured experts will expose the myths, misconceptions, and shortcomings of efforts to address the social determinants of health through collaboration across sectors.  

This podcast is presented by the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, Ascentria Care Alliance, and Beech Acres Parenting Center. Cohosts Jill Huynh, vice president of new business development at Beech Acres, and Tim Johnstone, executive vice president of community services at Ascentria, work at the intersection of health and human services, bringing the expertise and practical experience to uncover key takeaways for improving health care and human services integration. 

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Learn more about the Alliance's efforts to improve population health and well-being.