I interviewed Patricia McMurry. She is the Executive Director of the White Mountain Community Health Center. As a long time patient of the Health Center, this interview helped me understand what services I use every time I seek medical attention as well as helped me understand the flow of funds when it comes to a non-profit facility such as this.
Patricia has lived in the valley for nearly 15 years. She has been the director of the WMCHC for 12 years or so.
Patricia explained that she “does it all” Since many of the funds are grants and donations it is solely up to her to write the request letters. She went on to mention that the majority of her funds come from the same individuals so she knows where to start.
WMCHC is owned and primarily funded by the Memorial Hospital. They own the building and oversee many of the major decision making although there is a board of it’s own. This brought to Patricia’s mind two examples of when this can be helpful and harmful. While, the umbrella on the Hospital puts the status of the Center at ease, it can make things such as replacing the carpet in the building hard to get. Patricia explained that if your request is not met the first time, to try and compromise. Such as instead of requesting funds for new carpet all at once, request the funds over a two year stretch.
She mentioned a time when her “good ideas” had turned out to fail and how and what that meant to her. She had planned a merge with a Littleton Clinic a few years back. The merge would have brought the status of the Clinic to a new level changing their funding a bit. There were a few nay sayers, but over all, everyone had been on board. Two years of dotting “I’s” and crossing “T’s” and the Littleton clinic they were going to merge with, pulled the plug on the whole deal. So she explained that not everything will work till the very end, but you move on.
Because the Clinic hosts so many programs, from Prenatal, Children’s Dental, Pediatrics etc. I asked about plans for the future. I know I would love to see them in a new/larger building to be able to maintain the programs success. this is a vision she shared as well.
While our interview lasted 2 1/2 hours we talked about all aspects of her Clinic. My favorite part that I took away from our interview was her saying that people have told her that she “runs her non-profit as if it were a for profit.” I loved this because you need to! I sometimes feel that non profit organizations need to be more aggressive and in your face because they have to fight for every penny they have and spend it the most wisely.