Alexa Stuart development manager neighborhood health center

Purposeful Conversation – Alexa Stuart

Dogpaw Studio founder, Chijo Takeda, started the Purposeful Conversation Series with the goal of speaking to nonprofit leaders about their goals, passions, and roadblocks in carrying out their purposeful missions. He hopes to give back to the nonprofit community with insights and resources to help them elevate their organizations based on the knowledge gained.

Here is the recording and transcript of Purposeful Conversation #109 with Alexa Stuart, Development Manager.

Alexa:

My name is Alexa Stuart and I'm the development manager for Neighborhood Health Center, which is a federally qualified health center, a nonprofit, um, community health center, serving the Portland area. And in my development role, um, it's really my job to introduce the community to our mission and what we do. And that is done through events and networking meetings such as this one.

Chijo:

Awesome. All right. So here's the first question. In all the work that you do, very purposeful work, what gets you out of bed in the morning?

Alexa:

Hmm, that's a good one. I've been, I've been working in nonprofits for almost eight years. I was only in corporate for a very short time. So nonprofit work has been really important to me ever since I stumbled into it. So what always gets me out of bed no matter what the mission, no matter which nonprofit I'm working for, this is my third one. It's always the people that we serve. My work tends to be a little bit indirect, I guess you could say in terms of working with our patient population in my current role. I don't work with patients directly. But what gets me out of bed is the purpose of that work. So my pushing papers and my planning events and all those things help our patients who normally wouldn't have access to healthcare, get access to healthcare. And so the people have always been my “why.”

Chijo:

If I had the power to send a magic wand to you, I would send it through this chat in Zoom and give it to you and know with that magic wand, you would be able to wave it and be able to accomplish an epic goal that you have thought about for your organization. And you would be able to just magically get it done with the magic wand. What would that objective or goal be?

Alexa:

Oh my gosh, that's so hard to answer, cuz I feel like there are two things, of course, every nonprofit wishes that they didn't have to exist. They always want to solve the problem that they're addressing. And so every CEO that I've heard speak always says, I wish that, you know, for example, for us, I wish that no one had to struggle to find healthcare or no one had to struggle to afford healthcare, or access wasn't an issue or, you know, chronic diseases aren't an issue. All those things, you know, we wish we could do that. But I think in my role specifically, what I would choose is that people would just know about us. Those people would know that the help is there. You know, that's the first step is that the community knows the work that we do and that way people in the community who hear of people who are in need know to refer them to us. I think that's kind of the first step, but of course, I wish no sickness existed, but, alas that is not possible.

Chijo:

All right. So I really hate to do this, but with the magic wand, I'm gonna have to take it back.

Alexa:

Okay.

Chijo:

So if I take it back, but now I have you all excited about what you just said could be true. I mean, we have to aim for a goal, right? Otherwise, nobody would move or take any action. So in your work with your mission to hopefully, treat and cure and help everybody, what are the main, what is the main roadblock in getting to that, faster or sooner than the pace that you have now?

Alexa:

Absolutely. Our main roadblock I think comes down to awareness, or even that we exist. So I think that that's the biggest thing is that we, we help all these people and we offer so much care and wraparound services and things like that. But people don't know about us because we're relatively new. We're just coming up on our 12-year anniversary. So in terms of a tangible goal this year is to just spread the word to anyone who will listen so that they know they have that in their back pocket that, oh, NHC, they help people who are uninsured, who are underserved. So if I ever run across someone who needs help, I know that I have a place where I can send them. So that's our biggest thing.