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Migrant Clinicians Network’s 2020 Strategic Meeting: Celebratory, Collaborative, and Renewing

MCN Staff and Board at the 2020 Strategic Planning Meeting in Austin, TX
MCN Staff and Board at the 2020 Strategic Meeting in Austin, TX 

Migrant Clinicians Network marked the new year with its annual in-person strategic meeting, during which the Board of Directors and the entire MCN staff -- from Austin, Rio Grande Valley, California, Puerto Rico, Maryland, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania -- met in Austin to build upon our 2019 successes and launch into 2020 with renewed and unified conviction as a force for health justice.


MCN's Board of Directors at the 2020 Strategic Planning meeting.
MCN's Board of Directors at the 2020 Strategic Meeting

While MCN remains a small nonprofit, we marveled at the growth in our organization over the last decade, with new offices in Puerto Rico and in the Rio Grande Valley at the US-Mexico border. We celebrated the creative integration of Health Network -- MCN’s bridge case management system that helps migrants with any health concern to find care at their next destination, overcoming cultural and financial barriers, transferring medical records, and more  -- into new expanded MCN programs and collaborations. These programs increased Health Network’s impact and served the health needs of some of the hardest to reach and most needy migrants and asylum seekers in the country today.

As in previous years, the strategic meetings are notable for their communal format, in which all staff members, regardless of job title or seniority, are encouraged to participate and provide their perspectives. Year after year, this approach leads to higher participation, better conversations, a more holistic understanding of how our programs work on the ground, and increased synergy between programs and departments.


MCN staff gather for dinner after the first day of meetings
MCN staff and board gather for dinner after the first day of meetings

The two-day meetings, bracketed by additional small-group meetings and lively dinners with coworkers, are well known to leave staff members with tangle of emotions as the meetings wind down: many reported feeling energized by the face-to-face time with colleagues, the meaningful work that we get to do together, and the newly plotted direction forward, while simultaneously feeling exhausted from the intensity of the strategic sessions.

After two days of in-depth strategic meetings, Robert Corona, Health Network Associate, helped end the meetings with a call for reflection. “Let’s take a moment to think about the migrants who are struggling right now, beautiful, hard-working people. We have a lot of abundance here. When we drink or eat, we can think of the kids crossing in the desert right now,” he said, to nods of agreement and prayerful silence. “Those are who we are doing this work for.”



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