Welcome to our blog series, Changemaker Profiles! Each week, we will profile one outstanding social changemaker from the JVA client community. By sharing the stories of some of the incredible people we get to work with every day, each accomplishing extraordinary work in nonprofits, government and social enterprise, we hope we will bring a little light and inspiration to your days!
Our first interview of the series is with Bob Dorshimer, chief executive officer of Mile High Behavioral Health Care. With over 25 years of professional experience in child welfare, substance abuse prevention and treatment, and mental health issues serving the Denver area in a both government and nonprofits, Bob expresses a vibrant commitment to the mission of serving mental health needs through the proven model of integrated care.
1. Tell us about you and your organization and the social change you are trying to achieve.
“Mile High Behavioral Health Care set out to bring an integrated care model to behavioral health, which includes bringing medical, intervention, recovery, housing, prevention and treatment, and HIV care and intervention under one roof. We aspire to be the ‘one-stop shop’ for a behavioral healthcare consumer so they are not running all over town trying to get their needs met. Providing integrated care and services under one roof increases their chances for recovery and success. Not one size fits all people—making sure we are offering boutique services will bring people into our fold and deliver the care they deserve.”
2. What keeps you inspired and going when things get tough?
“When I’m feeling down and out, I like to surround myself with the community. I’ll spend some time talking to our consumers, or I’ll sometimes hold a backyard barbecue at the homeless shelter. Connecting with people is how I build spirit, and it grounds me in why I do what I do. What invigorates me is getting in touch with what the problems are within the community and working to mobilize our nonprofit’s integrated care model to intersect in a way that better meets those needs. I’m a working CEO, inspired by what I do every day.”
3. What advice would you give to someone who is trying to break new ground in a traditional field?
“Have you really thought about what you’re doing? Will you have impact? Do you have the right resources and backing? And will you stick it out when the going gets tough? If you answer any of these questions in the wrong way, I’d suggest going back to the drawing board. If you’re going to start and promise something to a community, your failed intervention can hurt; it can result in broken community trust. So before starting any initiative, make sure you have a good logic model, a solid business plan and great people to pull it off.”
4. What book do you recommend to everyone you meet and why? OR What book is on your to-read list and why?
“I always recommend Tuesdays with Morrie because it just … opens your mind. Also, Cider House Rules. I recommend it for anybody who wants to become a parent. I adopted children, and it’s so important to recognize how all these children left behind in foster homes are just waiting for loving homes.”
5. How have you worked with JVA, and how has that helped your organization?
“We partnered with JVA to do our business and strategic planning, and we are on our third round of doing that with JVA because we continue to blaze through our plans and complete them early! Because JVA structures our documents so well, we continue to overachieve on our three- and five-year goals. We have also built a very rewarding relationship with JVA’s grantwriting team. Because they took the time to understand our business model and what we wanted to achieve in the community, they write grants with heart because they understand our passion.”
6. What else would you want to share with us that we haven’t asked?
“JVA needs no more grantwriting business, it’s all mine!
“In seriousness, Janine’s leadership in this field is essential—she has a way of providing feedback and advice to a CEO in a way that makes us keep coming back for more. When I want to incubate an idea, I like to bring it to Janine to see if it will pass her sniff test. Janine is bright, she’s been around the block, she’s mature, and she’s great for having an incubator conversation.”