1.0  Introduction

This strategic plan has been developed by the Executive Committee of the Board and Executive Director of Epilepsy Simcoe County to provide a disciplined and forward thinking approach to the management of Epilepsy Simcoe County (ESC) over the next 3-5 years.  Since the last strategic plan was completed in 2018, there have been significant changes in the charitable sector, in the nature of funding and, in how persons with epilepsy and their families are supported. 

The Executive Committee of the Board and Executive Director of Epilepsy Simcoe County have undertaken to develop a strategic plan which aligns the organization to areas of focus where it can be a clear leader in supporting those living with Epilepsy and the community which serves these people and their families.  

In preparing this strategic plan, ESC completed a survey.   The survey results helped to inform the contents of this strategic plan.

2.0 History

Epilepsy Simcoe County (ESC) was established in 1978 as a local non-profit organization by a group of parents and interested parties from the Simcoe County Area.  It’s mission was to act as a volunteer organization to assist the people of Simcoe County affected by Epilepsy with education, support, awareness and advocacy.

ESC’s activities are guided by a diverse and skilled Board of Directors and are here to serve the needs of Simcoe County.

Today ESC operates with one Executive Director as well as volunteers and students to support programs.

2.1  Governance

We are governed by our Board of Directors and work under the umbrella of Epilepsy Ontario.  Information for Epilepsy Ontario can be found at http://epilepsyontario.org .

Our Board of Directors is comprised of representatives with specific expertise in epilepsy or in the governance of charities.  The Executive Committee of the Board, currently comprised of nine members, including President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer, provides primary oversight on the affairs of the charity.

2.2 Sources of Funding

At this time, ESC’s funding is entirely from the general public, including contributions from corporations, foundations, patrons, individuals and generated from special events.   We receive regular contributions from Delta Gaming, as a direct result of volunteer work. Students are sometimes funded through government support. At times in the past, ESC has been a recipient of Trillium Foundation funding and ESC solicits grants from time to time.

3.0  Guiding Principles

Competence – We believe that our community needs to have a clear understanding of the nature of Epilepsy.  All people with epilepsy deserve to have access to proper treatment and medical care. This includes access to medication, testing and timely treatment.

Confidence-  With proper education and awareness campaigns we can eliminate misconceptions and empower people living with Epilepsy.  Existing stigmas, misconceptions, financial, medical and physical barriers can make daily life difficult. Having access to resources and advocacy can empower and provide the confidence needed to move forward.

Community –  We believe that we can create a caring community for people living with Epilepsy through education and advocacy.  People living with Epilepsy deserve to be understood and fully supported. We appreciate the value of community in the long-term sustainability and growth of the organization, and in providing those living with Epilepsy to live happy and productive lives.

3.1 Mission

Epilepsy Simcoe County is dedicated to improving the quality of life for those living with seizure disorders, by promoting information, awareness, support services, advocacy, education and access to the latest research. Through a network of local businesses, contacts and associates, Epilepsy Simcoe County provides client services, counselling and referral services.  Epilepsy Simcoe County is the voice of Epilepsy in the area.

3.2 Vision Statement

Epilepsy Simcoe County will be recognized as an effective, caring, and respected organization which supports those living with Epilepsy.  We are the voice of advocacy for those living with the disorder in the Greater Simcoe/Muskoka Region.

3.3 Values Statement

Epilepsy Simcoe County will treat all clients and stakeholders with respect and dignity and will afford service to the highest standard possible.  Staff and volunteers will be empathic, accepting of clients/stakeholders and understand the need for confidentiality with regard to clientele. Epilepsy Simcoe County puts the needs of the client first and recognizes that all clients and stakeholders, regardless of their individual identities and group affiliations ( race, creed, gender, sexuality, socio-economic status, gender identity, religion) status or those who make valuable contributions to this organization.  We are strictly governed by the Ontario Human Rights Code.

3.4 Purpose

The purposes of the organization are as follows:

To further educational, recreational, social and employment opportunities for persons with Epilepsy;

To assemble, evaluate and disseminate information on the subject of Epilepsy to acquaint and inform educators, government authorities, medical practitioners, health and community service authorities, members of the legal system and the general public of the special needs of those with Epilepsy;

To provide an organization in which all those interested, including persons with Epilepsy, may belong;

To advocate for the delivery of health care to persons with Epilepsy;

To establish, support and maintain a centre where skilled advice is available to persons with Epilepsy and their families, and/or professionals working with people with Epilepsy;

To coordinate a circle of support around the person with Epilepsy in order to reduce barriers and improve quality of life.

To fundraise for the accomplishment of the above purposes.

3.5 Pillars for ESC Strategic Planning:

People: Board membership and strong leadership to achieve the strategic plan. Accountability to the plan.

Programs: We run programs responsive to the needs of our public, those living with Epilepsy and those who care for and advocate for them.

Money/funding: We investigate and pursue sources of funding that will allow us to sustain operational costs and pursue innovation in our programming services.

Advocacy: To encourage the voice of people living with Epilepsy in the Simcoe Region.

The supporting directions are:

Financial strength

Organizational capacity

Governance

Risk Management

Pillar 1 – People

Objective – To employ and develop strong leadership

 Strategies:

  •         Engage the Executive Director in bi-annual planning and performance reviews which inform areas of development.
  •         Develop an ESC needs assessment and use to determine professional development of the ESC staff, board, and volunteers. Area of training could include governance, operations, and fund development.
  •         Continue to work to find ways to increase salary and compensation package to increase hours and remain competitive.
  •         Maintain ongoing discussions and performance reviews to ensure that all staff understand and embrace the ESC culture and strategic direction.

Objective – Grow and maintain the diversity of the Board of Directors

  •  Grow and maintain community connections in order to grow interest in participation on the Board of Directors ( E.G. Chamber of Commerce/ Public Postings/Social Media)
  •  Ensure we have adequate representation across Simcoe County.

Objective – Increase our Volunteer Base

  •  Maintain an active database of volunteer contacts
  •  Maintain communication of existing volunteers and follow up with those interested
  • Community booths with opportunities to sign up for volunteering
  •  Advertisements through various forms of media
  • Connect with the Rotary and Interact programs
  •  Connect with local High Schools for Community and Service opportunities for students who are 15 years and over.
  • Develop an engagement strategy including: committees, communications and opportunities

Objective – Hire summer students who will add value to programming and functioning of  Epilepsy Simcoe County

  •  Work with local community colleges and students looking for placements
  •  Apply for government grants to assist with funding of additional staff

Pillar 2- Programs

Objective – Create a plan for organizational capacity

  •  Having the right and sufficient organizational capacity to deliver the programs in this strategy, are critical to success.  This will require a collaborative and innovative approach to program delivery where resources may be used more flexibly. A plan on organizational capacity is a necessary process to complete the strategy.

  In year one – determine what can be managed by current ED- set priorities for 2019 and 2020, and review and analyze bi-annually.

Objective – Create and maintain a current database of our members and clients and obtain feedback on how to best meet their needs.

  • Electronic spreadsheet to be created and maintained regularly- Initial framework to be completed by September 2019.
  •   Member survey to be done annually

Objective – Complete an analysis by October 2019, examine the value and feasibility of all existing programs, including fundraisers

  •   To be completed by Board of Directors and Executive Director
  •     Develop a two year strategy taking into account the needs of clients and other stakeholders, technology, best practice, budget, and human resource requirements.

Objective – Investigate the feasibility of purchasing one ambulatory EEG machine supported by the medical community and, if feasible, follow through

  •   Meet with Presidents of Simcoe Regional Hospitals and Clinics
  •   Create budget, timelines and fundraising initiative to purchase the EEG
  •   Invite other stakeholders and agencies who would benefit from the purchase and use of the device to join our initiative.

Objective – Work with local health care providers and neurologists to Create a Clinic-to-Community (C2C) Program. Become the “go to” and “go through” resource for the most current, relevant, factual information and available resources on the condition and its comorbidities, its management, including toxicology, nutrition, surgery and other medical intervention, and to support those with epilepsy and their families.

  •  Decimate information through Royal Victoria Hospital
  • Create referral list for necessary services and experts
  •  Determine capacity of what will be required to maintain C2C as people begin to access services and develop a 5 year plan
  •  Continue to explore and expand our partnerships with the Community and leverage local assets.
  •   Provide the information in a manner that is accessible, is available to users in all forms (print, CD’s, WEB, via social media, webinars, seminars, etc.), is  easy to understand and navigate and is enriched by the user through their personal experience.
  •   Collaborate with the agencies in decimating information (E.G. sharing potential workshops with other regions etc..)
  •   Support professional development for staff and volunteers

Pillar 3 – Money and Funding

Objective: In order to execute the strategy, Epilepsy needs to define the financial resources required. Financial  strategies must be put into place that ensure, not just solvency, but long term financial strength, concurrent with the strategic focus areas

  • The first initiative is the development of a multi-year business plan incorporating budget, fund development and milestones toward achievement of the plan.
  • Define and develop a distinctive, signature fundraising activity that would become associated with Epilepsy Simcoe County and in which many sectors of our community partners and individuals could become engaged.

      Risk Management

  • When undertaking a new strategic plan, it is particularly important to take a forward view of potential risks.  The risks are financial, physical, people, and reputation. A risk management plan should be included as part of the Business Plan.
  • Create a model to secure committed sponsorship.
  • Ensure expert involvement in the creation and execution of all professional communications related to our services.

Pillar 4 – Advocacy

Objective- to advocate for those living with Epilepsy in Simcoe County and improve supports.

  •  Foster collaboration across the community and on behalf of the community through education and partnership building with key stakeholders such as, but not limited to:
    •  First aid providers to improve their knowledge of seizures
    • Local health care providers
    • Community living centres
    • Employment Centres and Job related training
    • Educators and volunteer programs
    • Pharmacists

 

 Finalized and reviewed, June 2019

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