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Encore Engagement Trumps Volunteering, Corporate Exec Finds

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, June 13, 2012

A career in corporate America has also honed his diplomatic skills. "I have an appreciation of the implications of trying to make change in a large and complex environment," he says. "That is difficult. It has to be approached with humility. I have learned through first-hand experience that when you are changing anything having to do with someone's job you have to be very aware of the fact that for most of us there is probably nothing more important than what we do. So when you are making these changes you have to engage these people and bring them along."

Arnold turned to The Encore Fellowship Network, a program that originated in 2009 to tap into the expertise of Silicon Valley executives. The program has expanded across California, with similar programs now in Arizona and New York, all of which share the mission of identifying executives and other innovators who are willing to share their expertise to tackle stubborn social issues.

In The Encore Fellows program, participants work anywhere from six months to a year with stipends generally ranging between $20,000 and $35,000. Half of the stipend is paid by the California HealthCare Foundation and the remainder paid by the organizations that receive the expert help.     

After an interview and screening process, Arnold was taken on as an operational analyst and consultant in July 2011 for La Clinica Del Raza, an Oakland, CA-base community health system with 29 clinics in three counties.

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