Meet Abby Goodwin, a steward.
In the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, it was obvious something needed to be done to address youth mental health. Situated in Palm Beach County, a county grappling with a mental health crisis and wealth disparity, Abby and the Palm Health Foundation decided to take up the mantle around youth mental health in their region.
Abby, executive vice president of the foundation, and the foundation leadership realized that they could not do this work alone and needed to enlist the help of the community and its stakeholders. Abby used her stewardship role to bring all the necessary stakeholders to the table, and she used her influence to keep them there. “Palm Health Foundation has a ton of flexibility with how we show up in the world. We’re in a better position to influence change because of this flexibility,” said Abby. “My role is to protect the spaces where new things can happen and ward off the snapback where people go about business as usual.”
The core team Abby convened was made up of regional stakeholders who were doing similar work individually but needed to come together to maximize their impact. They accomplished this by reframing the scope of their current responsibilities, asking questions to gain insight, and deepening their understanding of what stewardship meant and its effect on county-level decisions and investments. ReThink Health supported these efforts by offering a framework to conduct the work through a different lens focused on holistic well-being instead of treating disease. As a result, the core team made the collective decision to invest in cultivating a greater sense of belonging in the community and building its civic muscle.
Abby, now seeding stewardship ideals throughout the county, understands the importance of breaking down silos and modeling a mindset of shared stewardship. Equipped with her ambition and tools from ReThink Health, she is now able to show up as a true champion for youth mental health. These efforts were recently rewarded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: The Palm Health Foundation was the recipient of the 2020-2021 RWJF Culture of Health Prize for its work with BeWellPBC, a countywide initiative to expand equitable access to behavioral health and wellness for all. In the future, Abby and the Palm Health Foundation look forward to building on this momentum to make meaningful, lasting change and build an impactful legacy in Palm Beach County.
To learn more about the current efforts of Abby and the Palm Health Foundation, visit https://www.palmhealthfoundation.org/.