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Governance and Social Responsibility : Assisted Living Facility Draws on MBA Expertise for Strategic Planning

St. Luke's Home in Tucson
The mission of St. Luke’s Home is to provide for the care and well-being of elderly women, men, and couples of limited financial means in a caring environment, respectful of the residents’ rights and regulatory guidelines.

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January 2011

By Liz Warren-Pederson

The slow-moving economy has put stress on nonprofit organizations such as St. Luke’s of the Desert, Inc., which in the fall hired an MBA consulting team to complete a strategic plan, thanks to the philanthropic support of Jim Click.

“St. Luke’s has been operating with losses over the last few years, and at this rate it will not be able to continue operating in the near future,” said Jesús Serna Fuentes (MBA ’11). “To avoid this, we partnered with the senior assisted living organization and performed a benchmarking of local and national nonprofit organizations, interviewed current donors and prominent members of the Tucson community, and researched secondary data to provide a comprehensive strategic plan that can guarantee economic sustainability in the near future.”

As part of the project, Fuentes and his team—Emily Coats, Suela Mustafa, Scott Pavuk, and Rebecca Stauber—met with Nannon Roosa and faculty advisors Stephen Gilliland and Ken Smith to plan and facilitate a visioning exercise with the St. Luke’s Board of Trustees.

“This exercise was a great learning experience,” Fuentes said. “During the planning stage, we learned to reverse-engineer a situation, starting with asking ourselves about the desired outcome, and then working backwards to see how we would carry it out and what kind of questions we would ask.”

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