As we mark the 150th anniversary of confederation, The Philanthropist is profiling Canadians from across the non-profit sector and putting a face to 150 individuals who work or volunteer in Canada’s social sector.
Name: Nancy Heinrichs
Current role in the sector: Executive Director, NorWest Co-op Community Health, a community health agency located in Winnipeg, MB.
Years working and/or volunteering in the non-profit sector: 16 years
What was your first job in the sector or a defining moment?
In 2006, NorWest increased our presence in the community across the street, which was in crisis. We offered programming for youth and a resource centre for residents. We had staff from different disciplines working together to respond to the community’s many needs. A few months later, one of the residents told our funder that if she came into our centre with a problem, it didn’t matter who she talked to; she knew that someone from NorWest would help her. That’s when I knew we were really functioning as a team to make a difference in our clients’ lives, and that our interdisciplinary approach resulted in the best outcomes for our clients.
Describe your desk/workspace.
My space is a little untraditional–I do not have a desk in my office. I have a small table where I meet with people, and a treadmill station for my computer.
What are you reading or following that has expanded your understanding of the non-profit sector?
I am always interested to learn more about leadership and innovation any way I can. Some of my favourite ways to do this are through are TEDtalks, momondays, and leadership blogs such as Random Acts of Leadership and the Real World Talent Blog.
What do you think our sector needs to be thinking about?
Collaboration and partnership! Like many non-profit sectors across the country, healthcare in Manitoba is facing tight fiscal times. However, the needs of our clients still remain. We’ve found the most effective way to move things ahead is to embrace partnership and collaboration, both between departments within our agency, but also among outside agencies. When we work together, we can have a greater impact for our clients.
Do you know someone we should profile as part of this series? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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