The Multicultural Health Institute
3260 Fruitville Road, Suite B
Sarasota FL 34237
Mission

MHI was created to level the healthcare playing field by promoting, educating and ensuring equal healthcare access and treatment for underserved communities and individuals who are traditionally uninsured and receive a less than adequate quality of care.

Founded in 1995 by Lisa Merritt, MD, MHI focuses on health disparities, their effect on our nation's citizens and the positive economic impact of health education, nutrition and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The essence of MHI’s work embodies principles of service, empowerment and collective community effort. As a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, MHI provides a holistic, full circle life cycle approach to healing and wellness by focusing on the participation, education and training of adults as well as offering hands-on enrichment experiences to aspiring and promising young people in the community.

Leadership
CEO/Executive Director No Executive Director
Board Chair Dr. Lisa Merritt MD
Board Chair Affiliation Kinesia Rehabilitation Group (KRG), Founder Multicultural Health Institute (MHI)
General Info
Organization DBA
DBA
MHI
Multicultural Health Institute (MHI)
The Multicultural Health Institute (MHI)
Supported Organization
Former Names
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1998
Awarded competitive grant from Community Foundation in the last 5 years?
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes May 2016
State Registration 0
IRS Letter of Determination
View
Financial Summary
 
 
Projected Revenue $50,000.00
Projected Expenses $48,000.00
Other Documents
Impact Statement

MHI is one of the few local nonprofit organizations that goes right into underserved communities, working with them "hands on" to promote wellness and health care that will lead to longer, healthier lives while, at the same time, helping to reduce costly health disparities through education and prevention.

Over the last eight years, by serving more than 25,000 people within Sarasota County's minority and underserved communities, MHI's impact has increased markedly through its adherence to these key core commitments:

· Health and wellness are viewed as an equal right for all.
· Cultural relevance and sensitivity are the cornerstones of all MHI projects and community involvement.
· MHI is dedicated to serving as a well respected comprehensive source of valuable and credible wellness, nutrition, cancer and obesity prevention information.
· MHI strives to maintain a persistent and positive presence in the community by conducting accessible ongoing health education initiatives, assessments and forums that address the entire life cycle, from children to senior citizens.
· All MHI programs are customized and created in collaboration with the respective communities it serves.
· MHI is dedicated to being a reliable partner with individuals as well as community institutions, including Newtown Wellness, Center for Building Hope, HIV/AIDS Network of Southwest Florida, Health Equities Research Institute Collaborative, the Orange Blossom Community Garden, North County Library, New College, Booker High School, Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Sarasota Memorial Hospital and both the Sarasota and Manatee Health Departments.
Needs Statement

1.Staffing& Fundraising

Over 98% of current funds are spent in direct program efforts and we are grateful for extensive and valuable in kind volunteer support. We are in need of administrative, fundraising, PR staff and a volunteer coordinator. Estimated cost > $100,000
Grant Writing $10,000
Event Coordinator $5,000 
 
2.Technology 
Assistance with support, updating, disseminating information and events via our Web Page, Facebook, electronic Newsletter $12,000
Expansion of our educational/inspirational video blogs and documentation of community events $10,000
 
3.Program Efforts
Further training of Gatekeepers of Community Health and expansion of community health promotion education and prevention activities including onsite Sarasota Memorial Health Navigator $75,000           
Health Leaders Internship/Scholarship program $15,000
Discount Clinic $50,000
Background Statement

 In the mid-nineties, Dr. Lisa Merritt, working as a physician with a racially and ethnically diverse patient roster, observed major differences in rates of diseases and patient treatment in underserved communities. She also found many patients confused about their health conditions, and unable to navigate and find help within the health care system. In 1995, to help address what we now call Health Care Disparities, Dr. Merritt founded the Multicultural Health Institute (MHI) in Sacramento, California, and recruited a team of doctors and community advocates. In 2000, MHI expanded its advocacy work to Atlanta, Georgia. Today, headquartered in Sarasota, Florida, MHI’s programs, research, and health education outreach has allowed it to forge partnerships with government entities, non-profit organizations, and community-based initiatives.

Areas Served
Areas Served
Area
FL
FL- Manatee
FL- Sarasota
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Health Care
Secondary Org Type Science & Technology
Tertiary Org Type Food, Agriculture & Nutrition
Keywords
STEM, Health Disparity, Under-served, Under-represented, Healthy Lifestyle, Nutrition
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

Lisa Merritt. M.D., is a board-certified physiatrist, focusing on brain injury and pain management, including sports and work-related injuries in Sarasota, Florida. Over the past 25 years, she has been a passionate and unrelenting advocate for elimination of health disparities. In 1995, while managing her practice and serving as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of California Davis, Dr. Merritt founded the Multicultural Health Institute (MHI) in Sacramento, California, to focus attention on health disparities and the economic impact of prevention strategies. A former seven-year President of the Capitol Medical Society and Vice President of the Golden State Medical Society, Dr. Merritt was an original member of the California Office on Minority Health statewide multicultural health task force and originator of the initial policy on improving cultural and linguistics standards in health delivery in the State of California.

Moving to Sarasota in 2006, Dr. Merritt has had a major impact on health disparities in the in the Sarasota/Manatee area through her work at the Multicultural Health Institute and her medical practice as well as through two highly successful community initiatives which she created: the Sarasota Community Health Guide and the Gatekeepers, a consortium of lay health advisors and educators involved in neighborhood activities to reduce disparities in HIV/AIDS, diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease through preventive health measures which include providing information on health coverage, health awareness and available health screenings.

She has authored numerous articles on multicultural health issues, physical medicine / rehabilitation and complementary medicine topics, and has also lectured both nationally and internationally on a variety of multicultural health issues. She is also regularly called upon by regional and national media to be interviewed as an expert on a variety of medical topics and issues. She also works on diversity nationally through her affiliation with NMA and locally in Florida to increase medical school student diversity and minority participation in clinical research. She has maintained academic appointments as Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor at Morehouse School of Medicine and currently as Adjunct Assistant Professor at New College Florida.

Dr. Merritt has been the recipient of numerous professional and community service awards, most recently being honored with the 2014 Council on the Concerns of Women Physicians Award at the National Medical Association (NMA) annual meeting in Honolulu this past August for her work to eliminate health care disparities, provide people of color with quality health care and address women's health and professional issues through research, community service and activism. She has also received the AMA Physicians Recognition Award, the YWCA Outstanding Woman Award for Health Services, the Sarasota Biz941 Unity Award in Medicine, Fulton County Georgia Wellness Campaign Community Service Award, the Links, Inc. Community Recognition Award and the Newtown MLK Community Service Award.

She completed her undergraduate studies at Georgetown University and received her M.D. Degree from Howard University, trained in family and community medicine at University of California, San Francisco, and did her residency in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Dr. Merritt is a longstanding member of many professional organizations, including the National Medical Association (NMA), the American Medical Association (AMA), American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AAPMR), American Academy of Pain Management (AAPM), American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM), and The American Academy of Anti-aging Medicine (AAAM). She is also a graduate of the faculty development program at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA and the Gulf Coast Leadership Institute in Venice, FL.

Statement from the CEO/Executive Director

MHI is a unique organization serving the Sarasota/Manatee region, committed to improving individuals' awareness of healthcare issues and reducing health inequities from a community-based perspective. By continuing to develop and implement programs that help to reduce health disparities, MHI's work also helps to reduce costs within our strained healthcare system. Its programs reach the working uninsured and serve to strengthen weak linkages and access to healthcare while building capacity and fostering greater community collaboration and partnership among related agencies and organizations within the region.

Programs
Description

STEAM - Science Technology Education Arts Mathematics initiative re-introduces Sarasota County school students to the real world of Medical Health Care through rich 'vocationally' visual, hands on experiences. STEAM directs our young people's naturally inquisitive minds towards career paths that build on their internet research abilities, enact literacy skills; and, with self-evaluation (*) explore the healing arts- scientifically based career opportunities.  

The programs are provide through the MHI Scholars, Positive Aging Series, and the Booker HS “Know No Bounds STEAM” mentoring programs.
 
In 2014, we hosted over 70 educational events, trained and involved 12 volunteers - who put in 1,800 hours; this equaled approximately 3,000 participant encounters at various events. We mentored 83 middle, high school, college, and medical school students; and provided active internship experiences to 15 of them. 
Budget $30,000
Category Education, General/Other Educational Programs
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Minorities Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Short Term Success

1. Didactic training in STEAM careers via inclusion of culturally representative speakers, student interview and research projects.(*)

2. MHI worked with BHS students to strengthen parental knowledge on college choices, the college orientation process, college preparation and application processes. 

3. MHI’s program helped increase student interest and attendance to various school and community-related college preparation and educational forums.

4. Format and exposure to increased health awareness and prevention practices by the students themselves form the understanding of science  within the field of medicine.

5. Increased understanding of updated CPR guidelines (Sign of stroke, heart attack and diabetic crises.)

Long Term Success

1. Inform students about STEM careers via culturally relevant and representative exchange with currently practicing/retired STEM professionals.

2. Enhance student self-confidence and capabilities to realize their potential through the development of mentoring relationships with seniors in the community.

3. Educate students regarding solutions to health inequities through wellness education.

4. Expand student understanding and effective utilization of technology to access STEM and health and wellness resources.

5. Improve student literacy and communication skills.

6. Increase success of college/technical school application process through facilitated parent/student educational workshops.

Program Success Monitoring

Managed by MHI Program Coordinator (PC), success is monitored by monthly reports documenting hours, number of sessions, educational activities and participants. Quarterly meetings are held with PC to review the program and make adjustments, if indicated, to stay on target towards anticipated goals. All participants and their parents/guardians complete pre/post participation evaluations (regarding knowledge base of STEM careers, nutrition and fitness). There is 100% accuracy in post evaluations. STEAM Mentoring Program highlights are summarized in an annual report.

Program Success Examples

“I was amazed by the facts that were presented. I truly love science and the medical aspect of the human body, so it was majorly fascinating to me. What struck me the most is how Florida is the 29th most obese state in the U.S. Even though it’s not in the top 10, it’s still horrifying. Obesity can lead to diabetes and, in a lot of cases, death. I learned that diabetes is a chronic disease that can affect the heart in destructive ways and can even lead to kidney failure. I especially liked learning about how our body gets glucose from carbohydrates. Insulin is made by our pancreas to let the glucose into our cells. In type 2 diabetes, our body secretes less insulin than required. Another thing is that when the sugar level drops, the liver starts to add sugar to stabilize the level. Our body, to me, is like a scale. Whenever there’s not enough of one thing, our bodies try to stabilize it back again. In addition, learning about neurotransmitter imbalance was very interesting to me; there is a chemical side to cravings. An imbalance makes you never feel full enough. All in all, I really enjoyed this session. It was very informative and fascinating.” – Nhi Nguyen, Senior, Booker High School

Description The program consist of a series of peer-led self-management group sessions to cover topics including stress management, brain health, nutrition, fitness, prevention of heart disease and cancer. The goal in these sessions is to provide health education and promote behavioral skills to help carry out the tasks necessary to live as well as possible. These skills include managing and monitoring symptoms, navigating health systems, and working with healthcare providers. The program will have a series of professionally-led group assemblies as well that will include guest speakers, stress management techniques, and group discussions to reach the goal of increasing health education. It is hoped with greater self-awareness and linkage to regular and culturally competent care, vulnerable populations will learn to blunt the effects of chronic disease; resulting in decreased burden on local emergency rooms and increased participation in  available effective programs offered in the community.
Budget $30,000
Category Health Care, General/Other Health Care Issues
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults At-Risk Populations Minorities
Short Term Success
1. Educate attendees on vital health topics, such as brain health, cardiovascular health, diabetes and nutrition, and cancer, and resources through discussions with professionals in related healthcare fields.
Long Term Success
1. Create a critical mass of well-informed lay people who will continue to serve as well informed resources of information for their communities.
2. Increase linkage to care and resources in the community.
 
Program Success Monitoring Managed by MHI Program Coordinator (PC), success is monitored by monthly reports documenting educational activities, speakers, number of participants as well as survey feedback after each event. Quarterly meetings are held with PC to review the program and make adjustments, if indicated, to stay on target towards anticipated goals.
Program Success Examples This project will be based on previous award winning work Dr. Merritt was involved in with the CDC REACH Collaborative in Atlanta.
Description The MHI Discount Clinic program will help uninsured and underinsured people in our communities. The program provides high quality, cost effective, primary and preventive health care along with chronic disease management. MHI provides a board array of primary and preventive health care services in a culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate manner and seeks to link people to appropriate care resources in the community. We offer a sliding fee scale program for those that are uninsured and not eligible for any other type of insurance coverage based on income, family size and the type of services needed.
Budget $50,000
Category Health Care, General/Other Health Care, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served At-Risk Populations Minorities Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Short Term Success Provide access to healthcare services to uninsured and indigent individuals in Sarasota County. Because of the services provided, as well as reduced barriers to access, they will be less likely to visit the emergency room.
Long Term Success
Increase the wellbeing and quality of life of vulnerable populations. The clinic will help save money for tax payers by improved efficieny of the health care system. It will provide an opportunity to expand the pipeline of future health leaders engaging those inter-generational participants interested in pairing pre-med and/or medical students with a retired physician. 
Program Success Monitoring N/A
Program Success Examples Managed by MHI Program Coordinator (PC), success is monitored by monthly reports documenting healthcare services through electronic medical record system. Quarterly meetings are held with PC to review the program and make adjustments, if indicated, to stay on target towards anticipated goals.
Comments
Program Comments by Organization

I have also been fascinated by traditional, more holistic, healing traditions, having studied and incorporated modalities such as acupuncture, herbalism, homeopathy into my own practice and educational programs. There is great potential to improve health outcomes, reduce health costs through culturally relevant and representative health education programs and by widening the pipeline for aspiring young people from underserved backgrounds to develop important skills and educational capabilities that they can eventually bring back to their communities.

We have consistently adhered to the principles of elevating health status in a community through improved health literacy and inspiring positive behavioral change at the grass roots level as well as elevating need and insuring cultural competence at every level of our health delivery system. Building capacity through training, education and peer level support have been key components and we are proud of the creation of the Gatekeepers of Community health as well as Allies for health who continue to speak to family, friends and co- workers wherever they are about important lifesaving health information. With greater support, we will be able to continue to make such important contributions and help train others to do so. Our work has momentum and has attracted an amazing array of volunteer and in-kind support.
Program Comments by Foundation
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director No Executive Director
CEO Term Start 0
CEO/Executive Director Email n/a
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
NameTerm
Senior Staff
NameTitle
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 3
Staff Retention Rate % N/A
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 2
Volunteers 25
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Non-Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Collaborations
MHI programs address needs assessed through its ongoing, culturally relevant, specialized, participatory research studies, training of Gatekeepers of Community Health, planning, and collaborations with churches and other Community Based Organizations. As a result this systematic approach, MHI becomes a trusted ally of community residents and leaders; increases the capacity of the community to respond to various health dilemmas; confirms local support on the design of initiatives that discover negative health disparities; heightens awareness of negative health impacts; and executes action plans that target solutions exactly where they’re needed.
Affiliations
AffiliationYear
External Assessments and Accreditations
Assessment/AccreditationYear
Awards & Recognition
Award/RecognitionOrganizationYear
2012 Unity award - Medical categoryBiz941 Magazine2012
Community Service AwardGenesis Health Services2008
Innovation Recognition AwardWEDU Television Station - Sarasota & Bradenton, Florida2007
Community Service AwardHealthy Start2010
Community Service AwardNewtown, Florida Martin Luther King Celebration Committee2012
Youth Empowerment AwardThe Links2008
Concerns of Women Physicians Award: Woman in Medicine AwardNational Medical Association Council2014
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Plans
Fundraising Plan Yes
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years 2
Strategic Plan Adopted 2012
Management Succession Plan No
Policies and Procedures No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Policies
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Comments
Management Comments by Organization

It has been a moving journey to found and lead our organization through several different stages of evolution since the mid-1990s. As a member of the first Multicultural health task force for the Office of Minority Health in the State of California, I observed first hand the many challenges facing communities throughout the state as they shared their poignant stories at our numerous town halls. As a Spanish speaking health provider, I also was acutely aware of the differential type of care received by different patient groups and the need for cultural and linguistic competency. This was further fueled by the findings by the Institute of Medicine in its landmark report on Separate and Unequal Health Care, which revealed less aggressive, less comprehensive care was being received by patients based solely on race, not insurance or economic status or even educational level.

I have also been fascinated by traditional, more holistic, healing traditions, having studied and incorporated modalities such as acupuncture, herbalism, homeopathy into my own practice with impressive results and positive response to educational programs in those areas.
 
There is great potential to improve health outcomes, reduce healthcare costs through culturally relevant and representative health education programs and by widening the pipeline for aspiring young people from underserved backgrounds to develop important skills and educational capabilities that they can eventually bring back to their communities.

 

Management Comments by Foundation
Board Chair
Board Chair Dr. Lisa Merritt MD
Company Affiliation Kinesia Rehabilitation Group (KRG), Founder Multicultural Health Institute (MHI)
Board Term Mar 1998 to Dec 2015
Board Chair Email lisa@the-mhi.org
Board Members
Board Members
NameAffiliation
William G. Cromwell Carter Cromwell Law Group
Mrs. Carolyn A. Fitzpatrick Banking Executive (Ret.); Sarasota County Community Foundation (Board of Directors)
Dr. Washington Hill Retired
Dr. Lisa Merritt MDKinesia Rehabilitation Group, Founder Multicultural Health Institute (MHI)
Dr. Dolores Jean Penn Ph.D.Community Volunteer
Dr. Teresa Pettersen MD, MPAClinical Instructor, LECOM
Mr. Curtis Yew CPAOwner, CPA, Inc.
Student serving on the board through Community Youth Development? No
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 4
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 1
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 3
Female 4
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 4
Board Term Limits 0
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Board Meeting Attendance % 63
Board Self-Evaluation No
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 0
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Standing Committees
Comments
Governance Comments by Organization
Governance Comments by Foundation
Total number of board members in ethnicity section appears higher because one or more board members has multiple ethnicities.  Board attendance spreadsheet reports 2 board meetings.
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Begins 2015
Fiscal Year Ends 2015
Projected Revenue $50,000.00
Projected Expenses $48,000.00
Endowment Value
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Endowment Spending Policy %
Capital Campaign
In a Capital Campaign No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Campaign Dates 0 to 0
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
Audit/Financial Documents
Historical Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201420132012
Program Expense$18,592$18,061$8,077
Administration Expense$4,739$3,501$13,971
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.031.061.36
Program Expense/Total Expenses80%84%37%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201420132012
Total Assets$23,236$22,559$21,301
Current Assets$9,117$9,156$8,478
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Total Net Assets$23,236$22,559$21,301
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201420132012
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountProgram Service Revenue $14,008Contributions, gifts, grants $14,600Contributions, gifts, grants $15,600
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $10,000Program Service Revenue $8,220Program service revenue $14,445
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount0 $00 $00 $0
CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Co-CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Tax Credits
Solvency
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization We have a CPA on our board and recently have expanded our board to include members with extensive backgrounds in business leadership. We are implementing all suggested improvements made by our advisors.
Financial Comments by Foundation Financial figures were taken from the 990-EZ.  No audit information provided.
Nonprofit The Multicultural Health Institute
Address 3260 Fruitville Road, Suite B
Sarasota, FL 34237
Primary Phone 941 225-8198 101

THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF SARASOTA COUNTY, INC. IS A REGISTERED 501(C)(3) NON-PROFIT CORPORATION. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE WITHIN THE STATE (1-800-HELP-FLA) OR FROM THE WEBSITE: WWW.FRESHFROMFLORIDA.COM. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT (100%) OF EACH CONTRIBUTION IS RECEIVED BY THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF SARASOTA COUNTY. REGISTRATION #SC-02471.