Moving from Vision to Implementation: Strategies for Systems Change in Collective Impact


Forming a steering committee and creating a common agenda is hard work. However, what happens after the vision has been agreed upon? How do you create an infrastructure that can make progress toward achieving the common agenda?

In the Forum online training Moving from Vision to Implementation, learn about the structure for implementing collective impact; considerations for which working groups to create to pursue the common agenda, and when to launch them; how to identify stakeholders best suited to serve on working groups; and how working groups can succeed in their first six months.


Training Leads:

  • Melissa Oomer, director, FSG
  • Amber Parker, program manager, Operation Youth Success
  • Lauren Smith, managing director, FSG


Melissa Oomer

Melissa is a director at FSG. She brings 10 years of experience in social sector consulting, financial analysis, and market research analytics to FSG. Her interests are focused on collective impact, U.S. health, and community philanthropy.

Melissa has deep collective impact expertise, helping collaborative efforts work together in new ways to solve complex social problems. She helped establish an initiative in Dallas comprised of over 100 organizations working together to prevent and reduce childhood obesity. Most recently, Melissa spent over a year in Douglas County, Nebraska to start a collective impact effort for juvenile justice.

Melissa has spent much of the last year working on health-related issues in Massachusetts. She helped develop a social equity and health strategy for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Massachusetts, which included developing the foundation’s theory of change, strategic framework, and 3-year implementation plans. She also worked with the Tufts Health Plan Foundation to advance the age-friendly movement in Massachusetts at both the community and state levels.

Before coming to FSG, Melissa worked at Marketing and Planning Systems (MaPS), conducting market research, and analysis for Fortune 100 companies. While in business school, Melissa worked with Ashoka’s Housing for All initiative to scale affordable housing solutions across India. Melissa holds an M.B.A. from ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain, as well as a MS in Marketing Analytics and a BS in Marketing from Bentley University.

Amber Parker

As program manager of Operation Youth Success, Amber has nearly two decades of experience working in juvenile justice and school systems. After graduating from the University of Iowa, Amber began her work with system-involved youth as a residential counselor in a secure, residential treatment facility.This experience shaped her thinking regarding how system involvement impacts families and youth. Amber turned her interest in juvenile justice into a career involving positions in in-home services for adjudicated youth, community-based programs, diversion programming, and school-based juvenile court work.

During Amber’s tenure as supervisor of the City of Las Cruces’s Juvenile Citation Program in New Mexico, the program received designation as a best practice program for Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Amber served as staff to the Juvenile Justice Continuum Board where she was responsible for coordinating efforts outlined in the community’s strategic plan.

Amber has held significant roles within many collaborative groups and assisted the Children’s Court Judge in convening the School Pathways Project, a training and technical assistance project through the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. Amber coordinated the Dona Ana County Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) and was the city’s designee to the Santa Teresa Outreach Program and Dona Ana County Truancy Project. Facilitated through the district attorney’s office, these truancy projects addressed the underlying systemic issues affecting first generation immigrant families residing in the border communities of southern New Mexico.

Amber was the appointed representative for Continuum Coordinators to the State of New Mexico Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee (SAG). This role led to presenting workshops at the Coalition for Juvenile Justice annual conference as well as the Children’s Law Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She presented testimony to the New Mexico Courts, Corrections, and Justice Legislative Committee on disparities in juvenile justice and was a guest speaker at New Mexico State University where she lectured on the school-to-prison pipeline.

Following a move to Omaha, Nebraska, Amber joined with Operation Youth Success, a collective impact effort focused on juvenile justice system reform. As program manager with the OYS backbone staff, Amber coordinates issue-specific workgroups, leads community planning for juvenile services, facilitates the Georgetown School-Justice Partnership pilot project, and manages pieces of the local application and reporting processes for Community-Based Juvenile Services Aid.

Lauren Smith, MD, MPH

Lauren is a managing director at FSG who brings more than 20 years of experience in the health care and public health fields. She is co-leader of FSG’s U.S. Health focus area. A member of FSG’s leadership group, Lauren brings her health care and public health expertise to her role in developing new business, leading teams, and building the intellectual capital of the firm. Current projects include supporting the development of a collective impact approach to improve outcomes for mothers and infants in Staten Island and helping to develop a new grants program for the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation to improve specialty care service delivery and reduce health disparities in the United States.

Prior to FSG, Lauren worked at the intersection of health care, public health, and public policy and led initiatives that contributed to improving population health. Her clinical and research career has focused on child health disparities and the implication of public policies for child health and family wellbeing. Most recently, Lauren served as the senior strategic advisor for the Infant Mortality Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network, a $6M federally-funded, multi-year national project to engage federal, state, and local leaders, clinical and public health professionals, and community agencies to achieve major reduction in infant mortality across the U.S.

Lauren served as both the medical director and then the interim commissioner for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, where she successfully organized and led teams to achieve numerous policy and programmatic successes, including in the areas of obesity and chronic disease preventions, perinatal health outcomes for mothers and infants, influenza, school nutrition, and sports-related head injuries. Before joining the department, Lauren served as a pediatric hospitalist at Boston Medical Center, where she was the medical director of pediatric inpatient services. Lauren’s prior experience in federal and state government includes roles as a policy analyst in the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and as a W.T. Grant Health Policy Fellow in the office of the Massachusetts Speaker of the House.

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