Our Focus Areas

We live in a world of increasing complexity, dynamic change and decreasing resources. Our organizations, systems, communities and have to do more with less and are more dependent on each other. In order to address these complex issues, an innovative and collective approach is required.

At Change Matrix, we recognize that there is great strength in bringing together a wide range of experiences, knowledge, and ideas to creatively and productively meet the needs of children and families.  We infuse cultural and linguistic competence, youth and family engagement, and program evaluation into all of the work that we do.  Click on the tabs below to learn more about our areas of focus.


Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success - Henry Ford

The Issue

In every state throughout our country, agencies and organizations are finding new ways of working together. Services, supports and programs that were once offered alone are now connecting to create a more cohesive and coordinated system.

Some system-building efforts are initiated through federal grant programs that mandate collaboration between partners. Other system-building efforts are driven by leaders, who know that collaborating to offer programs and services is more effective.

Building systems requires that the individual entities think and act in new ways. They must partner thoughtfully, engage in joint processes and share knowledge and resources. This is complex work and takes time.

Our Approach

The work of system building begins with ensuring the right people are participating and creating shared vision and mission. To work towards achieving the vision, Change Matrix helps systems plan for action and evaluation and engages the community in all phases of the work.

To build new partnerships, draft policy, change services and structures, Change Matrix provides consultation and facilitation to:

Plan: strategic, implementation, and action plans
Assess: environmental scans and data gathering
Evaluate: plan for and implement evaluation
Report and recommend: Reports and policy recommendations


The Collaboration Lab – created the Structured Conversations for Building Effective Collaboration tool.

Iowa Children’s Disability Workgroup – facilitated cross agency workgroup to recommend children’s cabinet to state legislature.

Indiana State SOC Expansion Plan – facilitating strategic plan and infusing cultural and linguistic competence into plan.

St. Joseph County, IN – consulted to juvenile justice center in its effort to partner with education system.


Collaboration Continuum Dashboard – provides a definition of each of four ways of working together as well as an example.


Our most important partners in this work are those that lead system change efforts in their states and communities as well as the youth and families who are most impacted by the system and proposed change.

We do not use a one-size-fits-all approach, but tailor unique processes and tools to meet the individual needs of our clients.


Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other - John F. Kennedy

The Issue

Being a leader in times of economic swings, shifting demographics, and changing roles and functions is challenging at best. In complex systems, the leader is required to develop awareness, knowledge, and skills to differentiate between technical solutions and strategies, and those that require us to adapt and shift values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. The leader must also engage others in identifying the adaptive work at multiple levels (individual, organizational, and systems) and evaluate the impact of his or her efforts.

Our Approach

Change Matrix provides comprehensive training for leaders functioning in complex systems. The partners at Change Matrix can also provide on-going coaching support for leaders as they address and assess the adaptive challenges. We support leaders to:

  • Identify personal leadership challenges
  • Identify organizational leadership challenges, such as integrating cultural and linguistic competence, addressing disparities, youth and family engagement
  • Develop awareness, knowledge, and skills to identify their roles, define change strategies and build the capacity of their organization
  • Identify shifts in values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors needed to move through complacency and resistance
  • Develop strategic and implementation plans for addressing systems change
  • Evaluate actions and progress based on identified goals and objectives


Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
Michigan Leadership Institute – IMPACT, Ingham County’s System of Care
Quality Trust, Washington, DC


Sockalingam, and Waetzig, E.Z. (2010) in Blau, G.M. and Magrab, P.R. (eds) The Leadership Equation: Strategies for Individuals Who Are Champions for Children, Youth, and Families, Chapter 6: Building Common Ground. Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing.

Groups that collaborate to address complex problems and change systems and services are doing so with models of shared governance. So, what is the role of the person designated to lead such efforts? The Role of Vision in Shared Leadership.

To bring theory into practice, Change Matrix invites your group to engage in a creative process to bring your vision to life. The Vision Board


Leadership Consulting
Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development


It isn't the thing you do, it's the thing you leave undone which gives you a bit of a heartache at the setting of the sun - Author Unknown
Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and the most inhuman - Martin Luther King

The Issue

Health (physical and behavioral) disparities are noted by a variety of experts as significant barriers to health for much of America. The causes and effects of disparities are complex, and there is little consensus about appropriate responses.

Our approach

Change Matrix has proven experience in working with communities to address cultural and linguistic competence, health inequities and disparities, cross-cultural communication, and leadership. We provide the following support:

  • Facilitate cross-cultural dialogue around the disparities and inequities that exist between and within different cultural groups
  • Identify determinants of health that impact disparities and inequities in diverse communities
  • Identify strategies to address barriers to service access and utilization
  • Develop strategic and implementation plans to change systems and develop policies to eliminate health inequities
  • Understand, build, and evaluate culturally and linguistically competent practices and organizations
  • Facilitate connections between communities doing promising work to eliminate disparities and ensure equity


National Network to Eliminate Disparities in Behavioral Health (NNED) National Facilitation Center. As the NNED NFC, Change Matrix facilitates and implements NNED activities, knowledge development and application with a unique focus on behavioral health and minority populations and communities.

CLC Applied TM: Cultural and Linguistic Competence in Service Delivery

The process of becoming culturally and linguistically competence is a personal and professional journey. Change Matrix offer a comprehensive approach to promote and lead personal, professional and organizational shifts.

Kokoro Kara Evaluation. Change Matrix partnered with the National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association to implement a culturally-driven evaluation plan.


Smedley, B.D. Stith, A.Y. and Nelson, A.R. (eds) (2003) Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Healthcare. Washington, D.C. The National Academies Press

NNEDshare is a new collaborative space to share resources and intervention efforts to improve the delivery of behavioral health care interventions in diverse populations. Visit NNEDshare.


Public health acts on the knowledge that health is a fundamental resource to the individual, to the community, and to society as a whole and must be supported by soundly investing in living conditions that create, maintain, and protect health - Ilona Kickbusch

The Issue

There is growing recognition that mental health is an integral part of overall health, and that mental health is largely impacted by the environments in which we live, work, and play. However, the current approach focuses almost exclusively on mental health after problems develop, an approach that results in high economic and personal cost. A new public health framework offers guidance for leaders to approach mental health in a new way.

Mental health care systems, service providers, and other child-serving systems are well positioned to work together to shape environments that optimize mental health for individuals and communities. However, getting started and moving forward is complex and can be overwhelming.

Our approach

The Change Matrix Public Health Group, with experience in public health and mental health care systems, can support leaders to:

  • Frame their approach and create a shared language
  • Develop their plan and engage diverse stakeholders
  • Identify funding strategies
  • Gather, organize, and analyze their data
  • Implement and evaluate their action step and interventions


Early Connections Network (ECN) - The CM Public Health Group worked with a group of stakeholders to: 1) envision and define a system of care (SOC) for the 5 counties of the ECN, 2) understand how a SOC could be enhanced by embedding it within a PH framework, 3) begin building a shared language among the diverse partners, and 4) commit to building the SOC within a PH framework.

Strategic Plan for Building a Public Health Approach to Children's Mental Health - Houston and Harris County Joint City/County Commission on Children/Hogg Foundation for Mental Health


"A Framework for a Public Health Approach to Children's Mental Health: An Introduction" - This webinar explains why a public health approach to children's mental health is needed at this point in time in our country.

A Public Health Approach to Mental Health Part II "A New Way to Think about Children’s Mental Health" -- This webinar is a family and community snapshot that helps to explain a Public Health Approach.

Miles, J., Espiritu, R., Horen, N., Sebian, J., & Waetzig, E. (2010). A Public Health Approach to Children's Mental Health: A Conceptual Framework. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development, National Technical Assistance Center for Children's Mental Health

Miles, J., Espiritu, R., Waetzig, E., & Sockalingam, S. (2012). Characteristics that distinguish promotion from prevention. Las Vegas, NV: Change Matrix Public Health Group.


Searchlight Consulting LLC - Dr. Jonathan Miles