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Case Study

How we overcame a 
$7 million 
budget deficit.

President & CEO 
Dr. Brenda Coughlin


Great Lakes Bay Health Centers’ journey reveals how our holistic and in-depth programs help people grow beyond perceived limits, yielding compounding returns over time alongside real, bottom-line business results. Years of culture-building prepared them when finances threatened their aspirational vision. CEO Dr. Brenda Coughlin rallied the staff's potential – resolving the deficit in light speed! All along, continuing to embed an empowering culture into daily operations. Her commitment catalyzed the Phoenix operating system elevating patient dignity through ongoing ripples of transformation.


As a federally qualified community health center, GLBHC provides comprehensive medical and dental services to underserved populations across multiple locations. Their 60,000+ patients rely on their care and compassion. But nine years ago, stagnating outcomes obstructed their full potential. Despite good intentions, lack of accountability and departmental silos limited collaboration and impact. Leadership recognized enriching their culture hinged on their team dynamics and personal commitment to the mission.

"We want to change lives because we care! That is the vision that we have for the organization and... we came up with at our initial Transformational Leadership experience."


In recent years, the pandemic exacerbated financial strains. The CFO delivered alarming news: GLBHC faced a $7 million budget deficit, jeopardizing critical services and their overall viability. Though initially shocking, Dr. Coughlin saw opportunity to leverage their intentional culture work and focused staff capabilities.

"Our chief financial officer came to me and she said, 'I have done the budget and I am anticipating that we're going to have a seven million dollar deficit.'"


Years immersed in transformational leadership equipped their executive team to align commitment when it mattered most. This operating system now served as GLBHC’s cultural bedrock – embedded in hiring methods, leadership development and onboarding.

Tailoring the methodology to their language, Dr. Coughlin's team facilitated immersive experiences for managers and supervisors throughout the organization. Each generation rippled inspiration farther. Through their commitment and focus on organizational health, GLBHC sustained momentum spreading one leader at a time.

"We have developed this coaching culture so that now every manager in the organization knows that they can ask anyone... and the ability to walk into a room and say 'Hey, I need some coaching. Can you help me?' It has made the connections in our organization and the support spectacular."

"The success of collaboration is much greater than the success of an individual."


Within five months – far ahead of projections – GLBHC resolved fiscal threats through uplifted performance and provider productivity. Broad commitment secured sustainable gains while fueling their central aim: radically improving wellbeing.

Cross-department coordination focused on patient experiences. Staff retention climbed as engagement intensified. Years later, this operating system continues to deliver returns. Through a culture of empowerment, that does what it says, transformation’s affect widen – changing lives in their Great Lakes Bay communities.

"This whole process has truly TRANSFORMED
our organization!"




Here’s a testimonial from their CFO, Amy Evans, in reference to her first experience 9 years ago in the Transformational Leadership Experience. It helps you understand why she is not just a champion of this process, but continues to help facilitate and lead the program within GLBHC. 

"This was life-changing!"

Amy Evans, CMA

Chief Financial Officer

Great Lakes Bay Health Centers

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