Nonprofit Advisory Boards: What Are They and How Does MiracleFeet Use Them?

June 21, 2018

How do advisory boards help us achieve our mission at MiracleFeet?

smiling girl holding a book sits in chair. she is wearing the purple MiracleFeet brace.

While a nonprofit board of directors provides legal oversight, there is often a need for different types of expertise. This is where an advisory board comes in. Typically, an advisory board will provide fundraising or programmatic expertise to an organization. In MiracleFeet’s case, we have a Medical Advisory Board (MAB) made up of leading pediatric orthopedic surgeons who are at the forefront of the latest trends and research in medicine. They do just what their name indicates: serve as advisors to the MiracleFeet team on programmatic matters.

Though each organization involves their advisory board in a way that best fits their needs, our team contacts the MiracleFeet MAB as needed for advice and questions. The board and several staff representatives meet annually in person at the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA) conference where they receive an update on MiracleFeet’s programs and learn about upcoming initiatives.

What is the link between the MiracleFeet MAB and our partners in the field?

smiling boy with pants legs rolled up to show his corrected feet. he is walking towards the camera while medical providers look on in the background.

Why is it so important and useful to keep in close contact with a MAB? In addition to being leaders in their field, the members of our MAB are also doing the same type of work as our partners, but in a different setting. As doctors, they see a high volume of patients throughout the year and a wide range of cases from simple to complex. They are making the same decisions our partners make in MiracleFeet-sponsored clinics across the globe. The members of our MAB also have experience working in low-resource settings and understand many of the unique challenges facing a clubfoot clinician on the front lines of managing a busy clinic in a low-income country.

For example, one frequently-discussed issue among our MAB and in-country partners is older children with neglected clubfoot. What is the best course of treatment for these cases? What will be most successful in the long-run and lead to better patient-reported outcomes? How do we best treat clubfoot in cases where one size doesn’t necessarily fit all?

How does the MAB help us look to the future of clubfoot treatment?

In helping our team think about the big questions being asked about clubfoot treatment, we are better able to plan and set priorities for the future. The MiracleFeet MAB is an important part of that planning, from providing valuable feedback about the MiracleFeet brace and advocating for its use, to helping us empower patients who might not have interacted with a healthcare system before.