Who is Patricia Schmiedigen?
Born in The Bronx, Patricia studied psychology and pre-med at New York University. As a student, she dove into international development and health work, starting with her involvement in Columbia University Hospital’s Starfish Project. The project collected unused HIV drugs (or ARVs) from patients that had switched treatment plans. These meds were sent to Nigeria, where Starfish supported over 70 local HIV positive patients.
After graduation, Patricia was recruited to join the US Peace Corps and support the decentralization of Zambia’s healthcare system. She spent over two years working to build knowledge and capacity at the local level. Upon returning to New York in 2009, Patricia immediately joined Goods4Good, a relatively new non-profit, to manage and develop their programs for orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi. One of their core programs accepted surplus-fabric-destined-for-landfills from major fashion brands (like Marc Jacobs). The fabric was used to make uniforms for children in Malawi (where they are obligatory for attendance at public school). The uniforms were made by the women participating in Good4Good’s tailoring-training program, teaching them a marketable skill to take care for their own. In 2010, the program was featured in Vogue magazine.
From the US to Italy
Looking to further develop her management skills and deepen her ability to assess the complexities of social challenges, Patricia accepted a full-scholarship from Milan’s SDA Bocconi School of Management. Graduating first in her class, she also received the Professor’s Choice Award.
After working with a partnership at the World Health Organization in Geneva (PMNCH), Patricia relocated to Florence (Italy) to take on the challenge of supporting Cure2Children with its sustainable growth. Cure2Children is an incredible non-profit training medical professionals (e.g. in India) on how to locally cure diseases like thalassemia; avoiding the need for parents of children with thalassemia to travel to Italy to be cured. Patricia urged the organization to apply cross-subsidization, using revenues from assistance given to countries like Qatar and Saudi Arabia (which have both need and available funds) to support the costs of providing free assistance to developing countries such as Sri Lanka and Pakistan (with equal need but less funds).
What Patricia is up to now
Patricia now provides support for:
- Strategy – strategic planning (niche identification, 5-year plan, sustainability models), theory of change, partnership strategy development (goal alignment, partnership model, MoU)
- Execution – study design (methodology), project plan, action plan, team management, impact assessment, gap analysis, report writing
- Communications – from concept, to composition, to editing – branding, internal and external communications, articles, reports, publications
- Coaching – (1) Individual coaching: strategy for professional growth, career planning, skill-set development, (2) Organizational coaching: organizational change, team leadership, conflict resolution, partnership identification, restructuring for efficiency
What Patricia likes about Impact Hub Florence
Being at Impact Hub Florence puts Patricia in contact with people and companies she can support. It also grants her the luxury of returning home after a day away (something that working-from-home colleagues can’t enjoy).
She sees Impact Hub Florence coworking space as an ideal solution for “digital nomads” looking to work independently from a shared and social physical environment.
Patricia is also a Mentor, part of Impact Hub Florence’s Business Clinic. This means that she is available once a month to meet with individuals and companies and offer free advice for strategic growth, professional development, and project execution.
(photo credits Francesco Spighi – bar BUH! – and Ugo De Berti – memberwall)