New Institute Focuses on Emerging Scientific Findings to Advance Health

Developing a complexity and health institute

The Deaconess Billings Clinic Foundation, Billings, Mont., sponsored the implementation of a complexity and health institute in 2000 and 2001.

The emerging science of complexity is defined as the science that deals with the study of the behavior of living systems. This grant was used for a series of meetings, online communications and support of several consultants to assist with the implementation of the institute.

Key Results

  • The project met the following initial objectives:

    • A new organization, Plexus Institute, was incorporated as a 501(c)3 corporation.
    • Bylaws, the certificate of incorporation and an application for tax exemption were completed and filed. The Internal Revenue Service approved the tax exemption.
    • A board of trustees was created, drawing on many of those involved in the planning and implementation efforts. The board selected a president for the institute.
    • Institute leadership and the board of trustees developed and approved a set of start-up objectives and action plans.
    • The Plexus Institute raised additional start-up funding from the Volunteer Hospital Association (VHA) and donations from trustees and other individuals.
    • There were two conferences:
      • "Complexity and Healthy Organizations: A Conversation with Ralph Stacey" was held June 25–28, 2001, in Chico, Mont. It was attended by 45 individuals representing 25 organizations.
      • "Learning from Jane Jacobs and Each Other" was held October 28–29, 2001, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It was attended by 65 representatives from approximately 50 organizations.