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What’s Coming Up in 2019 for GIH and Health Philanthropy?

January 2019

At GIH, one of our goals is to contribute to the learnings that form the basis of philanthropy’s evolution. Funders, nonprofit organizations, board members, and our fellow philanthropy-serving organizations are among the sources we turn to in order to take the pulse of health philanthropy and understand new developments that are on the horizon.

Many topics that we have advanced over the years are now accepted practice. The list includes health equity, the social determinants of health, working across sectors, policy and advocacy, and public/private partnerships. Our experience is that, without losing sight of longstanding priorities, health funders are always open to emerging issues and approaches. Moreover, by being attentive and responsive to the external policy and social environment, health philanthropy advances and remains vital and relevant.

In 2019, there are several trends we will be following. They reflect the wide range of health funders’ priorities, as well as new understandings of the factors that affect health. These trends show that, in general, funders are grappling with the changing environments of service delivery, health in communities, and organizational effectiveness. Over the next months, I will write about many of the trends in my Bulletin letters. They will also feature in annual conference sessions, webinars, and other GIH programming.

The current list includes:

  • the changing health policy landscape;
  • innovation in safety net settings;
  • support for family caregivers;
  • the future of palliative care;
  • the causes and impacts of childhood trauma and community stress;
  • the health implications of ongoing changes in immigration policy;
  • disparities in maternal health outcomes;
  • data and health equity;
  • new directions in healthy eating/active living;
  • emotional well-being, spirituality, wellness, and health;
  • oral health care access and equity;
  • social and environmental health determinants;
  • advocacy leadership and civic engagement;
  • building authentic relationships with communities;
  • the future of health conversion foundations; and
  • the challenges of cross-sectoral grantmaking.

Closer to home, as previously announced, we are preparing for a leadership transition later in 2019, when I will step down from GIH. I shared my plans with GIH’s board well ahead of time, so that we could move through the process thoughtfully. The board will announce their transition plans as they take shape. In the meantime, and in the months ahead, your participation in GIH and contributions to our success will be more important than ever, and I look forward to working alongside you in the new year as it unfolds.