In November 2012, I was named President and CEO of GIH. Shortly afterward, I described the opening phases of what I called GIH 3.0, a term I chose because I was GIH’s third president. GIH 3.0 built on the past accomplishments of the organization, while positioning it to continue being a relevant and high-quality resource for the field.
In September, I delivered a keynote speech at the Annual Mobile Health Clinic Conference of the Mobile Healthcare Association, and the occasion was an opportunity for me to learn more about the contributions of mobile clinics to population health and the delivery of safety-net services.
With this year’s annual conference being my last as GIH’s President and CEO, I would like to share a few personal reflections on the evolution of this gathering—which is still health philanthropy’s largest!—and its value to us and to the field.
For the past seven years, Grantmakers In Health (GIH) has been part of the Rural Health Philanthropy Partnership, which convenes public and private foundations, researchers, and policy makers to discuss federal programs and foundation-led initiatives in rural areas.
We asked our colleagues to reflect on the 2019 GIH annual conference theme of Ideas. Innovations. Impact. The resulting articles pursue a variety of themes, but collectively they make abundantly clear that the central role played by PSOs—making connections among funders in order to stimulate lasting change and improve quality-of-life—continues to be vitally important.
We should not have to make the case for oral health programming, but the reality is that the health effects of oral health disparities are not widely recognized—despite the fact that these disparities continue to be persistent and pervasive.
A few years ago, it was estimated that 43.5 million adults had provided care for someone in the previous 12 months. The care provided by family members is vitally important—yet it is generally not financially compensated and usually not well-integrated into health care systems.
Over the years, GIH has developed considerable programming to help funders learn from one another about effective policy change strategies, to increase awareness of what is legally possible, and to decrease anxiety about emerging strategies.
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.
Every year brings important changes to Grantmakers In Health, and this year will be no different. I recently informed the GIH board and staff that I have decided to leave the organization at the end of 2019.