Cara V. James, PhD, President and CEO, Grantmakers In Health
Grantmakers In Health began 2023 by announcing an ambitious set of health policy priorities supporting four key goals—to advance health equity and social justice, to expand health care access and improve quality of care, to improve population health, and to promote community engagement and empowerment. Throughout the year, we aligned our work with our policy agenda, which was reflected in much of the programming at the 2023 GIH Annual Conference in Minneapolis, in our recent position statement on the 2023 Farm Bill, and in much of our other programming. Next week’s Fall Forum in Washington, DC, furthers GIH’s policy agenda, serving as a springboard for our continued engagement on policy in 2024.
This year’s Fall Forum, Feeding Hearts and Minds: Food as Medicine, Divided Media, and Implications for Public Policy, provides updates on timely topics that align with the policy agenda and are important for achieving better health for all, such as the unwinding of Medicaid and Food as Medicine. We will also discuss changes in Medicare, and we will hear what is or is not happening on the Hill. As we head into 2024, where important programs such as the Older Americans Act will be up for reauthorization, it is critical to discuss how we can foster a healthier information ecosystem to support the passage and implementation of policies that promote better health.
As we look at the history of the passage and implementation of major health programs and policies in the US, such as Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, and the COVID-19 pandemic, philanthropy has been instrumental, especially in forming partnerships with government, community, and other funders. Public-private collaboration like the one between seven funders and the State Department of Health and the Community Service Society of New York to ensure New Yorkers retained health insurance can have a real effect. Achieving the changes needed to promote health and well-being across our health system will require more multisector and deeper partnerships.
To that end, as we implement our policy agenda, we are finding new ways to strengthen public-private collaborations and showcasing how philanthropic work in the policy sphere is making a real difference in communities across the country. We are also partnering with other non-profits such as Grantmakers in Aging to advance common policy goals.
Finally, I am excited to announce the Health Policy Update, a new monthly newsletter produced in collaboration with our colleagues at Trust for America’s Health, which will provide Funding Partners with a philanthropy-focused digest of federal health policy news. The first edition will be released on November 1, the opening day of the Fall Forum. We hope the Health Policy Update will be a key resource for helping funders understand and navigate the health policy landscape. Let us know what you think of the newsletter and how we can make it even more useful to you.
I look forward to seeing you at the Fall Forum—and learning about your work in the public policy space. I hope you will emerge from conversations at the Fall Forum with new opportunities to partner and eager to join collective action in service of our shared vision of better health for all through better philanthropy.