Cara V. James, PhD, President and CEO, Grantmakers In Health
First and foremost, thank you all for your warm welcome to Grantmakers In Health (GIH). I am thrilled to take the helm of an organization I have long admired. I have spent my career tackling issues related to health, access, quality of care, and equity, and look forward to continuing this vital work with all of you.
Current events are a reminder of how much our world is changing, and how essential it is that we come together to achieve better health at home and around the world. As I am settling into my new role, my top priorities are to ensure the health and safety of my GIH colleagues and provide support for the many organizations that make up the field of health philanthropy during this challenging time.
GIH is committed to supporting our partners and allies as we collectively navigate the impact and challenges of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Click here for our expanding list of resources, and look out for announcements on other upcoming COVID-19 programming and learnings. As the situation continues to evolve, I encourage you to lean on this community for support. If you are a GIH Funding Partner, reach out to GIH staff for rapid technical assistance; exchange strategies, questions, and guidance with funder colleagues on our e-forums; search funder websites to see how your colleagues are strategizing and responding to the virus; and access our timely webinars and publications spanning 12 issues. We know that funders are operating in several, intersecting spaces, and will continue to develop opportunities for you to learn, connect, and grow across interest areas.
Regarding our upcoming convenings, GIH has made the difficult decision to postpone our April meetings on maternal and child health disparities and funding equity. We remain committed to these issues and look forward to rescheduling when we can ensure a safe and healthy meeting environment. We are still planning to hold the GIH Annual Conference on Health Philanthropy from June 17-19 in Minneapolis. We continue to monitor reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization, and will inform the field if our plans change. Currently, we recommend that funders reserve their space at the meeting, with a reminder that cancellations made by Friday, May 29 are eligible for a full refund.
Finally, I would like to share that GIH staff will be telecommuting beginning today, Tuesday, March 17, following the CDC’s recommendation for increased social distancing. We expect no disruption in programming or functioning, and our staff members remain available and committed to supporting each of you in your work. If you have any questions or concerns, please click here to contact us.
Despite the uncertainty of the moment, there is much work to be done, and great opportunities still ahead of us. Philanthropy plays a particularly vital role during times of crisis and, as repeatedly proven, is stronger as a collective. I and the rest of the GIH family are grateful for the opportunity to help advance the essential work of your individual foundations and corporate giving programs, today and always, as we all adapt to the changing environment. I wish you and your family good health, and look forward to learning, connecting, and growing with each of you to advance our shared vision of better health through better philanthropy in the weeks and months ahead.