November 23, 2010– Grantmakers In Health (GIH) is pleased to announce that Drew E. Altman, Ph.D., president and CEO of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, has been named the 2011 recipient of The Terrance Keenan Leadership Award in Health Philanthropy.
Dr. Altman came to the Kaiser Family Foundation in 1990 with the task of remaking it from the ground up, transforming it into an operating foundation and changing everything from the mission to programs. At the time, the foundation’s overall goal was to create the best impact with its budget and resources. Rather than awarding traditional grants or undertaking substantial demonstration programs, the foundation made the decision to go into the “information” business, this during a time when there was clear need for a credible source of information not controlled by commercial or political interests.
Dr. Altman’s strategic vision and leadership set a powerful example for the field. During his tenure, Kaiser has grown into a trusted independent voice on American health care through policy analysis; polling and survey research; and Kaiser Health News, a not-for-profit health news service. The foundation played a key role in providing comprehensive and impartial information during the health care reform debate and after passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Additionally, the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured has established itself as an authority on health care issues for low-income communities.
“Simply put, I can think of no other foundation leader in the past 20 years who has had such a positive impact on health philanthropy,” wrote Bruce Chernof, president and CEO of The SCAN Foundation, who nominated Altman.
Prior to joining Kaiser, Dr. Altman was director of the Health and Human Services program at The Pew Charitable Trusts and was a vice president at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He was also commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Human Services.
The Terrance Keenan Leadership Award honors outstanding individuals in health philanthropy whose work is distinguished by leadership, innovation, and achievement. GIH established the award in 1993 in honor of Terrance Keenan whose 40 years in health grantmaking inspired commitment, creativity, and risk taking.
Dr. Altman will be honored at the 2011 GIH Annual Meeting on Health Philanthropy, March 2-4, in Los Angeles, California.