This year has placed a spotlight on many things, including the importance of leadership during times of crisis and uncertainty. I recently had the pleasure of welcoming the newest cohort of fellows to the Terrance Keenan Institute for Emerging Leaders in Health Philanthropy. We spent three afternoons together learning about each other’s leadership style, talking about how to foster more diverse and inclusive work environments, discussing how to advance health equity through the work of their foundations, and engaging community leaders in a discussion on power sharing and how to more effectively partner with community organizations to effect change.
Funders can bring groups together, helping to expand the number of stakeholders aware of the unique needs of communities and develop programs, policies and initiatives that apply a rural and racial equity lens, thereby creating a force multiplier effect that could lead to significant improvements in health for all.
As we head into Fall, let us take a moment to rest, recharge, and to care for one another so that we are prepared to meet the challenges ahead. Let us also remain hopeful, knowing that together we can accomplish anything.
The pandemic and ensuing social unrest have led to myriad conversations focused on how to use this moment to create a more equitable health system, rebuild our public health infrastructure, and reimagine police practices. I would encourage us to also consider this moment an opportunity to rethink our educational system, given the strong relationship between education, income, wealth, and health.
Our country has experienced significant upheaval over the last 90 days that raised the collective awareness of inequities in health, work, education, and policing. These changes have led to increased calls for action and offer a pivotal moment to enact meaningful steps towards achieving health equity. We must not squander this opportunity.
As we reopen our communities and think about long-term recovery plans, we should also consider how to redesign our systems to achieve better health for everyone. Philanthropy has a vital role to play in this process.
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.
Last week, Grantmakers In Health announced that Cara James has been selected as the organization’s fourth President and CEO. We are thrilled to welcome her to the GIH family.
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.