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.
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.