Letter from the President, Views from the Field, Grantmaker Focus, and more…

JUNE / JULY 2022

From the President - Reconnecting and Recommitting to a Future Focused on Better Health for All through Better Philanthropy
Much has changed since Grantmakers In Health (GIH) last convened in 2019. Over the past three years, more than 1 million Americans have lost their lives due to COVID-19. Large cracks are apparent in our public health infrastructure, health care systems, and safety net programs. In addition, pervasive inequities across all facets of society have increased. The country is divided, and this division continues to hamper our ability to address one of the greatest health challenges our modern world has ever faced.
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Erickson Fassbender Flynn Yu

Building a Better Bridge Between Funders and Communities

Jane Erickson, Director of Learning and Impact, The Rippel Foundation/ ReThink Health
Jennifer Fassbender, Program Director of Invest Health, Reinvestment Fund
Colleen Flynn, Senior Director of National Programs, Build Healthy Places Network
Emily Yu, Executive Director, The BUILD Health Challenge; Managing Director of Partnerships, de Beaumont Foundation

We are experiencing a watershed moment for philanthropy-funded social change efforts in the United States. The partnerships, knowledge, and resources that funders leverage have never been more important in contributing to the conditions that communities need for everyone to thrive, without exceptions. With such a rapid pace of change happening all around us, how can funders make the most of their role in supporting and advancing large-scale, transformative impact? The answer is to look forward with the benefit of hindsight and with partners who understand where and how to take those next steps.

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Navarro Silver

It’s Time to Converge on Narrative Change for Racial Justice and Health Equity

Amanda Navarro, Executive Director, Convergence Partnership
Michele Silver, Director of Programs, Convergence Partnership

Philanthropy is increasingly embracing narrative change as a tool for building public and political will to advance equitable policies and structural change. Yet philanthropic narrative investments to advance racial justice and health equity are still relatively new and disparate. The work is often siloed, lessons and insights are not often shared across efforts, and there is also a wide range of definitions of narratives, perspectives, and approaches on how to shift them.

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Lacsamana Viera

Reflecting on the Intersections Initiative

Jason Lacsamana, Director of Programs and Partnerships, St. Joseph Community Partnership Fund
Sandra Viera, Associate Program Director, Prevention Institute

For organizations like the St. Joseph Community Partnership Fund (the Fund) and Prevention Institute (PI), GIH conferences have served as a critical space to bring together advocates across sectors and spark new ideas to address complex health issues. Inspired by a PI-led session on upstream prevention and health equity at GIH’s March 2016 annual conference, the Fund noted the promising landscape for a grantmaking initiative that could focus on root causes of poor health and dismantling systems of inequity, and a partnership was born.

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Will We Hear the Voices of the LGBTQ Community?

M. Ryan Barker, Vice President of Responsive Philanthropy, Missouri Foundation for Health

Across the United States we are seeing a coordinated campaign to restrict lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) rights and limit access to affirming, lifesaving health care. According to the Equality Federation, nearly 400 anti-LGBTQ bills were introduced across the country in 2021, and over 240 bills have already been filed in 2022. These policies directly impact the health and safety of members of the LGBTQ community. Recent data from The Trevor Project show that 66 percent of LGBTQ youth, including 85 percent of transgender and/or nonbinary youth, report that recent debates around state laws to restrict the rights of transgender people have negatively affected their mental health.

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Grantmaker Focus – Susanna Krey, President, Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland
“Metro Health Foundation is currently reevaluating its grantmaking direction in the wake of learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic. The foundation has also permanently shifted to remote operations and had a leadership change in summer 2021. We are reviewing our bylaws and considering what we should be and how we should be structured, both now and in the future.”


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Philanthropy and Youth Mental Health
Irfan Hasan, Deputy Vice President for Grants at The New York Community Trust, recently authored an opinion piece on philanthropy’s role in addressing youth mental health.
Advice to Boards Preparing for and Supporting a New Leader of Color
This resource from BoardSource and the Building Movement Project offers insight and advice to boards about how to avoid pitfalls leading up to a transition and after a new leader is hired.
Last Chance to Register for GIH's June 27-29 Annual Conference
There is still time to register for GIH's Annual Conference on Health Philanthropy, 40 Years and Future Focused, the largest gathering of health funders in the country. This year’s conference will be in Miami, Florida with both in-person and virtual components.


Grants & Programs

Mary Black Foundation (Spartanburg, SC) • The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation (Detroit, MI) • The Conrad Hilton Foundation (Agoura Hills, CA) • Palo Alto Community Fund (Carmel, CA) • The Sozosei Foundation (Princeton, NJ) • UniHealth Foundation (Los Angeles, CA) • Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation (Owings Mills, MD)

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Transitions and Appointments

David Blumenthal (Commonwealth Fund) • Julie Ermler (Ethel & James Flinn Foundation) • David Haroz (Conrad N. Hilton Foundation) • Jerry Jones (Anchorum St. Vincent) • William Jahmal Miller, Stacie Olivares, and Vernita Todd (The California Endowment) • Kathleen J.S. Mills (Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts) • Mary Phan-Gruber (Jefferson Regional Foundation)

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