Author: Group Health Foundation


Strengthening communities for COVID-19 response

Our team has started an Equitable and Response Recovery Fund to strengthen community capacity so that more people can have resources to follow public health recommendations for COVID-19. Because this is an urgent issue requiring an urgent response, we reassigned our staff and in the past five days have made direct grants totaling $5 million so far.

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Our next office location

We have great news: Group Health Foundation is opening an office in Pasco. Our staff have visited Pasco and the greater Tri-Cities several times during the past 18 months, much of it documented in our report, A Year on the Road. We have enjoyed beginning to build relationships here, and are grateful to community members who took time to share their experiences and aspirations during our visits.

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Reflecting on our first Community Learning Grants to support powerful community-led work across Washington

We are excited to announce $15 million in Community Learning Grants to 75 organizations and projects throughout Washington that are leading community-defined efforts to advance equity. Grantees were selected following review of almost 700 applications. Grants range from $150,000 to $225,000 (divided over three years) to support organizations and fiscally-sponsored projects with flexible, unrestricted funds.

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Meet Fautimah El-Mehrik

Fautimah is eager to come on board as the office coordinator for Group Health Foundation and apply her lived experiences and educational background to help advance health equity in Washington State. Growing up biracial and Muslim, Fautimah’s personal experiences led her on a path to equity and social justice work.

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Meet Diana Huynh

“I’m excited to join Group Health Foundation because they are taking the time to build trust and listen to those most impacted by inequities.” Looking forward, Diana hopes to learn more about what health equity looks like for communities throughout the state.

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Meet Mitchell Chen

Mitchell comes to Group Health Foundation from the University of Washington (UW) Department of Biology. He brings experience in operations and project management, as well as a deep commitment to equitable communities to his operations associate role.

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Meet Eduardo Moreno

Eduardo (Eddie) most recently worked with Northwest Health Foundation, where he built deep connections across Oregon and Southwest Washington. For Eddie, centering authentic relationships has been the most rewarding part of his work, and something he hopes to continue at Group Health Foundation.

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Our support for Referendum 88

This fall, we made our first public policy endorsement and financial contribution to the Approve Referendum 88 (R-88) campaign, led by the Washington Fairness Coalition. Why did we take a stand and how it is tied to our mission?

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Meet Peng Wang

“I believe Group Health Foundation’s purpose of improving health and racial equity is fundamentally important.” Peng joins as the managing director of investments. In this role, he looks forward to applying his 15+ years of investing experience to generate financial returns that support the Foundation’s mission.

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Meet Jorge Gutierrez

Jorge comes to Group Health Foundation from Astoria, Oregon, where he served as the executive director of the Lower Columbia Hispanic Council (LCHC). He’s eager to get to know and connect with communities and organizations across Washington State, particularly the smaller organizations that remind him of LCHC when he was first starting there.

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Meet LiLi Liu

“I’m excited to be part of a team that is grounded in equity as a core value and centering communities furthest from opportunity.” As a first-generation Taiwanese-American woman growing up in Seattle, LiLi says she understands the importance of language and culture to developing a strong identity and brings these experiences to her work.

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Meet Tony A. (naschio) Johnson

“The idea of facilitating access to philanthropy for rural communities on their own terms, while assisting in the development of processes and projects of significance that ultimately affect the health outcomes of rural and marginalized communities, is something that drives me on a personal level.”

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Meet Muthu Muthiah

Moving around throughout his life has given Muthu a unique global perspective on investing that he’ll be bringing to Group Health Foundation this July, when he joins as our CIO.

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Meet Steven Cole-Schwartz

Steven will join Group Health Foundation this July as our portfolio director of advocacy and leadership. “It is such a rich opportunity to work with individuals, families, organizations, and leaders from across Washington State’s rural communities, tribes, and larger and smaller cities.”

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Meet Dion Asberry

Dion recently joined Group Health Foundation as the human resources director. When he heard about the foundation and its commitment to social justice, he knew that this was the culmination of everything in his career coming together for the right work at the right time.

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Meet Eliseo “EJ” Juárez

EJ grew up in Central Washington, where at an early age he became aware of rural poverty and inequities in opportunity. His commitment to health equity and access began while attending college at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, where he was later awarded distinguished alumnus in 2016. While there, EJ was the driving force in the establishment of a student health center at the university.

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Building Relationships with Intention

As we begin to grow and build relationships with communities across Washington, we wanted to share a little bit about how this work is unfolding. Our commitment to center the lived experience of those most impacted by health inequities means we are making intentional decisions about the places we go and the people we meet.

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Meet Brenda Anibarro

Brenda grew up in Federal Way, and was shaped by her parent’s experiences and values. Her father emigrated from Bolivia to the United States in the 1950’s and her mother in the 1970’s. She says her father instilled in her a commitment to service, and her mother taught her about the importance of being involved in your community “to build the kind of world we all deserve.”

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Meet Willa Gubner

Willa joined Group Health Foundation last spring. She believes work is supposed to be about improving the world around us. “Growing up I always knew that whatever I ended up doing for a living, a big part of it would be contributing to the community.” She grew up in Alger, a small community of just over 400 people in Skagit County.

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Reciprocity in Relationships: Q&A with Seth Kirby

At Group Health Foundation, we believe that communities know what they need to improve health, and we are dedicated to engaging the wisdom of communities to prioritize, design, and support collective approaches. Board member Seth Kirby draws upon his experiences working with identity- and place-based communities to talk about the Foundation’s endeavors.

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Group Health Foundation Welcomes Nichole June Maher as CEO

Group Health Foundation’s board and staff today welcomed Nichole June Maher as the Foundation’s new president and CEO. An expert in the field of health equity, Maher was selected to advance the organization’s aspirations for a vibrant, healthy future in communities across Washington State. Group Health Foundation is the third largest foundation in Washington and among the 50 largest in the United States.

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How Legacy Matters: Q&A with Porsche Everson

Group Health Foundation was created using the proceeds from Kaiser Permanente’s acquisition of Group Health Cooperative, with the goal of carrying on Group Health’s legacy of social impact. Porsche Everson, who served on Group Health Cooperative’s board for nine years and is one of four continuity members on Group Health Foundation’s board, shares insights on the formation and early days of the Foundation and how it’s shaped by Group Health Cooperative’s legacy.

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Announcing Our New CEO Nichole June Maher

Group Health Foundation is honored to announce Nichole June Maher will become the new president and CEO of Group Health Foundation in October 2018, leading the organization in our bold pursuit of health equity for Washington State. Nichole brings visionary leadership, grounded in two decades of work dedicated to achieving a more equitable Oregon and Southwest Washington.

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Centering Communities: Q&A with Dr. America Bracho Perez

Community engagement is fundamental to Group Health Foundation’s mission of advancing community aspirations for a vibrant, healthy Washington. It is one of five key areas identified in our organizational learning plan to explore this year. Dr. America Bracho Perez, who serves on our board and is an expert in this area, shares her ideas about community engagement.

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Meet Carmen Loh

Carmen joined Group Health Foundation as our finance and administration director in December 2017. She has been enjoying getting to know the staff and board, and helping establish our financial and operational systems and processes.

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Community Engagement Learning Collaborative Launched

Community engagement is one element of our learning plan for 2018. To inform how we think about and plan for community engagement, we’ve brought together a learning collaborative that includes people from across the state who have deep experience and expertise in organizing, mobilizing, and building partnerships.

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Our Equity Journey So Far: Q&A with Dr. Ben Danielson

Since the formation of Group Health Foundation’s board of directors last spring, we’ve been exploring the core values and principles that define our organization. Early on, equity emerged as a leading value for us. Read on for an excerpt from a Q&A with Board Vice Chair Dr. Ben Danielson about the early stages of the Foundation’s equity journey.

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