Eduardo (Eddie) comes to Group Health Foundation from Portland, Oregon, where he served as a community engagement officer for Northwest Health Foundation, working to advance, support, and promote health in Oregon and Southwest Washington. At Northwest Health Foundation, he built deep connections across Oregon, and is now eager to get to know the people and communities of Washington.
“After 18 years in Portland, I’m excited to take on a new adventure, while still getting to call the beautiful Northwest home,” says Eddie. “I’m looking forward to building new relationships, helping to develop new initiatives, and inviting our friends from Oregon to learn together as we have a shared fate in the health of our region.”
In joining Group Health Foundation, Eddie will be coming full circle to work alongside a familiar friend and respected colleague, Nichole Maher. Eddie’s first job at Northwest Health Foundation was as Nichole’s assistant. During that time, Nichole and Eddie traveled across Oregon to host community dinners as a way of getting to know community leaders in an unstructured, authentic setting. Eddie says, “I loved having this opportunity because it’s through stories and shared experiences that we realize how much we all have in common.”
At Northwest Health Foundation, Eddie also co-designed and implemented community-driven and school-based strategies to improve health across Oregon. He led multi-million-dollar fund partnerships with organizations, including NIKE Inc. and Kaiser Permanente NW. His proudest accomplishment was creating and launching UnWind, a program for leaders of color from community-led organizations to come together, build relationships, and learn self-care skills to sustain their energy for this work long-term. For Eddie, centering authentic relationships is the most rewarding part of his work, and something he hopes to continue at Group Health Foundation.
“The people who are doing the work are so important. We need to focus on and invest in supporting community leaders so they can get what they need and continue to do their work in communities,” says Eddie.
Prior to Northwest Health Foundation, Eddie worked in education for six years supporting Latinx youth and youth facing barriers to opportunity to improve their academic achievement and grow their leadership and social skills. Working in service to others is core to who Eddie is. He’s served on the Nonprofit Association of Oregon board of directors and Stand for Children Oregon’s “Beat the Odds Scholarship” committee, as well as volunteered for culturally-specific and LGBTQ-focused organizations.
At the moment, Eddie is reconnecting with his southern California roots and enjoying a sabbatical in the San Diego area. He’s appreciating time with his family, working on mastering his Nana’s secret family recipes, and catching up on some reading. When he arrives in Seattle, Eddie says he’s looking forward to taking weekend trips with his partner and exploring new corners of the great Northwest.