Ann and Rosa are two of Group Health Foundation’s first employees. They recently shared how their stories and experiences have shaped their perspectives on health. Read what they shared.
Ann Ngo grew up in an immigrant and refugee community, where she experienced health as centered around the community. “Health was so much more than health care or medicine; it was about our day-to-day interactions, how we treated each other, and our physical environment. I always felt a great sense of how our health was being shaped by the community surrounding us .”
After earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in public health, Ann was compelled to work at organizations that centered community, including Global to Local, OneAmerica, Sea Mar Community Health Center, and National Alliance for Mental Illness. When the opportunity at Group Health Foundation arose, Ann was immediately excited about elevating community health and making a difference in addressing health inequities.
At Group Health Foundation, Ann serves as the administrative and operations coordinator, where she enjoys thinking about and setting up systems and processes to facilitate efficient work flow. She appreciates the strong learning culture and emphasis on collaboration at the Foundation. Looking forward, Ann is excited about partnering with communities, and “connecting with those who will help set the stage for how we learn and grow together.”
When not at work, Ann loves to spend time with her family, including her partner and their small, but feisty dog Boba, and exploring their Beacon Hill neighborhood. She’s currently reading The Feminist Fight Club.
Rosa Gimson believes her worldview is largely shaped by her experience as an immigrant and multi-racial woman. “I have always had a lot of empathy for being an outsider, and that has drawn me to my work.”
In undergraduate studies, Rosa explored the field of anthropology, and then worked with people experiencing homelessness in downtown Seattle. To gain a systems-level understanding of our institutions and public and nonprofit sectors, she pursued a master’s in public administration at the University of Washington, which eventually led her to Group Health Foundation. “I was looking for creative ways to solve our biggest societal issues, and I think philanthropy has the flexibility to do that and effect real change.”
As special assistant to the CEO, Rosa wears many hats, including partnering with the CEO and board of directors on strategy, providing administrative support, and managing projects related to the organization’s learning agenda. She also considers it part of her job to look at everything through an equity lens, and has been impressed by how much the Foundation is committed to living its values.
In her free time, Rosa practices meditation and connects with the Buddhist community through classes. Rosa also enjoys relaxing with her great group of friends, and tries to get outside as much as possible – running, hiking, or playing volleyball, her favorite sport. “Volleyball has taught me a lot about life – the importance of teamwork, communication, and a strong work ethic, along with the need to constantly make small adjustments to improve.”