Two kids sitting cross-legged in a park, with one whispering into the ear of the other.

News


Meet Jay Thomas

We’re excited for Jay Thomas to join as a program officer and an important Foundation representative in the southern Puget Sound area, where he will champion the priorities of the leaders, organizations, and communities he knows deeply.

Read more

Meet Rubén Peralta

Say hello to Program Officer Rubén Peralta, who will be based in our Pasco office when it opens sometime next year. In this role, Rubén will build relationships with grantees and collaborate with Foundation staff to develop, recommend, implement, and evaluate grants and programs.

Read more

Meet Kayla Davis

Welcome Program Associate Kayla Davis, who envisions a more equitable future where people have access to the services they need without the same barriers that are always in the way. Group Health Foundation also understands this, Kayla says, and why she is excited to be part of the team.

Read more

Meet Kiana McKenna

We’re excited to welcome Kiana McKenna as a program associate with the learning and community engagement team. Kiana lives in Spokane, and is an active community organizer with Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in eastern Washington.

Read more

Meet Bárbara Guzmán Pérez

A joyful welcome to Bárbara Guzmán Pérez, a new program associate for our learning and community engagement team. Bárbara brings over a decade of experience working in education programs for immigrant students and families across Washington.

Read more

Meet Julia Reilly

Group Health Foundation welcomes Julia Reilly, our new investment associate, who will support the sourcing, due diligence, and monitoring of the Foundation’s investments in both public and private markets. Julia was most recently in D.C. working at the Smithsonian Institution, and is glad to be returning to the state where she grew up and be close to her family.

Read more

Meet Traven Joseph

We are excited to announce Traven Joseph as our first investment intern. Traven sees his time at the Foundation part of his learning, “I believe in providing for generations that come after you and creating long-term benefits for everyone, so when I heard that the Foundation has an investment team in-house who creates capital and reinvests that capital in communities, it really spoke to what I believe in and what I want to do.”

Read more

A liberated future starts with all of us in Washington

Building a just and liberated future starts with all of us in Washington. Group Health Foundation stands with those who are protesting police brutality and demanding community-designed solutions for public safety. Since we began grantmaking in 2019, we’ve had the incredible opportunity to fund Black-led organizations throughout the state. We are committed to showing up for them and their communities in this new civil rights era.  

Read more

Meet Dawn Wilson

Dawn joins as our investment operations director after spending two decades in accounting and investment operations for university endowments, first at University of Virginia and then more recently at Emory University. She’s looking forward to working with the investment team to ensure more grantees are receiving meaningful funding for their work.

Read more

An update on our grantmaking

As the Foundation adapts to a new future, we are committing at least $20 million in additional grants this year to continue supporting the same nonprofits we always have: those whose leadership and board are reflective of the communities they serve.

Read more

Early insights from grantees as they lead through COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Group Health Foundation created the Equitable Response and Recovery Fund to support organizations directly serving and representing Washington communities who are most vulnerable during this outbreak. As we are all working to figure out our best roles during this time of uncertainty, we talked with 40 grantees and share their insights and solutions for addressing immediate needs.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

Community guidance from “A Year on the Road”

A few days after Nichole Maher started as our CEO, we sat down and began a conversation about how we would approach building relationships with intention. We articulated the values we wanted to live by and the commitments to which we would hold ourselves as we began meeting with leaders from across the state.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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?

Read more

Reflecting on a year with Group Health Foundation

October marked my one-year anniversary with Group Health Foundation. When I was invited to serve as the CEO for the Foundation, I was filled with immense joy, a vast sense of possibility, and a bit of insecurity. The chance to shape a new foundation with an explicit focus on equity and an unapologetic commitment to advocacy and structural change felt like both a dream and an epic challenge.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.”

Read more

Meet Muthu Muthiah

Muthu is a seasoned asset management professional with global investing experience who’s looking forward to making a meaningful impact, when he joins as our chief investment officer in July.

Read more

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.”

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.”

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

Board of directors: Key decisions and early lessons from the inaugural years

Prior to the formation of the Foundation, Group Health Cooperative asked The Giving Practice to contact similar foundations to learn about how those entities were created and key lessons. This report summarizes what we learned with regards to honoring legacy, fostering a learning culture, building trust and relationships before setting strategy, committing to equity, and more.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more