At the beginning of 2020 we updated our mission: To pursue and invest in solutions that build a healthier region where all people can thrive.
When COVID-19 hit in March, the need for solutions and resources could not have been more urgent. As we have navigated through the remainder of the year, we listened intently to the varied needs of our partners and continue to be inspired by the power of our community and the determination and drive to not let challenging times pull us apart.
As a health foundation, we know that health disparities by race are pervasive and rooted in structural racism. We are surrounded by an overwhelming amount of data and evidence on inequitable health outcomes that does not need repeating. What is required for meaningful change is action. We’re committed to doing the work to become a more equitable organization focused on transformation, rather than transactions. As an organization, we are reviewing and making changes to internal policies and practices with a racial equity lens, engaging in ongoing learning around anti-racism, more intentionally investing in staff of color, and working to create a more inclusive culture.
In our grantmaking investments we’re working to implement strategies that support BIPOC-led organizations, focusing more intentionally on communities/groups that experience the greatest health inequities in our region, and seeking to uplift co-created, community-led solutions. We’re also directing funds to support many of the advocacy efforts in the region and ensuring we are positioned to support the solutions generated from racial and social justice movements.
We look forward to continued partnerships and new opportunities for connection, engagement, and growth going forward.
Matthew A. Kuhlenbeck, PhD
President & CEO