March 23, 2017

From Nancy Sasaki, Executive Director – This year has brought a lot of change, but one thing that has remained constant is Alliance Healthcare Foundation’s commitment to advance the health and wellness of the communities we serve. Our collaborative efforts to overcome challenges and the recognition of organizations within the region for the month of February are highlighted in this post.

February 2: Michele attended the “New Vision for Comprehensive Capacity Building” workshop hosted by San Diego Grantmakers. Capacity building is a topic we discuss often and how we can ensure our grantees have access to the resources necessary to strengthen their work. The workshop was presented by Meghan Duffy, Associate Vice President of Programs and Kristin Scott Kennedy, Senior Manager of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO). Understanding that grantmakers are successful only to the extent that their grantees achieve meaningful results, GEO promotes strategies and practices that contribute to grantee success.

February 6: This afternoon, I joined others in support of Voices for Children’s annual Judge’s Luncheon. Hearing about the challenges the judicial system faces when making an impactful decision in regards to a child’s life is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. The care and compassion is evident, however, having to make tough choices is always a difficult thing to do. Voices for Children provides Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA’s) to speak up for their children. They believe every child in the foster care system should have a CASA and is working towards that goal.

February 7: I recently met Jack Rogers of Inpsycful, a human performance and development consultant, who intrigued me because he improves the athletic performance of individuals – even in volleyball! Our meeting was related to his work with non-profits as he helps them establish a path to achievement, getting real, measurable results.  A variety of resources can be utilized, dependent upon the course of action chosen and goals identified.

While I was learning about Inpsycful, Michele was in Sacramento at the ITUP – Insure the Uninsured Project annual conference. The newly appointed Executive Director, Deborah Reidy Kelch, took on the challenge of addressing the newly elected administration and the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka Obamacare) during the conference. At the time of the conference, many different repeal plans were being suggested and each were explained to the audience. The conference also focused on the successes of the ACA to date, including 412,000 newly enrolled individuals in California. In 2013, prior to ACA, California’s uninsured rate was 17% and in 2016 it is estimated to be at 7.1% with less than 3 million uninsured Californians.

Today I had a rehearsal with Alex Epps from the Nonprofit Finance Fund. We’ll be co-presenting “What it Takes to Walk the Full Cost Walk” next month at the San Diego Grantmakers annual conference. Funders can better support project efforts if they are able to fund the full costs of the project. Service providers can help by understanding the full costs of their projects. Both are complex but achievable. I’ll let you know how it goes!

February 8: I started my morning by having coffee with Ahmed Sahid, CEO of Somali Family Services. SFS helps Somali and other African families in becoming responsible, independent and contributing members of San Diego through its programs that promote health, educational and economic success, and leadership efforts. Ahmed gave me a bit of a scare the weekend before because he was out of the country when the first travel ban was  implemented. Fortunately, as an American citizen, he was allowed to come back to the U.S.! Ahmed updated me on the needs of the refugee community, the concerns involving an increase in requests for mental health services, and bullying within schools.

Today also kicked-off the first day of a Statewide Funders Network Convention on Smart Growth. I stopped by in the afternoon to hear the opening plenary, “Moving San Diego Forward by Addressing Climate and Equity.”

February 9Mission Edge hosted a Social Enterprise Accelerator Kickoff reception at Soda and Swine. AHF has supported the social enterprise business plan for nonprofits since our conference in 2011 and it was positive to see many of our grantees (past and present) participating. Laura Tancredi-Baesa, CEO of HomeStart, is operating a second-hand clothing boutique which gives residents an opportunity to learn retail operations and sales skills. Theresa Smith, Ph.D., Executive Director of Dreams for Change, works to provide food for seniors and the homeless through mobile food trucks. Erica Bouris, Deputy Director, Programs at International Rescue Committee, has launched Project CHOP. 100% of Project CHOP sales goes to operating costs so that IRC will not be reliant on grants to sustain the program in the future. There are a total of nine organizations participating in this first Accelerator!

I left the reception to attend the last session of the Funders Network Convention on Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities. I think it would be powerful to include the homeless community as an integral part of this discussion. Actually, I see many different cities and organizations that are looking for housing as the first step to ending homelessness, putting  foster youth on the right foot, and getting those in need of mental health services in a position to improve or at least stabilized. It takes housing first before additional services can be provided.

February 10: I started this day back at the Funders Network Convention to hear about recent work in “Creating Sustainable Equitable, Healthy, Regions: Key Opportunities Ahead.” My takeaway is it takes a coordinated effort that involves policy makers, providers, and a strategic plan to move a community in the right direction.

February 13: As we continue to learn about the work happening in Chula Vista with the youth and mental health awareness, Michele met with Stacey Kurz, Senior Project Coordinator of Healthy Chula Vista and Margarita Holguin, Director of The Chula Vista Community Collaborative.

Later that day, Michele met with Mandy Shefman, Engagement Manager at Arts for Learning. Arts for Learning provides a variety of fine arts programming to a large number of students with performances, residencies and workshops throughout San Diego. There are many arts organizations working with our youth in San Diego to help them discover their roots and consider different issues, including mental health.

February 15: I really enjoy hearing updates from people in the community, and I started the morning with Matt D’Arrigo, CEO of A Reason to Survive (ARTS). ARTS seeks to ignite the power of creativity in youth, inspiring them to overcome obstacles. They work with them to develop the skills needed to become compassionate catalysts for positive change in themselves, their communities, and the world. Matt founded the organization and has served as the CEO for the past fifteen years although the idea has been with him for much longer. I was glad to hear he was opening new doors in order to create more ARTS opportunities for more youth – maybe even beyond San Diego County!

Did you know the Regional Task Force on the Homeless is looking for a new Executive Director? I talked with Trevor Blair, Principal of Blair Search Partners about the role, responsibilities, and the type of person they feel will be most successful in this position. In the newly expanded role of the RTFH, the ED will be doing more work to support the board and the community in their effort to end homelessness in San Diego County!

That evening, I headed over to Liberty Station to hear Nancy Jamison, CEO, San Diego Grantmakers talk about Real Costs with the Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP). Nancy did a great job outlining the discussion and the challenges in spreading the word, understanding the issue, and changing processes to incorporate the new thinking. There is always a lot of interest in ensuring real costs are covered, however, the impact on funding is critical if no new dollars are available for use.

February 16: This morning I arose bright and early to head over to the Girl Scout Headquarters to attend the Junior League Community Partners — San Diego breakfast. Laura Tancredi-Baesa, CEO of HomeStart and Susie Terry, MPH of Foster Youth Coordinating Program and Homeless Youth Education, County of San Diego were the speakers. According to their presentation, housing, job training, and education are all important components for transition age youth (TAY) to be successful.

In the afternoon I met with David Lang from Bastyr University to explore ideas for the upcoming Innovation Initiative. All of us at AHF are looking forward to the proposals we will receive in 2017! Remember, I2 will launch on March 30 after our Funding Innovation Forum!

February 17: Following the morning Program Committee meeting, Michele spoke with Gretchen E. Alkema, Vice President of Policy and Communications at The SCAN Foundation to learn about how they have presented information on Managed Care. The SCAN Foundation supports the creation of a more coordinated and easily navigated system of high-quality services for older adults that preserve dignity and independence. This topic is relevant for Imperial County and we are working to share more about it.

Following that conversation Michele spoke with Sierra Visher Kroha, Executive Director of SVP San Diego as a follow up to the GEO capacity building workshop to see how we might be able to partner to further expand opportunities for grantees.

February 20: Holidays like President’s Day are good, but how many of us continue to work on those days?! Today I did not allow myself to come into the office, but does it count if I still responded to emails? I continue to ensure I have a good work/life balance, and I encourage you to do the same.

February 21: Late in the afternoon, Alliance Healthcare Foundation co-hosted the film Resilience – The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope. Our co-hosts were The San Diego Foundation, City of Chula Vista, County of San Diego Health and Human Services, The Chula Vista Community Collaborative and Healthy Chula Vista. Did you know the original notion to explore the impact of childhood experiences came from Dr. Vincent Felitta’s obesity clinic at Kaiser in San Diego? Around that same time, another physician, Dr. Robert Anda at the Centers for Disease Control was also conducting her own research. Check out our blog post on the ACE’s study.

Michele met with Cat Corral, Executive Director and Wendy Endsley, Board Member of TranscenDANCE. TranscenDANCE empowers youth to mobilize social change through dance and performance in under served San Diego communities. Michele told me it was interesting to learn how the organization grew from an after school program at San Diego Youth Services into the full service program it is today.

February 22: I started my morning by meeting with Tom Theisen, former Chair of the Regional Task Force on the Homeless. Tom is very dedicated to working with the community to end homelessness and our discussion about what is possible in San Diego County left us both feeling very hopeful for the future.

That afternoon I presented the Funders Together to End Homelessness (FTEH) work to the Copley Foundation. On invitation from Dean Dwyer, board member and Kim Koch, Chief Operating Officer, I talked about how the FTEH-San Diego chapter works, how we develop our funding matrix, and how many of us get involved in the community.

February 23: Michele is a member of the San Diego Grantmakers Program Committee and they met this afternoon to discuss the upcoming annual conference and programming for the year. The review was of importance as Grantmakers will be saying goodbye to Beeta Jahedi, Senior Director of Learning and Programs at the end of March.  She will be heading back to the east coast to take a position at the Tow Foundation and be closer to family. We will miss you, Beeta!

February 24: This day was a long day of both board and committee meetings, but it was an overall great day! The board made their final selections for Mission Support grants for San Diego and Imperial County. Check out our new grantees here. Michele and I are really looking forward to working with this group and learning more about their work to advance health and wellness for those in need.

February 27: Today I caught up with Steve O’Kane to learn about the work he is doing in healthcare. As usual, he is deep into addressing the needs of the clinics in our area and beyond! It was great to catch up with him this morning!

February 28: Michele and I had a lot of fun today recording our video to announce the Mission Support Grantees for 2017. There seem to be so many different marches going on, we thought we would get in on the action with our own March for Health and Wellness! Check out our announcement of our new Mission Support grantees here.

Prior to the “AHF March for Health and Wellness”, Michele attended Reality Changers quarterly stakeholder meeting. Founder and President Chris Yanov holds the meetings to keep those in the know up-to-date on the news about his organization. Michele was able to share with Chris they had been awarded Mission Support funding and was a great way to kick-off the meeting!

In the afternoon, I was a part of the discussion regarding the merger task force to combine the Regional Task Force on Homelessness (RTFH) with the former Regional Continuum of Care Governing Board (RCCGB). The RCCGB is now the board of the RTFH, but there is still much to do to complete the merger!

Have questions or comments about AHF in the community?

Contact Executive Director Nancy Sasaki or Program Officer Michele Silverthorn to learn more about AHF in the community and how we work to advance health and wellness.

On The Community Calendar

  • March 30 – Funding Innovation Forum, UCSD Sanford Consortium – Duane. J. Roth Auditorium.  Register today!
  • April 26 – CEO/ED Event

To keep up with us as we attend events next month and beyond, follow @AllianceHF on Twitter and LinkedIn, or like us on Facebook.

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