April 6, 2017

From Nancy Sasaki, Executive Director – As we head into spring, things have been busy at Alliance Healthcare Foundation in our continued efforts to learn about the great work taking place throughout San Diego and Imperial Counties. By sharing what we learn, we hope you may discover meetings you are interested in or organizations you would like to connect with in our recap of March. This month, we are excited for the launch of our 2017 Innovation Initiative (i2) application cycle (applications are due May 4)!

March 1: I had an exciting meeting with Interfaith Community Services, their consultants and their partners for an update on the Recovery and Wellness Center. This project was the 2016 awardee for the Innovation Initiative! Greg Anglea, CEO, Interfaith hosted a great discussion and I got to catch up with Bobbie Wunsch, Pacific Health Consulting Group. This meeting was a review of the proposed business model as the potential for funding streams to change are more probable than they were last year.

There are many ways we connect with projects, subject matter experts, volunteers and event space; having a connection to UC San Diego is one of those ways. This morning Michele met up with Amanda Estrada, Associate Director of Development, Foundation Relations to discuss ways we can collaborate. Her meeting was beneficial when we were looking for volunteer help for an event later in the month.

I headed out for the pre-conference reception for San Diego Grantmakers at the Center for Creative Leadership. Nancy Jamison, CEO, SDG hosted this un-networking reception where no work conversations can be had. It’s always interesting to see where people go with their discussions when it can’t be work related!

March 2: Michele and I spent all day with our colleagues at the SDG Annual Conference – “Taking A Stand”. Breakfast with Gara LaMarche was an enlightening way to start the day. Followed by inspirational discussions by other panelists along with Mr. LaMarche. I had the opportunity to present with Alex Epps, Nonprofit Finance Fund on “Walking the Full Cost Talk”. This is an effort to encourage philanthropists to fully fund projects in order to avoid financial shortcomings. This is especially apparent when limiting overhead costs without knowing the real costs. The closing keynote with Vu Le, a well known blogger Nonprofit With Balls, was hilarious and ended with a challenge to all grantmakers – if you think an organization is sustainable, then sustain it!

March 3: I ended this busy week at the 2-1-1 San Diego appreciation event. Congratulations to John Ohanian, CEO and his staff for hosting this event and recognizing all the partners that strengthen their work. We also heard from Supervisor Greg Cox and Assemblyman Todd Gloria. Congratulations to all the award winners, especially Jillian Barber, Sharp Healthcare for the first Bill Trumpfheller Awareness Ambassador Award.

March 5: Although it was looking a little gloomy with overcast skies, I had a great time at the ElderHelp event – Essence of Life. Deb Martin, CEO, ElderHelp along with Assemblyman Todd Gloria recognized many who have supported the work of the organization. Of course the most amazing was Fran Styles, Inspirational Senior award. Fran is in her 80s, former military and Olympic Archer. She’s still teaching archery especially with the Girl Scouts! She’s proof that staying active can keep you vibrant throughout your life.

March 7: This afternoon I co-chaired the Integrative Services Advisory Council meeting with Dr. Nick Yphantides. This meeting is a great way to stay caught up on the Whole Person Wellness work, Project One for All, the new Data Driven Justice Initiative (more on this) and this time we also had updates on the National Association of Counties conference.

Late afternoon all of us in Suite 350 said goodbye to two amazing colleagues: Greg Hall, The California Endowment and Beeta Jahedi, San Diego Grantmakers. Greg was one of my first mentors when I started with AHF. Beeta has been a blast of great energy in the office as well as for the programs offered by San Diego Grantmakers. We will miss working with both of them and wish them well in their next chapters!

March 8: International Women’s Day brought some guilt. Of course I support everything this stands for but I had several meetings on the calendar! Torn on what to do I wore red to show support. Michele too wore red, also feeling the guilt when her 11-year-old son asked why she was going to work! Understanding the Implications of Capping Medicaid Funding was one of my meetings. How healthcare is funded will impact those who need to access care. Whether or not there is enough funding to support the needs will disproportionately impact seniors and those with chronic conditions. AHF stands for advancing health and wellness and will not support any changes that stops our progress.

Michele started the morning over coffee with OG Yoga Executive Director, Joann Jaffe; they discussed the amazing advances OG Yoga has had in the past year (big sponsorship from LuluLemon!) and successes integrating into current programs like Kitchens for Good and others that include those recently released from incarceration.

To support my health and wellness, I went shopping at Whole Foods this evening to buy some fresh veggies. 5% of my purchase went to support San Diego Food System Alliance! And that was after my pilates class!

March 9: This afternoon I was at the County Medical Examiners building for an overview of the Data Driven Justice project. The main purpose of this project is to provide the exchange of information between the justice department and the homeless providers. Providing better continuity of care and notifications will assist both in better serving the homeless. Thanks to Susan Bower, County HHSA and the staff at Cloudburst for the presentation!

That evening I indulged in “Creations in Chocolate” to support San Diego Youth Services. CEO, Walter Phillips talked about the thousands of kids they serve with housing and other services. There were many touching moments, especially Savannah’s story. The star this year was Wyland! The chocolate creations were inspired by his works.

March 10: Staff at AHF took Michele out for a belated birthday lunch. Happy belated birthday Michele!

March 11: This evening was my first time to attend the Just In Time for Foster Youth gala! Rarely do you see a gala produced by the youth who are served by the organization. The dance number to Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop The Feeling” was crazy energetic! Then it was very poignant to hear the stories of success from the youth who persevere through challenges that are overwhelming to most. Congratulations to the youth and also CEO, Don Wells!

I left the gala to celebrate with fellow San Diego Impact Investor Networker, Nelli Garton. Happy birthday to Nelli!

March 12: Late this afternoon, I stopped by to support the Festa Bella Donna event with Verna Tabor-Griffin, CEO, Center for Community Services. Good food and company to continue their work to end domestic and sexual violence.

March 13: I traveled to Imperial County this evening for their Local Health Authority meeting. There are many exciting things happening in Imperial County between the Accountable Health Community project, the CHA-CHIP work to focus on the top health needs, the CaLIPH to promote health leadership in the County and the recent Point In Time Count for the homeless! Chair and Board Supervisor John Renison was unable to attend so Dr. Baig, Medical Director at Clinicas de Salud filled in. Great presentations by all!

Michele met with Jena Olson, Director of Resource Development at A Reason To Survive. CEO, Matt D’Arrigo is transitioning out of the organization he grew to the great success it is today! It was good to catch up with her and hear what is coming next for them.

March 14: Today I had a chance to go into more detail about the work Re:Think is doing with BeThere San Diego. Kandy Ferree showed me some of the work they are doing to measure impact based on health data. For BeThere, the ability to see the impact each action will have is invaluable!

That evening I headed over to Serving Seniors on Fourth Ave where CEO, Paul Downey and Board Chair, Molly Cartmill talked about their programs, progress and strategic direction. It seems everyone is aware of the need for housing! Serving Seniors is for seniors who are homeless or just need some assistance or low-cost housing to stay safe, housed, fed as well as dental care at their 4th Ave location

March 16: What a busy day! I started with a CIE (Community Information Exchange) meeting. This group is the original group to set up the CIE. The group will change a little to meet the needs of 2-1-1 San Diego as the merger is now complete and the integration into 2-1-1 San Diego is moving forward. Within six months, 2-1-1 San Diego is now 30% of the total 12,000+ enrolled in CIE! They are well on their way to the 37,000 target by the end of the year!

From there I met with Chris Yanov, CEO, Reality Changers and his Executive Fellow, Lauren Tullis. Reality Changers is in the middle of the college application process and is looking forward to fully implementing their app to make this faster, easier and more widespread!

I had lunch with Kristine (Breese) Michie to talk about her work assisting foundations in fundraising strategies and partnerships. We all want others to fund our projects, but it is a challenge to align organizational goals or individual interests in order to build collective impact.

From there I met with Christina Lewis with Champions for Health to quickly record a message of congratulations for AHF board member, Rosemari Johnson. Rosemari is being honored with a Lifetime Achievement award from Champions for Health especially for her work with Project Access.

I ended the day at the Regional Task Force on the Homeless (RTFH) board meeting. Most significant was the change in leadership from Chair, Rick Gentry, CEO, San Diego Housing Commission and Vice Chair, Nick Macchione, Director San Diego Health & Human Services to Supervisor Ron Roberts (Chair) and San Diego City Councilmember, Chris Ward (Vice-Chair). I’m looking forward to working with the new leadership as we continue to build the system to end homelessness in San Diego County.

March 17: On a day filled with green for St. Patrick’s Day, Michele, our new communications manager Annie Guo and I headed up to Solutions Farms for a different kind of green! Yummy, organic, freshly picked baby greens from their aquaponic farm. Today they celebrated the grand re-opening of the farm following the expansion funded by AHF’s 2015 Innovation Initiative! The ability to increase production from 16,000 pounds to over 120,000 pounds will enable more people access to organic, fresh baby greens as well as build a strong social enterprise for Solutions for Change. Congratulations to Board Chair David Brean, CEO, Chris Megison and all the Solutions Farms staff!

March 20: I’ve joined a group from Imperial County to work with them on a sustainability plan for their California Accountable Community of Health Initiative. Focused on asthma prevention and treatment, the ability to maintain this effort going forward will be very important for valley residents.

March 21: Today I learned about a new idea to better serve the refugee community in San Diego County. Led by Ahmed Sahid, CEO, Somali Family Service along with Dr. Sanjeev Bhavnani, Magnus Gunnarson and Rhonda Honeycutt, the project is just in the planning phase. It was great to see and catch up with Lindsay Wright, Kaiser Permanente and meet staff from The San Diego Foundation and Price Philanthropies who are also funding work in the refugee community.

March 22: The first ever Lumpia Club hosted a luncheon today and talked about health in the South Bay. Of course I attended! We learned a lot from Sharp Chula Vista CEO, Dr. Pablo Velez. Sharp CV is the only place for emergency services in Chula Vista as the two other main hospitals, UC San Diego and Scripps, have both moved out of the area.

I also talked with Heather Hiscox from Moves The Needle to learn more about their work with nonprofits through two-day bootcamps, follow-up support as well as an accelerator to help organizations understand how to capitalize on their strengths and stay relevant in this changing environment.

I ended the day with appetizers with Laura Tancredi-Baesa, CEO, HomeStart. They are doing lots of interesting things between the housing for pregnant and parenting teens who would most likely otherwise be homeless to their boutique store. Through the store, the young women learn retail, sales, and marketing skills while earning a salary and building a social enterprise for HomeStart.

March 23: Mid-day I headed to Olivewood Garden with CEO, Healy Vigderson to watch the graduation of the ninth generation of Kitchenistas. Ok, maybe truthfully I went for the yummy, healthy food, but it was very moving to hear the stories of how this program has changed their lives and the health of their families. Olivewood Garden is also partnering to bring this program to the Filipino and East African communities in the future.

March 24: In the afternoon Michele met with Scott Lukwak, Board Chair at Urban Angels to get an update on the great work they are doing as the on-site kitchen staff at PATH – Connections Housing downtown – providing meals twice a day, five days a week.  

March 25: I stopped by Quart Yard in downtown San Diego to support the American Liver Foundation and CEO, Scott Suckow. Helping to educate people about the things that can impact the functioning of the liver is a daunting task. Two of the band members performing had liver transplants!

That evening I joined 600+ others at the UC San Diego RIMAC arena for the launch of the capital campaign. They transformed the arena into a starry night and incorporated some amazing technology. FLETCH, the robot, was set up to take a selfie with you when you touched your armband to his side! They also used holograms to project the speakers and virtual reality to show what their new buildings and projects could do. Thanks, Amanda Estrada, Associate Director of Development for the invitation and insights. It was great to see Mel & Linda Katz, Molly Wagner, Neville Billimoria, Naila Chowdhury and many others at the event.

March 26: Prior to their golf tournament, CEO, Sharon Lawrence, hosted the Voices for Children reception at the La Jolla Country Club. It was great to meet others who support their work and to watch them surpass their $100,000 goal. Hearing from a former CASA youth talk about his accomplishments – largely based on the connection his CASA made with him – was inspiring. His CASA was the first adult who believed he had great potential and who motivated and pushed him to do more with his talents. This young man now serves on the President’s Council on Human Trafficking and is the only CASA/foster youth on the council. He expects to be re-appointed by the current administration.

March 27: Wearing one of my other hats as chair of Funders Together To End Homelessness as well as my AHF hat, I met with David Cornsweet, Gumpert Foundation to learn about the work he has been doing around homelessness worldwide. He is also interested in getting involved in the efforts here in San Diego County.

This evening we joined Champions for Health as they awarded Rosemari Johnson with their Lifetime Achievement Award. Rosemari has also been a long-time trustee with AHF and we celebrated with her! Joining me were AHF Board Chair Elizabeth Dreicer, trustee Dr. Rodney Hood and trustee Don Jones and his wife Deborah.

March 28: I’m really excited that San Diego County HHSA has been offered the opportunity to submit an application for the “Bringing Families Together” grant. Did you know that many times families are unable to be reunited because the housing situation for the adult isn’t stable? This proposal will begin to address the issues these families face along with Child Welfare Services as an integral partner in this effort.

March 29: Today I participated in a webinar about methodologies for implementing costing measures. Often nonprofit organizations are unable to identify all of the costs associated with a particular project thus leaving them vulnerable to under projecting their true costs. Did you know that the universal estimate of the amount of time a full-time person spends in direct client contact is 1200 hours out of 2080 hours?

Later that afternoon, I left for Imperial County. Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District was hosting one of three community forums to hear from the people of Imperial, CA. Led by CEO, Larry Lewis, he presented the services provided by Pioneers and told us about the new plans for the hospital.

Mar 30: What a BIG day for AHF! We launched our 2017 Innovation Initiative with the iEngageU Funding Innovation Forum. We had a great turnout and it was good to see so many people interested in a potential application! Many thanks to Board Chair, Elizabeth Dreicer, trustee Dr. Joe Ramsdell and trustee Jeffrey Willmann for your participation! Also present were trustee Don Jones and Audit & Program committee member James Beaubeaux. The presentations by awardees Greg Anglea, CEO, Interfaith Community Services, Chris Megison, CEO, Solutions for Change and John Ohanian, CEO, 2-1-1 San Diego highlighted the concepts funded through this initiative. Board trustees also gave insights to the reasons why the initiatives were selected. You can see it all again in the video here and photos here.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank our partner, Kevin Popovic and his team at IdeaHaus for their incredible work with us since 2011 (Susan, Hunter, Yakov, John, Peter, Ryan, and many others behind the scenes even Charlie!). Kevin has been the one to work with me to create the brand we have today. His energy and creativity fit so perfectly with my ideas – we fed off of each other and he made our ideas come to life. In the process, he has also become a friend which I will always cherish and which will continue. Yet, it also became necessary to bring this work in-house and thus we are saying goodbye. It is so bittersweet to end the professional relationship because IdeaHaus and Kevin have been invaluable over the years. We/I wouldn’t have gotten here without you, my friend.

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

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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