September 23, 2016

Summer was a busy season for AHF and our Grantees.

ahf-nancy-sq-500From wellness to philanthropy, from housing to homelessness, the month of August was very busy with meetings, collaboration, events, and conferences – a variety of ways we learn about the work of organizations in our community, and how this work aligns with our mission to advance health and wellness. In addition, this post helps show how we’re learning about the challenges faced by our target populations that impact their ability to have healthier lives. – Nancy Sasaki, Executive Director

Aug 1: I had lunch with former grantee CEO Jorge Riquelme. Riquelme is now working with Community Housing Works (CHW) and spent some time updating me on their current projects. AHF utilizes Program Related Investments (PRI) which are loans provided to improve cash flow, lower interest rates, provide guarantees and other options, and CHW was inquiring about this option for funding.

Aug 2: This morning I participated in an Executive Convening hosted by San Diego Grantmakers. Co-chaired by Chris Weil and Sharyn Goodson, this group looks for ways to improve San Diego philanthropy from good to great!

reality-changers-graduating-studentsMichele & I visited with new Mission Support grantee, Chris Yanov, Founder and CEO from Reality Changers. Using shared space, Reality Changers completely reorganize their work space every evening! They’re learning that their approach keeps young people busy, engaged, and steadfast towards college. Reality Changers reports an astounding success rate of 97 percent of their youth that are accepted into college. Keep up the great work!

That afternoon, Michele and Bryan of AHF joined me for AHF’s iEngageU iNservice with Suite 350 at the UCSD Center for Mindfulness. Also in attendance were officemates Megan Thomas, Michelle Slingerland, Melissa Leon, and Nancy Jamison from San Diego Grantmakers, along with Mark Tran from The California Endowment. Learning how to take an hour to slow down and be still was very relaxing. You can learn what we learned in our blog post here on mindfulness!

AHF Alliance Healthcare FOundation Mindfulness meditation staffLater that evening, I participated in the San Diego Impact Investor Network’s (SDiiN) ecosystem convening. This event gave people an opportunity to network and meet others working in the same field. SDiiN is dedicated to bringing this ecosystem together to ensure coordinated efforts and messages to the public, and seeks to bring $100M in investments to San Diego County by 2025.

August 3: I took the train to Los Angeles to meet with my colleagues from other Healthcare Foundations in California. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss workforce development in the healthcare arena. It seems clinics and hospitals alike are challenged with finding and keeping talented employees in an ever-increasing competitive environment. The group explores how philanthropic efforts can effectively strengthen the workforce pipeline.

August 4: During lunch with Becky Modesto from Price Philanthropies, I learned more about their focus on youth. With Funders Together to End Homelessness San Diego’s new priority for homeless youth and families, we are hoping to have them join our efforts and collaborate on this issue.

betheresd_logoIn the afternoon, I met with Kitty Bailey and Christy Rosenberg from Be There San Diego. As a result of receiving the grant for California Accountable Communities for Health initiative (CACHI), they are developing their strategies for bringing the community together. We are excited for the work they look to do in the near future!

Paul Brown, CFO at AHF attended the culminating event of RISE’s Nonprofit Technical Assistance and Training Panel, sponsored by the County of San Diego. Paul served as a panelist, with Dale Fleming, County of San Diego, Melinda Chiment The AjA Project, and Justin Apger, Mission Edge to rate ten nonprofit organizations from mid-city and southeastern San Diego. AHF is considered a leading organization that understands and applies the benefits of strategic planning and business thinking throughout the community and we were happy to contribute to this event.

The ten participating organizations prepared six-minute presentations of their strategic plans and presented to the panel and their peers. Each organization ranged from the start-up stage to mature non-profit’s all looking for feedback. A few presenting organizations work in area’s that seek to advance the health and wellness for vulnerable demographics— the youth, homeless, and socioeconomically challenged in San Diego and Imperial Counties. After each presentation, the panel provided valuable feedback to each organization and evaluated each plan based on clarity, feasibility, and the overall quality of the presentation. Karen Organization of San Diego and Friends of the SD Public Library, Skyline Hills Branch were awarded grants for $1,500 and $1,000 respectively from the County of San Diego.  

judy-2August 6: I attended the Reunion on the Bay celebration with San Diego Human Dignity Foundation, hosted by CEO, John Brown. As the only foundation in San Diego currently focused on the LGBT community, they are inspired from their successes and are looking forward to releasing the results of a survey conducted on healthcare for LGBT seniors.

August 12: Michele took a trip with UC San Diego’s Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies to Tijuana, Mexico for their quarterly Frontera Fridays event. The focus of this particular event included a panel on the Cross-Border Initiatives for Health Communities. She visited SIMNSA and learned of their cross border health insurance plans with Scripps, as they look to affiliate for a new hospital! Michele also toured the Hospital Infantil de las Californias and enjoyed a luncheon with keynote speaker Dr. Maria Gudelia Rangel Gómez, Mexico’s Executive Secretary to U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission.

August 15: Michele met with Ian Morton at the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation to discuss the LGBT Senior Health Care Needs Assessment, which was partially funded by AHF. We will announce the results of the report at an upcoming iEngageU event.

Later that day, Michele attended a population health data and modeling discussion hosted by ReThink Health and Be There San Diego. The discussion focused on creating a baseline for the development of a model that will evaluate the impact of health interventions on the health of San Diego County. Be There is a recipient of CACHI, and will be awarded up to $850,000 over three years to advance common health goals and create a vision for a more expansive, connected, prevention-oriented health system.   

August 16: Today I met with Elizabeth Lou, CEO, Nile Sisters Development Initiative. In order to provide economic opportunities for the women they serve, they established a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) partnership with International Health Group to provide a twenty-two day training and certification program to women from refugee or economically underprivileged backgrounds. To date, nearly 60 individuals have completed the program!

Later in the afternoon, I met with Judge Carol Isackson & CEO Sharon Lawrence at the Voices for Children offices. Inspired by a challenge to think about what systematic level changes would most benefit children, they wanted to share with me some of their ideas and brainstorm new potential solutions.

August 17: I started the morning meeting with Elly Brown, Executive Director of the San Diego Food System Alliance to get an overview of the policies and strategies they are addressing in FY2017. Michele is the AHF representative with the Food Funders at San Diego Grantmakers and keeps up-to-date with their work throughout San Diego County.

outdooroutreachFollowing that meeting, I met with Peter Chodzko of Gompers Preparatory Academy. The last time we met, I suggested he meet Ben McCue, CEO, Outdoor Outreach to see how they could effectively partner to combine outdoor activities and leadership development. Chodzko showed me videos of the kids who had the opportunity to kayak, as well as those who were able to bicycle to Friendship Park.  I am happy to share that Gompers Preparatory Academy and Outdoor Outreach are interested in continuing this partnership during the next school year!

August 18: Today, Michele & I learned more about the work of the National Foundation of Autism Research (NAAR) which engages with autistic children earlier to positively increase the impact on their future. Sharon Leon and Juan Leon told us about their work to educate and reduce the stigma of autism.

Impact Without Borders has been utilizing AHF offices to tape their podcasts on innovation, startups, impact investing and other interesting topics. Hosted by Millard Chan, one of the more recent podcasts included Laura Brenner Kimes from Fresh Coast Capital.

Michele and Paul Brown had lunch with long time community leader Donald Stump, Executive Director of North County Lifeline, to discuss the challenges nonprofits face when determining their real costs. Paul is currently planning a discussion for AHF grantees on how to determine the actual costs for a program or project..

August 22: As a part of my work with San Diego Impact Investors Network, we are looking for projects where we can apply our next Deal Flow opportunity. Lee Barken & I met with Lee Stein to hear about his work with an emphasis on focusing on Health & Wellness.

August 23: I started the day talking with Todd Kaprelian, St. Paul’s Senior Services to get an update on their recent activities. AHF initially learned about their PACE program a couple of years ago and today they’re expanding this to other areas in San Diego County! This program is looking to reduce healthcare costs for seniors with a focus on preventing the need for hospital visits.

I later met with Ahmed Sahid, Somali Family Service, to learn about their project to provide culturally competent care for individuals. An exciting thing about this project is the result of the collaborative involvement through another project 2 years ago that AHF helped put together. The group has continued to work together over time to fine tune the project and identify areas for improvements.

August 24: HUD (Housing & Urban Development) recently announced the availability of funds to begin working on a system of care that could decrease homelessness for youth. I wanted to learn more about what our community is doing about this, so I attended the Youth Coordinated Assessment and Housing Placement subcommittee meeting. Facilitated by Beth Davenport and Noelle Kester, I learned about the various tools being used to assess homeless youth in order to determine their needs. During the meeting, the subcommittee decided to move forward with a recommendation to apply for the funds.

August 25: As I continue to learn about the healthcare needs of our community, I also keep up-to-date with the changes in the provision of services. One way I do this is through learning sessions. Today, the topic was the Federal Family First Prevention Services Act. I learned that this bill amends the Foster Care & Adoption Assistance part of the Social Security Act. It would require state plans to furnish foster care prevention and family services or programs for children, pregnant or parenting foster youth as well the children’s parents or kin caregivers. Of course the impact on the children could be impacted by this change that may ultimately change their eligibility for services.

For lunch I met with Greg Anglea, CEO, Interfaith Community Services. There was a lot to talk about the activity in the North County!

August 26: AHF CFO Paul Brown and I met with David Grooms to talk about the Solutions Farm Project. We are all looking forward to the expanding production this year and increasing the distribution of organic baby greens to more school districts!

August 31: I attended the advisory group meeting to discuss the latest integration details for Community Information Exchange (CIE) and 2-1-1 San Diego. As AHF’s largest Innovation Initiative, CEO John Ohanian and the 2-1-1 team has impressed us all with their commitment and actions to move forward together!

I followed that with a meeting on CACHI, led by Kitty Bailey. CACHI received a grant to develop a model for creating accountable communities for health. Although they are still in the initial stages, we are all hopeful for an effective and impactful project!

I ended the day with a meeting on Deal Flow. We are looking to build the impact investing ecosystem for San Diego County by showcasing projects addressing health and wellness. If you are interested in applying to participate, please use this link to learn more.

On The Community Calendar

  • October 5: Mission Support Grant Cycle opens
  • October: AHF Grantee benefit – Topic: Costing Workshop (not open to the public)

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


Nancy L. Sasaki, Executive Director (L) and Michele Silverthorn (R), Program Officer, Alliance Healthcare Foundation.

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