April 26, 2016

Enjoy the latest overview of the places we went and the inspiring people we met throughout the San Diego and Imperial Counties in March.


March was jam-packed with exciting events in the AHF office, in both San Diego and Imperial Counties, and beyond. As a way to reflect on our work (and remember where we were), Michele and I enjoy providing a recap at the end of each month to demonstrate the dedication of community organizations and how they align with AHF’s own mission to advance health and wellness. Now, we’re sharing that progress with you, allowing you to stay up-to-date on the latest community developments.

The month saw the announcement of our 2016 Mission Support Grant recipients, an informative trip to Texas, a celebration of chocolate courtesy of San Diego Youth Services, and much more!

Here’s what happened in March at AHF:

March 1: Many involved individuals from the community attended to help launch the New Vision for Health Care by the HealthCare Partners of SoCal—formerly known as the Council of Community Clinics. Announced by CEO Henry Tuttle, the entity also includes Health Quality Partners and Integrated Health Partners.

4c8d4dbf-a243-4fce-9cea-8e73ba61ff63March 2: A little off the usual path, I partnered with Kevin Popovic, founder of creative communication agency Ideahaus, to provide a presentation for the American Marketing Association’s San Diego chapter on content marketing at UC San Diego. Our journey together to rebrand AHF, launch a social marketing campaign, and to continually advance health & wellness is a true collaboration between our two organizations (well, other than the way Kevin eats – especially breakfast! I have totally failed in the personal education of Kevin on health and wellness!). You can read more about our presentation here.

I followed that presentation with a community gathering of interested stakeholders to learn about a new effort called Voices of Youth Count. During the session led by Walter Philips, CEO, San Diego Youth Services, several of us learned about this project to better coordinate the way we not only count but also gain knowledge about the homeless youth  in San Diego County.

Michele met with Jesus Gonzalez, Executive Director, San Ysidro Education Vanguard Foundation, to discuss health and wellness leaders and organizations in the San Ysidro region.

March 3: Michele and I taped the video announcement of our 2016 Mission Support grantees. In true Academy Award style, the winners this year represent some of the absolute best that are serving our four target populations!

March 4: Michele and I met with Sara Griffen, Executive Director, Imperial Valley Food Bank, to learn about their new project to relocate their warehouse and to expand programs and services!

Michele attended a philanthropy forum hosted by Greg Anglea, President, North County Philanthropy Council, with Nancy Jamison, President/CEO, San Diego Grantmakers, for nonprofit providers and funders to come to together and to discuss topics they generally don’t discuss. One topic discussed was why 63% of funders think they provide useful feedback to declined applicants and only 11% of nonprofit providers agree. This conversation highlighted that without good, open, honest communication, the perception of how well one is doing may not be a true or an accurate one. As is often the case, communication is key!

March 8: The national organization Grantmakers in Health held their annual conference in San Diego. This evening, I attended a dinner for GIH partners and their board members to kick off the conference.

Michele and grantee leaders in San Diego came together to view a two-part webinar series by Stanford Social Innovation Review on Network Leadership. The first webinar was on the Network Leader Mindset. A key takeaway was to put a mission in the center of what the network is looking to accomplish rather than a single organization, a fairly simple concept that this illustrated infographic (left) really brought home.

Later that day, Michele met with Elyse Homel Vitale, Senior Advocate, and George Manalo-LeClair, Executive Director of California Food Policy Advocates. CFPA does more than just advocate for food policy—they are currently piloting a project that will impact nutrition for home-based daycare centers.

March 9: In partnership with Sage Foundation and many San Diego community partners, AHF hosted a site visit for participants at the Grantmakers In Health conference. Many thanks to Kalie Standish with PATH, small business owner Michael McConnell, Bill York & Marina Baroff of 211/CIE, Sean Mahoney of Zero8Hundred, and Greg Anglea of Interfaith Community Services for presenting their programs to our guests.

From March 9 – 11, Michele attended the Grantmakers in Health conference. It was great that the event was conveniently located in San Diego this year. She attended many of the sessions, and noted that a favorite—and appropriate for Imperial County—was healthy food access in rural areas.

March 10: In the morning, I met with Kelila Rotto, a student looking for a summer internship in communications. It is so refreshing to hear about the aspirations of students that in turn foster a desire to help point them in meaningful ways. Kelila is going to participate in our social media workshop, but if you have ideas for her summer internship, let me know!

Later that day, Michele and I met with Miyoko Oshima, Vesper Society, to catch up on their latest work in Imperial County.

Oooo—and then that evening I attended the Creations in Chocolate event hosted by Walter Phillips, CEO, San Diego Youth Services. There’s way too much chocolate for anyone to consume, but it’s an awesome event to celebrate the work they do with foster youth.

March 11: Today, I hopped on a plane for the Interactive portion of SXSW. This section highlights various innovative work and ideas throughout the U.S. I thought this would be a great place to get ideas for our Innovation Initiative. Since I grew up in Austin, I used to attend the SXSW music festival, which was much smaller than it is now. Although I didn’t stay for the music, I did learn about Pill Pack, financial monitoring for seniors, support for caregivers, connected behavioral health apps (Cloud9psych), and dietary apps to help you choose healthy options. I’d call that a success!

March 12: Michele attended the Just in Time Foster Youth Walk the Talk gala. Just in Time is a 2016 Mission Support grantee that provides emergency and career services to fill the gaps for foster youth aging out of the foster system.

March 14: Michele met with Laura Ann Fernea, Development Director of the City Heights CDC. They continue to work toward safe and livable neighborhoods.

March 15: Michele met with Executive Director Nao Kabashima and Grant Writer Diana Rhoades of the Karen Organization. The Karen Organization works with highly marginalized refugees from the country of Burma. Among the many things Karen does is working to close the gap between medical service providers to ensure quality healthcare access so the refugees can effectively navigate the healthcare system.

Later, Michele toured Stepping Stone of San Diego, an alcohol and drug recovery center that primarily serves the LGBT community.  Recently returned Executive Director Cheryl Houk shared with Michele the history of the facility from four aging houses to the state-of-the-art facility that it is today. Alliance Healthcare Foundation is proud to have supported Stepping Stone during that transition.

March 16: The Center for Ecoliteracy with Supervisor Ron Roberts, the TomKat Foundation, and the California Endowment hosted California Food for California Kids event. This event showcased the school lunches served on California Thursdays. Once a month, a network of school districts provides California-sourced foods for school lunches at participating districts.  Michele had a chance to taste the school lunches (which she said were amazing) and it’s hard to believe how far school lunches have come—the ceviche was delicious!

Following Michele’s school lunch, she met with Drs. Michael Channick, Harvey Shapiro, and Rosemarie Johnson to discuss PAVE’s next steps. PAVE (Physician Advocates for Veterans) pairs retired physicians with military veterans to help them navigate the health system and understand their health conditions and options.

March 17: When I returned to San Diego, I started the day with a tour of the Central Kitchen at Neighborhood House Association. As a 2016 Mission Support grantee, this newly designed and expanded kitchen not only allows them to provide healthy, hot, nutritious meals for Head Start kids and the seniors they serve, but also to create meals as a social enterprise! Thanks to CEO Rudy Johnson, Executive VP Dwight Smith, and Christine, who heads the Central Kitchen.

Michele joined Janice Duvall of the San Diego County Office of Education to discuss their efforts to continue to bring nutrition education to San Diego County schools. As funding has changed, they continue to look to new sources to support their “Green Machine” mobile garden lab.

Later that day, Michele visited Executive Director Ben McCue of Outdoor Outreach (OO) and chatted with the El Cajon Outdoor Club.  They were preparing for a snow hike the following week.  Ben has taken OO to a new level, and their advocacy work on opening the outdoors for all to access is truly inspiring.

March 20: On a beautiful San Diego day, I joined Deb Martin, CEO, ElderHelp, at their event at the San Diego Yacht Club. Also a 2016 Mission Support grantee, it was great to hear stories of the volunteers who help them achieve their mission to enable seniors to age in place. It goes well beyond the typical help around the house and includes HomeShare, which matches seniors with roommates!

March 21: I attended my first CIE board meeting under the auspices of 211 San Diego, housed within 211‘s Connections Center. CEO John Ohanian, Bill York, and CFO Paul Redfearn brought us up to speed with the continued progress of the merged entity.

Michele met with the new Director of Philanthropy Mark Lagace and Executive Director of Home Start Laura Tancredi-Baese and discussed the importance of building a child-parent bond between the mothers and children in their maternity housing program and what that means for breaking the cycle of abuse and poverty issues.

She followed that up with San Diego Food System Alliance’s Improving Hunger and Health in San Diego County event. The event gathered the key players in San Diego’s food system work to give a broad overview of what the many organizations are doing in healthy food access programming. Some of the key figures include: Elly Brown of SDFSA, Naomi Buillups of County of San Diego HHSA, Ariel Hamburger of County of San Diego HHSA, Anchi Mei of International Rescue Committee, Colin Cureton of Community Health Improvement Partners, Shelly Hahne of San Diego Food Bank, Kelcey Ellis of Feeding America, Diane Wilkinson of Hunger Advocacy Network, and Jillian Barber of Sharp HealthCare.

March 22: I hopped on the train today to head up to Los Angeles. Funders Together to End Homelessness was hosting a meeting to learn about the work they are doing in Los Angeles to impact the pipeline from incarceration to homelessness. Thanks FTEH & Amanda Misiko Andere, the new CEO, and board member Bill Pitkin, Conrad Hilton Foundation, for bringing us this useful information!

Michele again gathered with our grantee leaders to view the second webinar of the Stanford Social Innovation Review leader’s series, The Network Leader Roadmap. It was great to have leaders in the room, such as Don Stump, Executive Director at North County Lifeline and the lead in many past and current networks, that have a history of building networks to share insight with those beginning to learn about network building.

March 23: Just before lunch, I joined Millard Chan, Impact SD, on the Impact Matters podcast. We talked about various aspects of impact investing and the Innovation Initiative at AHF. Following the podcast, I met with a group of entrepreneurs interested in the work at AHF and our Innovation Initiative.

I hustled back to the office for our iEngageU iNservice event for the office with the American Diabetes Association. In Suite 350 with The California Endowment and San Diego Grantmakers, Nikki Woodward, Coordinator, Community Engagement at American Diabetes Association San Diego, spent an hour with us discussing health and wellness and steps to take to live healthier and how to best avoid diabetes.

Read more about that event here, then let us know what you’re doing for the 30-Day Challenge!

March 28: In an effort to understand how nonprofits can work cohesively and with fewer duplication of services, Michele had breakfast with John Macintosh of Sea Change Capital Partners, Ken Davenport, and David Lynn of Mission Edge to consider the work of Sea Change and how they are working to increase the impact of nonprofits.

March 29: I met with Catherine Bender, consultant, to learn more about her goals and interests in working with nonprofits in San Diego. It’s always good to connect with someone I met years ago to catch up with them!

That afternoon, I met with the San Diego Impact Investors as we work together to host the upcoming Deal Flow! If you are an investor or philanthropist looking for a deal to invest in—this may be the place you want to be!  Join us April 28 from 3:30 – 5:30 pm at the Alexandria, 10996 Torreyana Rd.

March 30: This evening felt like I was going back home, as I attended the Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest’s anniversary dinner. “Fearless Voices” was the theme as CEO Darrah Johnson welcomed the 1,200 guests who were inspired by Dr. Carole Joffe and Dr. Willie Parker.

March 31: I met with Scott Bechtler-Levin, the former Executive Director of CIE San Diego, to learn more about his next chapter in life. He’s always so creative and innovative! His next move will probably be in the area of bringing something to scale! Do you have any ideas for him?

Feeding America hosted their biannual nutrition symposium this year called “Intersections: Families, Nutrition and Empowerment,” and Michele was there to take in all the great points of discussion! Recently hired Executive Director Al Brislain welcomed the room of people that are working hard to distribute healthy food to those in need and reminded us that the opposite of hungry is not full, it is healthy. Keynote speaker, food system activist, author, innovator, and social entrepreneur Ellen Gustafson shared a global perspective on hunger and improving nutrition. SuperFood Drive, Home Start, EatFresh.org, Sharp, and San Diego Hunger Coalition hosted breakout sessions on a variety of topics centering on health outcomes and nutrition education.

What’s happening in April?

April 6: Application Period for our Innovation Initiative (i2) Opened.  Apply today!

April 21: RCCC Governance Board meeting; 3:00 – 5:00; 3851 Rosecrans St., Coronado Room

To keep up with Michele and me as we attend events in April and beyond, follow AHF on Twitter and Facebook

Nancy L. Sasaki                                                    Michele Silverthorn
Executive Director                                               Program Officer
Alliance Healthcare Foundation                        Alliance Healthcare Foundation
NSasaki@AllianceHF.org                                    MSilverthorn@AllianceHF.org

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