July 9, 2019

San Diego, CA. July 9, 2019. Alliance Healthcare Foundation announces that Sarah Lyman has been hired as Executive Director to lead the organization in its mission to advance health and wellness for those in need through collaborative funding, convening and advocacy.

Joe Ramsdell“On behalf of the Alliance Healthcare Foundation, we are pleased to announce and welcome Sarah Lyman as our new Executive Director,” says Joe Ramsdell, Board Trustee. “Sarah’s history as a catalyst coupled with her development of networks, including leveraging resources to make positive impact, makes her an excellent fit for the role.”

About Sarah Lyman

With nearly a decade of experience catalyzing results in health philanthropy, Sarah brings unique leadership to the intersection of population health, systems change and collaboration in order to advance health equity.

Prior to joining Alliance, Sarah served as the Executive Vice President for Empire Health Foundation (EHF) in eastern Washington State, which oversees $70 million per year in funding. She is passionate about finding solutions to complex social issues and creating sustainable positive impact. While at EHF, Sarah was instrumental in designing and building the organization from its inception into a thriving agent for community change, leveraging and managing resources over 18x its annual endowed grant making.

She was also a key leader in the effort to launch Family Impact Network, the first network administrator in Washington to implement performance-based contracting in the child welfare system. In 2017, Sarah established Washington State’s first Program Administrator for the $100 million Andy Hill Cancer Research Endowment and served as the organization’s inaugural Executive Director.

Notable honors include the Council on Foundations and HUD Secretary’s Award for Public Philanthropic Partnership, and a first-place award for small businesses in “Best Places to Work” by the Journal of Business. In 2014, Sarah was selected as one of Terrance Keenan Institute’s Emerging Leaders in Health Philanthropy through Grant Makers in Health.

Sarah has served on a variety of boards including Volunteers of America, Spokane Teaching Health Center (for which she also served as interim Executive Director), the Washington State Public Health Association and Partnering for Progress, among others. She earned her M.B.A. from Eastern Washington University, and a degree in Business Administration from Western Washington University. Sarah now lives in the San Diego area with her husband Ben, and their two sons Jack (4) and Harvey (2).

“I am extremely honored and excited to serve the San Diego and Imperial County regions as we work together to achieve health equity and measurable improvements in health outcomes,” says Sarah Lyman. “I know that Alliance Healthcare Foundation has a long and rich history of collaboration in this region. I am eager to learn from Alliance’s many community partners and stakeholders and join you in creating transformational positive impact for generations to come.”


Meet Our Board & Committee Members


Joe Ramsdell Elizabeth Dreicer Rodney Hood Julianne Howell
Donald Jones Rosemari Johnson Robert McCray Atul Patel
Killu Sanborn Dwight Smith Jeffrey Willmann James Beaubeaux
James Howell Ilene Klein

About Alliance Healthcare Foundation. We work to advance health and wellness for the most vulnerable in San Diego and Imperial counties through collaborative funding, convening and advocacy.

We believe wellness is a state of complete physical, mental, spiritual, economic and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Society, community, neighborhood and family are collectively responsible for creating an environment of health and wellness. Wellness is personal and is not the same for everyone. Individuals need information and support to make positive choices for a more successful existence.

We currently operate a portfolio of five programs:

  1. i2 Innovation Initiative — also referred to as “venture philanthropy”—based on the thesis that innovation capital (often high risk, high reward) is needed to transform the current paradigm (high cost and poor outcomes) and improve quality, increase capacity and reduce costs;
  2. Mission Support—based on the belief that trusting those closest to our constituents and providing core operating support for great organizations will best advance our mission;
  3. Responsive Funding—based on the belief that it is important to be responsive to time-sensitive community needs and opportunities;
  4. InvestUp—based on the belief that it is important to actively and strategically be looking for ways to meaningfully advance our mission and it is worth spending some or all of our corpus—beyond the earnings off of our endowment—if we can substantively, sustainably and positively change the dynamics; and
  5. Impact Investments–based on the thesis that we can activate our investment portfolio to achieve more positive impact.

Our History. In 1982, the San Diego Community Healthcare Alliance (Alliance) created the first Preferred Provider Organization/Network (PPO) in the United States. From 1989 through 1994, the Alliance funded Alliance Healthcare Foundation (AHF) through profits from its Community Care Network (CCN) operations. In 1994, Alliance sold CCN to a national healthcare company and channeled the proceeds from CCN’s sale into an endowment of $83 million for AHF. That endowment has enabled funding of approximately $64 million (USD) in direct funding and approximately $41 million (USD) from national and local funding partners in San Diego and Imperial counties. Our endowment holds approximately $80 million in assets today, with funding for programs and operations derived from endowment investment earnings.

AHF Media contact:
Carl Nettleton, Nettleton Strategies
P 858-353-5489 E carl@nettstrategies.com

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