As we kick off GIH’s 40th anniversary year and begin implementing our new strategic plan, I invite you to listen in on this conversation between myself and past GIH leaders about how health philanthropy has evolved, what is on the horizon, and how GIH and health funders can be more future-focused to achieve better health. We look forward to working with you to achieving better health for all through better philanthropy.
As we approach our 40th year of supporting philanthropy—we at GIH have been reflecting on how the field is evolving, what is needed to achieve better health, and what our role in this work can be. We’ve asked for guidance on what we do well and where we can improve. And we’ve reflected on your feedback, reaffirmed our mission and values, and identified intended outcomes. The result is our new five-year strategic plan.
As we work towards a more just and equitable future, we must ensure that we have the data needed to measure the things we are trying to improve. It is no longer acceptable to say we do not know.
The need to develop and implement a comprehensive integrated plan to address our health workforce grows stronger every day. As some communities experience their highest COVID-19 case rate since the start of the pandemic, with providers and public health workers stretched to the breaking point, we must also devote time and resources to ensure that we have a highly trained, diverse health care and public health workforce to meet our future health needs.
Health care conversion foundations bring substantial resources to communities throughout the country. GIH’s 2021 Update from the Field infographic offers a fresh look at this important sector within health philanthropy.
Moving towards sustained and authentic relationship-building with community partners requires that we examine and shift away from practices, policies, and behaviors that prioritize the transactional components of grantmaking. To do this, we must acknowledge and confront power where it lies within our foundations and work at all levels of the organization to truly make this shift.
If we are truly committed to a better world, life should not return to normal for any of us. It is against this backdrop that we will come together for GIH’s Annual Conference on Health Philanthropy from June 8-11.
The American Rescue Plan Act provides $1.9 trillion in programs and tax policies across nearly all sectors of government to provide relief to individuals, families, communities, and states. There are several ways in which philanthropy can help to minimize the risk that we squander this opportunity to strengthen our communities.
The road ahead will require continued action and collaboration on complex and challenging issues—and we must apply the lessons of the past year to maximize our chances of building a more just and equitable future.
Events over the last year put a spotlight on the significant health, economic, and social disparities in our country. In the few days that have elapsed in 2021, that spotlight has focused in on the division our country faces, fueled by mistrust.