Announcing the Equity Illustrated Design Contest Winners!

 

First Place - Salomé Chimuku


 

To Salomé Chimuku, already a veteran of social justice and public policy reform at age 25, equity is a familiar concept.

Read more about Salomé Chimuku ›

 
 

Second Place - Marc Asnis and Kathryn Hartinger


 

Turns out a collaboration born of a deep understanding of equity, an appreciation for urban planning, and diverse skills, can be a successful one.

Read more about Marc and Kathryn ›

 
 

Third Place - Matt Kinshella


 

Every day since January, Matt Kinshella has created an illustration depicting something he’s grateful for, from Italian architecture to Mexican hot sauce to a baby that sleeps through the night.

Read more about Matt Kinshella ›

 
 

Youth Contest Winner - Carol Bryan


 

"Everyone has a voice, no matter who they are or what challenges they have," wrote Carol Bryan, 14, of Corvallis, Oregon, when she submitted her winning entry for the 2016 Equity Illustrated Youth Design Contest. 

Read more about Carol Bryan ›

 

Equity Illustrated Youth Contest Winner: Everyone Has A Voice

The winning illustration in the 2016 Equity Illustrated Youth Design Contest sponsored by Meyer Memorial Trust and Northwest Health Foundation.

The winning illustration in the 2016 Equity Illustrated Youth Design Contest sponsored by Meyer Memorial Trust and Northwest Health Foundation.

[Image description: On the left, three people stand in a row, using various tools to amplify their voices. The smallest person speaks into a microphone. The middle-sized person speaks into a megaphone. The largest person cups his hands around his mouth. On the right, yellow ovals of graduated size represent sound waves. Text reads: "Everyone has a voice. Equity pumps up the volume."]

Youth Contest Winner Carol Bryan

Youth Contest Winner Carol Bryan

"Everyone has a voice, no matter who they are or what challenges they have," wrote Carol Bryan, 14, of Corvallis, Oregon, when she submitted her winning entry for the 2016 Equity Illustrated Youth Design Contest.

Carol's illustration acknowledges that everyone starts from a different place. Although everyone has a voice, some voices might be softer or louder than others. Some voices might struggle to be heard. Equity is when each person has the tool they need to amplify their voice.

Carol learned about the contest in her digital imaging class at school. Her teacher gave a presentation explaining the idea of equity and assigned the class to illustrate what equity meant to them. Actually entering the contest was optional.

Outside of school, Carol shows her dog and rabbit in 4H competitions and plays softball. She hopes to go to college at Oregon State University or Western Oregon University and study to go into the medical field.

To see the Equity Illustrated Adult Design Contest winning entries, visit www.equityillustrated.org.

Join us in support of thoughtful, national, comprehensive immigration reform

This OpEd was published in Street Roots on July 8, 2016.

As philanthropic organizations, we work hard every day to support thriving Oregon communities: We seed small businesses and job opportunities. We partner with communities to provide kids and families with quality, affordable care and education. We create safe, welcoming spaces for people of all cultural and religious backgrounds. We invest in affordable housing, clean rivers and healthy neighborhoods for all Oregonians. And most importantly, we support diversity, because inclusive communities are strong communities. Our immigrant ancestors and our immigrant neighbors enrich our understanding of the world, our communities and ourselves. Oregon and the U.S. are stronger with all of us.

The recent 4-4 tie decision by the Supreme Court in Texas v. United States leaves in place a lower-court decision halting the implementation of expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans. It puts the lives of millions of immigrants and their families on hold. This deadlock prevents an estimated 5 million immigrants from gaining work authorization and protection from deportation. It also prolongs the worries and fears of their 6.4 million family members, not to mention their friends and neighbors. Our friends and neighbors.

The original Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has benefitted nearly 730,000 individuals and their families, allowing young adults to stay in their home — this country — while working and going to school. In the face of last week’s decision, we are more committed than ever to supporting the strength and resiliency of immigrant families and communities.

By welcoming immigrants, we foster thriving communities that benefit us all. We welcome families that have endured incredible hardships to leave bad situations to provide a better future for their kids. We welcome more entrepreneurs and more customers for local businesses. We welcome children who will grow up to be doctors and teachers, business owners and artists. We welcome neighbors, co-workers and friends who share our deepest dreams — the freedom to speak and pray, and the opportunity to raise healthy, happy families.

DACA and DAPA are a critical step in providing immediate stability to our neighbors, but they don’t fix our broken immigration system. We invite both our colleagues in philanthropy and decision-makers at every level to join us in support of thoughtful, national, comprehensive immigration reform. Only by addressing both these immediate needs and long-term challenges can we ensure the health and prosperity of a diverse and thriving Oregon.

- Cynthia Addams, Executive Vice President of The Collins Foundation; Nichole June Maher, President and CEO of Northwest Health Foundation; and Doug Stamm, CEO of Meyer Memorial Trust.

Farewell, Fannie Black!

Our Grant Administrator Fannie Black will be moving on to bigger and better things at the end of March 2016. We are deeply sad to see her go and will probably shed more than a few tears on March 31st. However, we are also so excited for and proud of her; and we're looking forward to the opportunity to welcome a new person to our team!

 

A few words from Fannie:

It is so hard to believe that it has only been three years since I started working at the Foundation. As much as I have grown personally and professionally, and as much as I have learned over the years, I feel like I’m not the same person I was when I first stepped off that elevator and through those glass doors. Over the years, I have learned some amazing things about myself and the many communities in Oregon and Southwest Washington working toward a healthier region. I’ve learned about my ableism, what it means to be an ally, and the importance of community-based solutions led by the very people the solutions aim to serve.

From becoming a self-proclaimed food coloring master for gingerbread houses to learning how to be an ally to other marginalized communities, I have gained skills, knowledge, and personal and professional relationships that will last me a lifetime. I am so grateful for the opportunities and growth this experience has offered me, and if the next three years are anything like the last three, I can’t wait to see what this next journey will bring.

A few words from Suk Rhee

Every now and again, you have the honor of working with someone who is an exceptional person in the world, and you are the better for it. For the past several years, we and our partners at NWHF have had the privilege—and joy—of working with Fannie Black, who has served as grant administrator. As a leader within the NWHF team, Fannie has played many roles: the person who saves the day for community partners applying at the 11th hour; a champion of our equity priorities; the standard-bearer for fairness and transparency before, during and after the grant process; the patient teacher; and the social connector who shows us by example that we can all do more and better, together.   

At the same time, Fannie was pursuing her studies. This spring, Fannie earns her master of science in engineering and technology management at Portland State University. (Applause and congratulations!) Now, it is time for new adventures and the next chapter. On behalf of all of us who have worked, played and laughed with Fannie—we will dearly miss you. And, we are excited for the world to be transformed by you as you have transformed NWHF. Bon voyage!

We're Hiring a Grant Administrator

POSTED: January 20, 2016
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Open until filled OR 5pm, February 25, 2016
HOW TO APPLY: Submit cover letter and resume to employment@northwesthealth.org

The Grant Administrator is responsible for working with Northwest Health Foundation staff and community partners to implement application processes, deadlines, reporting and other systems improvements to ensure consistent and accurate grants processing. The Grant Administrator works with the Vice President of Strategy & Community Partnership and members of the program team to ensure the smooth functioning of the applications, review, reporting and monitoring processes essential to Foundation operations. The Grant Administrator is additionally a liaison between internal departments and the public, and provides professional customer service to internal and external audiences.

Checking In with Nadia Alradhi, Our 2014 Intern

Selfie of Nadia in her scrubs.

What has Nadia been up to since she left NWHF?

Since leaving NWHF, Nadia graduated summa cum laude from Linfield College with a bachelor of science in nursing. After passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and becoming licensed as a registered nurse in the state of Oregon, Nadia has been working at Marquis Mill Park. This is a post acute rehabilitation facility: a place where people go to rehabilitate following a surgery, stroke, hip replacement, etc, and get stronger until they are able to go home.

What's next?

Nadia recently accepted a job at Legacy Health in the Family Birthing Center through their residency program for new graduates. (Congrats on the new job, Nadia! What an exciting opportunity!)

What are her goals for the future?

Nadia eventually wants to obtain a masters degree in either nursing or public health (She can't decide which!). According to Nadia, her experience at NWHF helped her think more broadly and in a more global way. She is inspired to continue to create change and advocate for equality wherever she goes. During her time at NWHF, she started to learn how to identify the needs of a community and address those needs with sustainable, realistic solutions. This type of thinking has positively impacted her views and values as a nurse. She's excited to see what her future holds, and to apply what NWHF taught her in new and innovative ways.

While Nadia was interning at NWHF, she helped our Community Engagement Officers plan outreach sessions about Healthy Beginnings+Healthy Communities throughout Oregon and SW Washington. She also made a video of kids talking about what health means to them.

Introducing our New Board Officers

Our staff leadership team and 2015 board, with a couple faces missing.

Our staff leadership team and 2015 board, with a couple faces missing.

NWHF is excited to announce its board officers!

Vanetta Abdellatif follows Rev. Mark Knutson as chair. Vanetta currently directs Integrated Clinical Services at Multnomah County Health Department. She served as vice chair on our board for the last two years. We know she will lead our board with aplomb!

Philip Wu, MD is our new vice chair. Phil is retired from Kaiser Permanente of Tualitin, where he worked as a pediatric obesity specialist. He's been with our board since 2012.

Michael Alexander, MSS follows Carl Talton as board secretary. After a varied career across sectors, Michael recently retired from the Urban League of Portland, where he served as President and Chief Executive Officer.

Rebecca Graham continues as the board's treasurer. Rebecca, a retired Certified Public Accountant, has proven her skills as a treasurer again and again!

If you haven't met the rest of our board, meet them here.

We are so honored and humbled by the great work of our board, and the work that each member does in our community. In 2016, as we embark on our first year of Healthy Beginnings+Healthy Communities Collaborate; as we facilitate our last Kaiser Permanente Community Fund proposal process; as we dig deeper into conversations about our equity priorities of disability and geography; and as we foster existing and new funding partnerships, this is the board we want to lead us! 

 

 

Announcing Our New KPCF Funded Partners!

The Kaiser Permanente Community Fund (KPCF) at Northwest Health Foundation is pleased to award more than $1.6 million in grant funds to 12 organizations improving health in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Awarded annually since 2004, these grants address the “upstream” or underlying factors that impact community health. 

For the last four years the Fund has focused on three specific social determinants of health: early life & childhood development, educational attainment and economic opportunity. This year's organizations include:

EARLY LIFE & CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT 

  • Centro Latino Americano
  • Community Education Worker Steering Team
  • Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO)
  • Native American Youth & Family Center (NAYA)
  • Partnership for Safety and Justice

EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT

  • Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO)
  • Latino Network
  • Momentum Alliance
  • OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon

ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY  

  • Clackamas Workforce Partnership
  • Family Forward Oregon
  • Huerto de la Familia

For too many of us, conditions where we’re born, learn and live limit our choices and our opportunity to be healthy. The 12 organizations listed above are tackling these conditions in innovative ways that are driven by the very communities they seek to impact. We’re honored to support this kind of work and look forward to the effect these organizations will have on the health of our region.

If you're interested in learning more about these amazing organizations and the work they are doing, please follow us on Twitter! We'll be highlighting each of our new funded partners in the coming weeks.

A Letter from Outgoing Board Chair Rev. W.J. Mark Knutson

Recently I returned from a National Summit on Welcoming the Syrian Refugee in Detroit, Michigan. It was an inspiring summit focused on hospitality and hope in a time in this nation when people of goodwill must speak out.

On the Sunday after my return, I was surprised to the core by a celebration of 20 years as Pastor of Augustana Lutheran Church in Portland. It has been a journey in which we have grown from a small congregation to a large multicultural, multinational, multigenerational welcoming and affirming sanctuary congregation of justice seekers and peacemakers.

For nine of those 20 years, I have had the gift of serving on the board of the Northwest Health Foundation during a period in which Advocacy and Social Justice have been embraced.

Central to the work of the Northwest Health Foundation and the church is a vision of what is intended for the human family where all can fully live and give of themselves for the common good. At the heart of this vision are deep relationships that remind us we are all called to step out for social justice when others may hold back. To be unafraid and willing to take risks, since it is not about us but about the community and world in which we live, is vitally important.

The Northwest Health Foundation has championed a vision of what can and must be for children, families and communities in Oregon and Southwest Washington with the Healthy Beginnings+Healthy Communities Initiative. It has been a vision forged with communities themselves where the gifts and answers are already present. A majority minority board and staff, strong and collaborative partnerships with communities of color, diverse volunteer citizen lobbyists: these are intentional steps in a vision grounded in a commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. The courageous leadership of President and CEO Nichole June Maher, and a board and staff that truly love and care for each other and our communities, have been vital in this process. Incoming board chair Vanetta Abdellatif knows this well.

If we are to live into the vision we so desire where all are welcome and can truly have life in healthy communities, it will take intentional daily steps with boldness and courage. There will always be voices that say it is impossible, but we know better. If organizations of all types from philanthropy to faith communities, from non-profits to schools, from businesses to government, answer the call to become the diverse and equitable organizations that reflect who we are not only today but 20 years from now, real change will come. The gifts and the knowledge are already present in our communities, and that makes all things possible. Yes, the best is yet to come. 

Sincerely,

Rev. W.J. Mark Knutson

Rural Perspectives on Minimum Wage and Regional Economies

Northwest Health Foundation and North Star Civic Foundation joined together in 2015 to listen to business and community leaders in six Oregon communities and gather concrete ideas and community-informed solutions around a proposed increase in the minimum wage in 2016 or 2017.

Nearly 1 in 6 Oregonians lives in poverty, and 2 in 5 can’t afford to pay for basics such as housing, transportation and food without public assistance.

Both of our foundations support an increase in the minimum wage as one component of a statewide effort to reduce poverty and help all communities flourish. We engaged in this listening process to inform our own positions on current proposals to increase the minimum wage.

Read the executive summary here. Read the full report here.

Nichole Elected to Grantmakers in Health Board of Directors

Northwest Health Foundation President and CEO Nichole June Maher has been elected to Grantmakers in Health's board of directors. She will serve a three-year term starting in March 2016.

Grantmakers in Health (GIH) is a nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to helping foundations and corporate giving programs improve the health of all people. Its mission is to foster communication and collaboration among grantmakers and others, and to help strengthen the grantmaking community's knowledge, skills and effectiveness.

Nichole will join several other changemakers and foundation leaders on GIH's board. "I'm looking forward to building relationships with foundations across the U.S., sharing the good work and success stories of communities in Oregon and SW Washington, learning from my fellow board members, and contributing to the amazing resource that is GIH!" said Nichole.

 

photo portrait of Nichole.

Presenting our Healthy Beginnings+Healthy Communities Collaboratives

We are THRILLED to present our ten Healthy Beginnings+Healthy Communities Collaboratives. These ten Collaboratives will work with each other and Northwest Health Foundation for the next five years to advance a shared agenda for healthier childhoods:

APANO Statewide Network
Lead Organization: Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO)
Geography: Oregon

Eastern Oregon Latino Alliance for Children and Families
Lead Organization: EUVALCREE
Geography: Malheur County

Healthy Communities, Healthy Futures
Lead Organization: Healthy Living Collaborative (HLC) of Southwest Washington
Geography: Clark, Cowlitz, Wahkiakum and Skamania counties

Immigrant and Refugee Engage Project
Lead Organization: Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO)
Geography: Portland metro region, as well as Clark, Marion, Hood River and Yamhill counties

Successful Transitions: Integrated Care for Children, Youth and their Families
Lead Organization: Jefferson Regional Health Alliance
Geography: Jackson and Josephine counties

Let's Talk Diversity Coalition
Lead Organization: Let's Talk Diversity Coalition
Geography: Jefferson County

Voz de la Comunidad
Lead Organization: Lower Columbia Hispanic Council
Geography: Clatsop County

Youth Power & Intersectional Collaboration
Lead Organization: Momentum Alliance
Geography: Clark, Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington and Marion counties

Stable Families Intergenerational Collaborative
Lead Organization: Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA)
Geography: Multnomah County

Healthy CAPACES
Lead Organization: Pineros Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste
Geography: Marion and Polk counties
 

 

2016 is the first year of Communities Collaborate, one part of NWHF’s Healthy Beginnings+Healthy Communities Initiative (HB+HC). The Collaboratives selected for HB+HC Communities Collaborate partnerships will work together to be a part of a local and regional transformation of institutions, programs and policies to deliver better outcomes in early life, equity and community health. In the first year of Communities Collaborate, Collaboratives will receive a total of $850,000 in support. 

 










Q&A with our Executive Support & Operations Manager, Stephenie Smith

Stephenie standing in a field of corn. 

Q. What led you to your job at NWHF?

A. I have always been drawn to the work that Northwest Health Foundation does, especially in the last three years. My work with Open Meadow’s Step Up program lit a fire in me to devote my life to building & supporting healthy communities and fighting racism. After taking a year to work the family business with my mother and sister, it was time to get back to my passion. When I saw the opening at NWHF for the Executive Support & Operations Manager position, I jumped at the chance to work for a foundation whose work and values so closely matched my own. 

Q. What have you learned in your first few months here?

A. I have learned so much in my first few months here! Aside from the normal learning curve of figuring out a new position, one of my favorite parts of this new job is getting to meet so many people from the community! I have learned that there are SO many phenomenal people in Oregon & SW Washington doing amazing work to strengthen underserved communities! I am inspired on a daily basis by the stories I hear and from watching how hard my co-workers work to make an impact.

Q. What do you see as the greatest obstacle facing communities in our region?

A. Big question. Looking at this from a big picture perspective, I will use one word: inequity. This word could be applied to every aspect of life for our underserved populations, particularly for our neighbors of color and our neighbors living in poverty. These groups experience inequities in education, jobs, housing, health care, representation in positions of power, daily microaggressions, and so much more. A large part of this obstacle is the number of people, in power or otherwise, that choose to be oblivious to such inequities. 

Q. What do you see as our region’s greatest strength?

A. Although it doesn’t always seem like it, I strongly feel that Portland has many pockets of strong communities that are working to reduce the inequities that exist. There are many people dedicated to the work of creating equitable environments for every Portlander. I hope that we can figure out how to unite forces and work together more regularly.

Q. Why have you chosen to live in Portland, over any other place in the world?

A. I am originally from Half Moon Bay, California (yes, I am a transplant!). Although I miss the ocean and my family that remains in California, Portland is my home now (and has been since 1999). I originally moved here to be close to my brother’s first child. Since then, much of my family has moved up to Portland, and I now have two nieces and nephews that live here. I am about to have my own baby, and I am so happy that she will be surrounded by cousins and family to love and support her! 

I do love to travel and spent almost a year in St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands many moons ago. I believe that someday I will retire on a tropical beach!

Q. What do you like best about the holiday season?

I am a bit of a Christmas fanatic. To me, Christmas has never been about presents. I grew up in a household with very little money but a lot of love. We never received expensive gifts. We did, however, always get the whole family together to open our stockings (which always had a tangerine in the toe) and to eat. These two things remain my favorite Christmas traditions. Aside from these specific traditions, I cling to the idea that miracles can happen during this time of year and try to give back to my community as much as possible!

Q. What is the best gift you have ever given?

A. My favorite gift to give every year is for my nieces’ & nephews’ birthdays. I take each of them out for a one-on-one dinner to the restaurant of their choice. We started the tradition when they were very young. I love getting the opportunity to spend some quality time with each of them every year. 

Q. As a soon-to-be mom, what are your hopes for your baby?

A. My baby will be extremely loved by our family and my phenomenal community. She is multi-racial. I know this will have a large impact on her life. I have seen firsthand the impact this can have on a student, child, teen, adult. My mission is to keep working as hard as possible for equity and to surround myself and my baby girl with people who will support her and give her space to have tough conversations about her experiences. She will carry on the change-making needed for this community and the world to understand and value difference.

How We Lost the Vote But Won the Day, The Story of the 2013 Portland Pro-Fluoride Campaign

Cartoon teeth holding picket signs.

In 2013, a coalition of funders, community-led nonprofits, advisors and other allies came together to campaign for water fluoridation in Portland, OR. Although the ballot initiative did not pass, the campaign succeeded in helping community-based organizations build capacity for civic engagement. In this article, we share our experiences from the campaign, the obstacles we encountered and our lessons learned.

Oregon Minimum Wage, Boiled Down

Current Minimum Wage

$9.25 an hour

Cost of Living

That depends on who you ask. According to the Economic Policy Institute's 2014 Family Budget Calculator, a living wage for a family of four ranges between $14/hour and $17/hour, depending on the county. The National Low Income Housing Coalition estimates a "rental wage" between $13/hour and $18/hour in order for a family to afford rent on a two-bedroom home. And the University of Washington's 2014 Self Sufficiency Standard suggests a living wage between $9/hour and $16/hour for a family of four.

There are two coalitions advocating for a higher minimum wage in 2016.

Raise the Wage Oregon proposes a state minimum wage of at least $13.50/hour, implemented by 2019. They specifically require that the legislation include farmworkers and restaurant workers. They also want to change the rules so that Oregon localities can set a higher minimum wage than the state minimum wage. (For instance, the City of Portland could set a $15/hour minimum wage, on top of the state baseline of $13.50/hour.)

15 Now Oregon demands a $15/hour minimum wage throughout the state, implemented by 2019.

Both coalitions hope that the February 2016 legislative session will resolve the issue. If not, though, both coalitions are working on gathering 10,000 signatures each so that they can qualify for the ballot measure titling process for November 2016.

Where does Northwest Health Foundation stand on the issue?

About a third of all jobs in Oregon pay less than $13.00 per hour, which for most Oregon families is not enough to pay for basic needs like housing, transportation, food and child care. We also know that costs to live in Oregon depend on where you live in the state, and that small, rural economies aren't the same as large, urban economies. 

Before we support any one approach to raising the minimum wage, we want to understand the issues better. We joined with North Star Civic Foundation to have conversations with communities throughout Oregon last week, and we're looking at all kinds of data as well. Keep an eye on this blog; we’ll report what we learn here in early November.

 

Upcoming Conferences, October-November 2015

 

Oral Health in the New Age of Aging | October 2

Perspectives on epigenetics, gerontology and chronic disease. Hosted by Oregon Oral Health Coalition in Portland, OR.

 

Black Parenting Symposium | October 3

We are the village. Hosted by Black Parent Initiative at Warner Pacific College.

 

School Health Conference | October 8-9

Creating cultures of wellness. Hosted by Oregon School-Based Health Alliance in Portland, OR.

 

9th International Black Midwives and Healers Conference | October 9-11

Honoring our past, embracing our future. Hosted by International Center for Traditional Childbearing in Portland, OR.

 

Social Capital Research to Action Symposium | October 21

Increasing social capital to improve the health and well-being of our communities. Hosted by Institute for Sustainable Solutions and Center for Public Health Studies at Portland State University in Portland, OR.

 

RE: Conference | October 29-30

RE: Conference is for anyone with a mind for expanding opportunity in Oregon. Hosted by Neighborhood Partnerships in Salem, OR.

 

Oregon Public Health Association Conference & Meeting | October 12-13

Where will public health in our state go next? Hosted by the Oregon Public Health Association in Corvallis, Oregon.

 

CCO Tech & Data Conference | November 10

The changing needs of technology and data for successful coordinated care transformation. Hosted by CCO Oregon in Salem, Oregon.

 

Pathways to Health Equity | November 16

Success means getting there together. Hosted by the Oregon Health Authority Office of Equity and Inclusion in Portland, Oregon.

 

Coordinated Care Model Summit | November 17

Share outcomes and lessons learned, and inspire future innovation in Oregon. Hosted by the Oregon Health Authority Transformation Center in Portland, OR.

 

Behavioral Health System Town Halls |October 2 & 7; November 4, 9 & 20

This one's not technically a conference, but we still think it's important for you all to know about. Oregon Health Authority is seeking input from adolescents, adults and families who have had difficulties accessing mental health and substance use disorder treatment in Oregon.

 

Let us know if we're missing a conference! Comment below or email laura@northwesthealth.org.



Q&A with one of our summer interns, Viktoria Perekurenko

Photo portrait of Viktoria.

Q. What have you learned from your internship at Northwest Health Foundation?

A. I have learned so many things from my internship! The biggest thing is that there is so much community health work going on in our region. It was great to learn about it in a classroom setting at PSU, but way more amazing to actually see that work in action and see how so many people can come together to create healthier communities. 

Q. What is your favorite memory from your time at NWHF?

A. My favorite memory from my time here was being able to go on site visits with Jen and Mike. It was so great to actually go into communities and see the amazing work that they are doing and see communities advocate for themselves. I was so encouraged to see that there were even groups in my own community who were working together to make our community better and healthier.

Q. What projects did you work on while you were at NWHF?

A. While I was here, the main project I worked on involved creating a database that included all community health-related contacts in the region we serve. My main focus was Southwest Washington, and I looked for parent-teacher associations, religious groups, early learning hubs, schools, districts, county leadership, medical facilities and anyone remotely related to community health... Let's just say I did a lot of Googling!

Q. What are your next steps after leaving NWHF?

A. After leaving NWHF, I plan on doing some rigorous job searching. My main goal is to figure out which aspects of community health interest me most and see how I can get involved in those areas. 

Q. As a Clark County resident, what do you love about Southwest Washington? What makes SW WA special?

A. I absolutely love SW WA (especially Vancouver!) I love the many trails there are to walk and bike, as well as amazing local food, markets and coffee shops. I love the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site because it is very beautiful and often has interesting events. I love that it is near a body of water and has accessibility to many recreational activities. I also really love that even though it isn't technically a small town, it still feels like one, and feels like one big community.

Q. As a recent college graduate, what is the weirdest thing about being out of school?

A. The weirdest thing about being out of school is having free evenings and actually being able to take Sunday naps, because there is no homework! It's also strange to see my friends get ready to go back to school and knowing that I don't have to. 

Q. If you could be on any game show, what game show would you choose? 

A. If I could be on any show, I think I would pick the Amazing Race, because it would be fascinating to travel to so many awesome places and learn to do so many cool things from other cultures. 

Thank you to Viktoria (and our other summer intern, Nick) for your invaluable contributions to NWHF this summer! We definitely appreciate all of the Googling you did!

Mini-grant Mondays, back by popular demand!

We had such success with our first month of mini-grants in July that we have decided to continue offering them.

From here on out, the first Monday of every month will be a Mini-grant Monday!

Here are the rules:

What are Mini-grant Mondays?

On the first Monday of every month, Northwest Health Foundation will announce the winner of a mini-grant worth $100 on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

How can my organization enter?

Follow Northwest Health Foundation on Facebook and/or Twitter. All you have to do to enter is either (1) tell us what your organization will use the money for by commenting on our monthly Mini-grant Monday Facebook post, or (2) tell us what your organization will use the money for by tweeting to @northwesthealth with the hashtag #minigrantmonday.

We will announce our winners at the end of the day on the first Monday of every month.

What can my organization do with the money?

Anything you want! You could pay for transportation to an event or advocacy day at the capitol. You could compensate community members for time spent participating in a focus group or advisory board. You could offer childcare at a community organizing meeting or event. You could buy flip charts, colored markers or other office supplies. Or...you tell us. The sky is the limit! (And nonprofit tax laws, of course.)

Check out the first four winners for inspiration.

How will Northwest Health Foundation choose the winners?

We will select winners based on (1) how well your organization fits our guiding principles and commitment to equity and (2) your plan for spending the mini-grant.

Anything else I need to know?

You must be a registered nonprofit organization (501(c)3 or 501(c)4) working with communities in Oregon or Southwest Washington to enter. Mini-grants will be awarded in the form of Visa gift cards.

 

This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

Q&A with NWHF Board Member, Andrea Miller

Photo portrait of Andrea Miller.

Q. What is a day like in the life of Andrea Miller?

A. Every day I get to meet new people, work on some of the most pressing issues in Oregon, and put into practice my values of equity and justice for all. I consider myself pretty lucky. This kind of work, however, is non-stop, and the hours can be erratic—working on the weekends and evenings. The key to my daily productivity and sustainability in this work is the 30 to 45 minutes I take in the morning to exercise. It helps to clear my head and get me ready to take on the day.

Q. What would you consider the most important bills that passed in the 2015 legislative session?

A. So many important bills passed in the 2015 legislative session, it's hard for me to label one as "the most important." From where I sit as the director of Causa, I will say that there are several bills that will have a significant impact on communities of color. One of those is the Paid Sick Days bill, which will allow nearly half a million Oregonians to earn sick days so that they can take a day off of work to care for a sick child or themselves without having to miss a day of pay. Considering that 60% of Latino workers did not have access to one paid sick day before this bill, this is monumental. The other one is the End Profiling bill, which bans the practice of profiling as a law enforcement tactic. Oregon will soon shift to community policing, a more effective public safety strategy that fosters trust between law enforcement officers and communities.  People in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color are targeted the most, leading to higher arrest and conviction rates among people of color generally—and African-Americans specifically. The End Profiling bill is a step in the right direction, as local communities across the nation struggle with the correlation between police violence and communities of color.

Q. What are Causa's goals this year, and how are you working to meet them?

A. (1) Make progress on statewide policies that impact Latino families during the legislative session. (2) Defend against proposed statewide policies that don’t support equity for all Oregonians. (3) Support immigrants through the processes of naturalization and deferred action status and serve as a resource hub for immigrant families seeking relief.

So how've we done so far?

(1) During the legislative session, 2 out of 5 bills on Causa’s legislative agenda became law. Our strategy to make that happen was two-fold: train and mobilize people directly impacted by the issue to voice their support for the bill, and participate in strong coalitions that support our priority bills. The coalitions we were a part of included the Oregon Health Equity Alliance and the Fair Shot Coalition, both of which had significant wins last session.

(2) The same group that put Measure 88 on the ballot has filed two initiative petitions that will negatively impact communities of color. Causa and our partners have convened a broad coalition to proactively counteract the effort to qualify two ballot measures for the 2016 election.

(3) Causa holds naturalization and DACA workshops to help individuals fill out their application free of cost or at a low-cost with attorney assistance. We’ve also launched a bilingual website and Facebook page called Oregon Immigration Resource to widely distribute resources, updates, and information about administrative relief and other immigration programs.

Q. What are next steps for immigration reform since DAPA passed?

A. Unfortunately, we can’t turn our attention away from the immigration administrative relief that Obama made possible just yet. The executive action is being challenged in the courts by a group of states that disagree with Obama’s administrative changes. Causa and our national partners are doing all we can to advocate for the deferred action programs to move forward so that the immigrant parents of U.S. born children can apply for protection from deportation, work authorization and, in Oregon, get a driver license. Ultimately, we’ll keep advocating for Congressional action on immigration reform long-term, but first we need to secure the small victory that was made in 2015 with the expansion of the deferred action program.

Q. How does your role on the NWHF board compliment your work at Causa, and vice versa?

A. The relationships I’ve built through Causa, and my experience as a past [NWHF] grantee, inform my decision making with the Community Engagement Committee at NWHF. I’m in a very privileged position where I both get to be part of philanthropy that supports equity initiatives and a practitioner of on-the-ground advocacy and organizing work. I get to see both the 1,000-foot level and the 10-foot level of this larger work, which sharpens my abilities both at Causa and NWHF.

Q. How do you identify with NWHF's guiding values and equity priorities?

A. One of NWHF’s guiding principles I identify with most is, “Promoting upstream, systemic change through advocacy is often the most effective strategy for improving community health.” One of the reasons I started working at Causa is because I saw advocacy and policy change as a way to make big and long lasting impact for Oregon families. NWHF invests in organizations that seek systemic change, and that's a very intentional and long-term commitment. It can be difficult to see the results of your work when we’re talking about system change, but it pays off in the long run by closing the gap on health, education, economic and other disparities among Oregon’s diverse communities.

Q. What drew you to Oregon?

A. I was born in Eugene and raised in Salem, Oregon. While I’ve grown up here, I’ve chosen to make Oregon my home and start a career here. Growing up, there were so many pressures to leave and explore new states and cities, and to this day I still get asked why I never left or if I have plans to leave in the future. I love Oregon—our trees, our people, our communities. Oregon and the leaders that live here have allowed me so many opportunities to grow in my professional and personal life. I can’t imagine myself living anywhere else.

Q. What is your favorite place in the U.S. outside of Oregon?

A. Maui, Hawaii. There are obvious reasons why that would be the case for nearly anyone—the gorgeous beaches, the weather. But Maui is my favorite place in the U.S. besides Oregon because it is my second home. My family has lived in Hawaii for five generations. My grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles and cousins all live there. I try to visit every other year. I’m very lucky to have roots in such a beautiful part of our country.