Updates on our Executive Search

August 22, 2018

As many of you know, Friday, August 3 was Nichole June Maher’s last day as Northwest Health Foundation’s president. In case you didn’t know, here’s our original post about her transition to a new role.

Since Nichole’s departure, we’ve received a lot of questions about what this means for Northwest Health Foundation. We’re writing this post to answer some of those questions.

1.     Do you have an interim president?

We do not. Our board and staff agreed on a shared leadership model during the transition. Our Vice President of Strategy & Public Affairs Jesse Beason and Director of Programs Jen Matheson are leading program operations, and our Vice President of Finance Jason Hilton and Operations Manager Stephenie Smith are leading internal operations.

2.     How are you going about hiring a new president?

Northwest Health Foundation’s board of directors formed an ad hoc search committee to guide our search for a new president. The search committee solicited and reviewed proposals from executive search firms and selected Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group LLC. NPAG will conduct a search for NWHF’s next president with input and support from our board and staff.

3.     Are you accepting applications yet?

Not quite yet. Right now, the search firm is drafting and editing a new position description. They plan to open the position to applications in September and conduct outreach and interviews through December. [Now we are! Please see below. - 9/10/18]

4.     When will the new president start?

We hope the new president will start in early 2019.

We’ll continue to add updates to this post as we have them. Thank you for your patience as we work through this transition!

 

September 10, 2018

Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group is now accepting applications for Northwest Health Foundation's next president. The position description is available on their website.

 

November 19, 2018

The executive search is going well, and we hope to name our new president in early 2019.

Our President & CEO Prepares for a New Role

 Nichole June Maher from the shoulders up, smiling.

We are sad, proud and thrilled to announce that Northwest Health Foundation’s President and CEO Nichole June Maher has accepted a new position as President and CEO of Group Health Foundation.

Group Health Foundation was founded in 2015 and funded in 2017 with the profits from Group Health Cooperative’s sale to Kaiser Permanente. GHF is a 501(c)(4) with $1.72 billion in financial assets. Their mission is to shape and accelerate efforts to improve health equity and advance community aspirations for a vibrant, healthy future in Washington.

We know Nichole is the right person to lead GHF’s work. Over the last six years at NWHF, Nichole led the Foundation through a significant transformation. After years of giving to healthcare systems, mainstream nonprofits and research institutions, we shifted our approach to partnering with community-led organizations that focus on changing policies and systems. We increased our giving to communities of color, rural communities and disability communities significantly, and started to make better use of our 501(c)(4) resources.

We will miss Nichole so much, and we’re incredibly thankful for all that she’s accomplished in Oregon and Southwest Washington.

Health stems from all aspects of our lives: education, economic opportunity, a sound environment, a connected community and loving family and friends. I have been so fortunate to experience all of this here in Oregon.

It is hard for me to leave Northwest Health Foundation and for my family to leave the place we’ve called home for so long. I also know that while a river may separate us, Washington and Oregon face many challenges in health equity together. I look forward to working on those challenges in my new role at Group Health Foundation. And I know that the many friendships I’ve forged, and community partnerships Northwest Health Foundation has created throughout our region, will endure. The staff and board at the Foundation are such an inspiration to me. I’ll miss them all dearly.
— Nichole June Maher

Nichole’s last day at NWHF will be August 3rd. Northwest Health Foundation’s board will work with an executive search firm to select a new president and CEO over the coming months. Please stay tuned for more information.

Putting ALL our money where our mouth is with a contracting policy

 Chef Naoko describing the food at an NWHF board dinner at her restaurant Shizuku.

Chef Naoko describing the food at an NWHF board dinner at her restaurant Shizuku.

We are proud of everything we have done at Northwest Health Foundation to ensure our grant dollars go to the communities who have the most opportunity to create positive change for everyone in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Over 75% of our grant dollars go to organizations led by people of color. Half of our grants go to organizations outside of the Portland metro area. And one out of ten go to disability communities. It has taken long-term, intentional work to reach these numbers.

However, our budget is more than just grants. We spend quite a bit of money operating as an organization, hiring consultants to support our grantees, contracting with caterers and hotels, maintaining the Center for Philanthropy (our downtown Portland office space) and more.

In 2012, when Nichole June Maher took over as Northwest Health Foundation's president and chief executive officer, she requested an audit of our operating dollars. She wanted to know what percentage of our operating budget was spent on hiring racial/ethnic minority, disability, LGBTQ and Oregon-owned firms. We were deeply dismayed to discover that only one half of one percent went to minority-owned firms, and 100% of our paid consultants were white.

Eager to make a change, our leadership team and board immediately began to research philanthropic best practices around minority contracting. Unfortunately, at the time, they couldn't find a single example within our philanthropic network of an organization that had passed a policy to prioritize contractors from specific communities. 

 A Healthy Beginnings+Healthy Communities gathering at Kah-Nee-Ta Resort in Warm Springs, Oregon.

A Healthy Beginnings+Healthy Communities gathering at Kah-Nee-Ta Resort in Warm Springs, Oregon.

So we drafted our own policy centering minority, disability, LGBTQ and Oregon-owned companies, as well as companies that pay a living wage and provide quality health insurance and paid leave. We became members of the minority-led chambers of commerce in Portland and began to build our own list of vendors and caterers.

We also set a goal. Given that Northwest Health Foundation existed for almost 20 years contracting with majority white-owned businesses, we decided we should spend at least the next 20 years with a focus on supporting racial/ethnic minority-owned businesses, with a secondary goal of supporting Oregon-based, LGBTQ- and women-owned businesses.

Five years later, we have made significant progress. 95% of our consultants are people of color, and many are people of color with disabilities. Approximately 70% of our controllable business expenses go to minority-, LGBTQ- and disability-owned firms. (That's not counting women- and Oregon-owned firms.) This includes our plumber, our painters, our auditors, our lobbyist, Tribally-owned hotels across Oregon, amazing caterers and restaurants, photographers... We could go on.

The most important lesson we have learned is it's not hard to meet these goals. There are plenty of incredible businesses out there owned and operated by people who reflect all of Oregon and Southwest Washington's communities and support our values. 

Now, we challenge you philanthropic organizations and nonprofits across our region. Adopt a similar policy. Leverage all of your resources. Join us in supporting Oregon and Southwest Washington's opportunity communities.

A few tips for success:

  • You must have a long-term strategy and long-term commitment. Work at it every day.
  • Every member of your team can be a leader in this work. While it is critical for your board and senior leadership to commit to this goal, it's the staff who really make it happen through their day-to-day decisions and the relationships they build.
  • Use all of your influence. For example, anytime anyone calls to reserve one of our meeting rooms, we encourage them to use a minority-owned and -operated caterer.
  • Don't think of this as charity. It's a good business practice. At NWHF, every aspect of our operations and customer services has improved with this shift.

We are hiring a facilitator to lead UnWind

The Kaiser Permanente Community Fund at Northwest Health Foundation (KPCF) seeks a facilitator to lead UnWind. UnWind will convene two cohorts of leaders three times over a period of 18 months. These leaders will come from organizations that have applied to and/or been funded by KPCF and Northwest Health Foundation (NWHF). At the convenings, they will:

  1. Individually and collectively reflect upon movement longevity;
  2. Collectively identify and analyze challenges to collaboration, including both communications and relational challenges;
  3. Practice and develop the skills to address personal and organizational conflict in support of building unity, trust and a broader movement for change; and
  4. Build deep, trusting relationships across race, geography and disability.

To Apply: Submit responses to the questions asked in the Request for Qualifications (linked below) to Community Engagement Officer Eduardo Moreno at eduardo@northwesthealth.org by 3pm on Thursday, February 22, 2018.

Meet our new board members: Cyreena, Jorge and Mechele!

In December, we said goodbye to our board chair, Vanetta Abdellatif, and board members, Dr. Robbie Law and Carl Talton. They are incredible people. We can't thank them enough for their thoughtful guidance over the last eight years.

Fortunately, we have three promising new board members to take their place.

 Cyreena Boston Ashby

Cyreena Boston Ashby

 Jorge Gutierrez

Jorge Gutierrez

 Mechele Johnson

Mechele Johnson

Cyreena Boston Ashby is Oregon Public Health Institute's chief executive officer. She's worked with U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and Governor John Kitzhaber, and most recently directed the Portland African American Leadership Forum.

Read more about Cyreena.

Jorge Gutierrez is the executive director of Lower Columbia Hispanic Council. He is involved not just with managing the organization but also participates in the day-to-day delivery of services.

Read more about Jorge. 

Mechele Johnson has served as a Shoalwater Bay tribal council woman and organized as a part of Willapa Bay Resistance, a grassroots cross-racial coalition that recruits candidates to run for office and builds the voices of low-income people of color and rural Washingtonians.

Read more about Mechele.

At Northwest Health Foundation, we believe the staff and board of an organization should not only be experts in their fields, but reflect the communities they serve. Cyreena, Jorge and Mechele are community leaders and strong advocates for health across Oregon and Southwest Washington. We look forward to the expertise and perspective they bring to our board.

In addition, board member Dr. Phil Wu will take over for Vanetta Abdellatif as board chair; Michael Alexander will take over as vice chair; and Donalda Dodson will serve as secretary.

We're making some staffing changes

We like to say that we are a small but mighty foundation. After a bittersweet goodbye to our friend and colleague Suk Rhee, we set about retooling some roles to make Northwest Health Foundation that much mightier.

Today, we're excited to announce those changes.

 Jesse Beason

Jesse Beason

 Jen Matheson

Jen Matheson

 Eduardo Moreno

Eduardo Moreno

Jesse Beason is now our Vice President of Strategy & Public Affairs. Jen Matheson is our Director of Programs, providing oversight for NWHF's grantmaking initiatives and programs. Michael Reyes Andrillon and Eduardo Moreno will be our Community Engagement Officers, and Laura Nash, Communications Manager, will increase her hours, joining us full-time to lend support to our program team.

We can't think of a better team of ten to drive our vision for health and our foundation for action!

Goodbye, Suk Rhee

 Photo portrait of Suk Rhee, sitting in front of a window.

Friday, August 11, is our Vice President of Strategy & Community Partnership Suk Rhee's last day at Northwest Health Foundation. Portland Commissioner Chloe Eudaly recently appointed Suk to direct the Office of Neighborhood Involvement, and she begins her new job in two short weeks, on August 21.

Here at NWHF, we couldn't be more proud of and excited for our friend and colleague's next step. Suk is deeply committed to the health and well-being of everyone in our region; always asks difficult, big-picture questions; fosters a welcoming and inclusive environment wherever she goes; and understands the importance of community-led change. We know she will impact the Office of Neighborhood Involvement, and the whole City of Portland, in positive and meaningful ways.

Suk started working at Northwest Health Foundation in January 2005, more than twelve years ago. She's been a part of some big decisions and transitions here, as well as most of our favorite memories. We are sad to see her go, but we're happy she won't be moving far!

A few words from Suk:

When my family immigrated to this country, we landed in North Carolina. There are many reasons to love NC, yet, I never gained a sense of belonging or home there. This feeling is captured in a passage in The Moon and Sixpence (by W. Somerset Maughn): 

I have an idea that some men are born out of their due place. Accident has cast them amid certain surroundings, but they have always a nostalgia for a home they know not...Sometimes a man hits upon a place to which he mysteriously feels that he belongs. Here is the home he sought, and he will settle amid scenes that he has never seen before, among men he has never known, as though they were familiar to him from his birth. Here at last he finds rest.

 Suk and the rest of NWHF's Program Team take a selfie next to a river.

There have been a few places where I have found such rest. This region, its communities and the work we have pursued together through my many years here at Northwest Health Foundation have felt like home. 

I leave NWHF this month to join the City of Portland’s Office of Neighborhood Involvement as its Director. Thank you to everyone who has walked some part of this journey with me—for the actions you have taken, the lessons you have taught me and simply, for being your brilliant self.  You have graced my time here with your leadership, humor and optimism, for which you have my endless gratitude and love.

 

Celebrating Local Social Justice Heroes

We know that community building happens in shared spaces. Here at Northwest Health Foundation, we are privileged to have large, well-equipped meeting rooms and excited to be able to offer these rooms on a daily basis to nonprofit organizations serving our region.

Recently, we realized we can do more to welcome and recognize the communities who use the Center for Philanthropy's spaces. With this in mind, we've renamed our meeting rooms after local social justice heroes. While the rooms' previous names (Bamboo, Jade, Orchid, Ming) nodded to the Center for Philanthropy's address in Portland's Old Town Chinatown district, the new names celebrate leaders who contributed to our communities' health in a big way.

These are the rooms' new namesakes:

 

 Photo from The Oregon History Project

Photo from The Oregon History Project

BEATRICE MORROW CANNADY (1890-1974)

Beatrice Morrow Cannady was a civil rights activist and founding member of Portland’s branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). She used her position as editor of the Advocate, Oregon’s largest African American newspaper, to defend the rights of African Americans in Oregon and southwest Washington.

Read more about Beatrice.

 
 Photo from OregonLive.com

Photo from OregonLive.com

ARTHUR HONEYMAN, MFA (1940-2008)

Arthur Honeyman was a prolific essayist, poet, publisher and disability rights activist who did things his own way. Among his life adventures: running for Oregon’s state legislature twice on a platform of “Spastic Power,” shuffling his wheelchair from Portland to Salem along the freeway to protest the lack of disabled access on buses and springing his mother out of a mental institution.

Read more about Art.

 
 Photo from The Oregon Historical Society

Photo from The Oregon Historical Society

IWAO OYAMA (1886-1952)

Iwao Oyama edited and published Oshu Nippo, the primary Japanese language newspaper in Oregon, from 1917-1951. On the afternoon of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Iwao Oyama was arrested and his printing press confiscated. Nevertheless, as soon as World War II ended, he returned to Portland and resumed publishing Oshu Nippo with a typewriter and mimeograph machine.

Read more about Iwao.

 
 PHOTO FROM WWW.GOFUNDME.COM/ZYS6NNR8

PHOTO FROM WWW.GOFUNDME.COM/ZYS6NNR8

MELISSA SARABIA (1988-2015)

Melissa Sarabia was studying to be an immigration lawyer at Lewis & Clark Law School. She acted as an advocate for educational justice for undocumented youth and would often testify on behalf of DREAMers. Melissa’s family believes she was motivated to protect others’ rights and help them overcome their life obstacles due to her own experience with cystic fibrosis.

Read more about Melissa.

 
 Photo from day1.org

Photo from day1.org

REVEREND RAMONA SOTO RANK (1944-2007)

Reverend Ramona Soto Rank was an enrolled member of the Klamath Tribes of Oregon and the first Native American woman to be ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. As a leader in both American Indian/Alaska Native communities and the Lutheran Church, Ramona strongly supported Native American rights for sovereignty and self-determination.

Read more about Ramona.

 

We hope to see you at the Center for Philanthropy sometime soon!

 

Introducing Our New Board Member, Kenneth Hart

In 2017 we welcome one new member to our governing board as three step down. We are inexpressibly grateful to Leda Garside, Becky Graham and Helena Huang for their years of service and the mark they have made on Northwest Health Foundation. Needless to say, we are sad to see them go. However, we are also excited to welcome Kenneth Hart.

Talton_Carl.jpg

Ken Hart is a certified public accountant and President of Saint Alphonsus Medical Center in Ontario. He is deeply involved in his eastern Oregon community.

Read more about Ken...

We look forward to learning more about Ken's perspective and the impact he will make on the Foundation!

In addition, board member Bill Thorndike will take over for Becky Graham as Treasurer, joining Chair Vanetta Abdellatif, Vice Chair Phil Wu and Secretary Michael Alexander as a board officer. 

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! 

 

 

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.

2014 Year in Review

2014 WAS A YEAR FOR MAKING THINGS HAPPEN.

We welcomed four new staff members. We launched a new brand. We worked toward better representing disability in our conversations and organizational practices. We traveled all over Oregon and Southwest Washington for conferences and community outreach. We hosted gatherings for our funded partners. We revitalized and celebrated existing initiatives and launched new ones. And we had a lot of fun doing it!


We are looking for an intern!

We are looking for an administrative intern! Applications will be accepted until January 30th. The internship is available for a junior, senior or recent college graduate in/from Oregon or Southwest Washington. The intern must be available for 20 to 25 hours a week and will be compensated with a $1,000 monthly stipend. Although there is a good amount of administrative work, the Internship Program provides interns with multiple opportunities to develop themselves professionally, enhance leadership skills, gain real-world work experience, broaden their understanding of the nonprofit community and the issues addressed, and become familiar with concepts of racial equity and community leadership.