Welcome to the V1SION Blog!

Elena and goals sign.jpg

This is the first post on the Episcopal Health Foundation’s brand new V1SION blog. The purpose of our blog is expand on our one vision (V1SION) of transformation to healthy communities for all. We believe to transform community health, it means changing the way philanthropy traditionally works. So, we want you to know what we’re doing—the projects we’re working on, the conversations we’re having, the questions we’re wrestling with each step along the way.  We hope the blog will be informative and will engage you in conversation about our work. Please comment and let us know what you think!

Because we’re a new organization, people are always asking me what exactly it is that we do. Our mission says that we aim to improve the health and well-being of the 10 million people in the 57 counties of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.  Well, that’s pretty broad! The best way to understand what we’re about is to read our Strategic Plan.  In future blog posts, we’ll go through details of the plan and talk about our vision, goals and strategies.  For now, let me give you an overview of our areas of work and our staff teams. 

We have four areas of work:

         Research: we conduct and publish community-based research, health status and health systems data, and health policy reports in collaboration with Rice University’s Baker Institute. Research underlies all of EHF’s work. We also provide research materials and mapping services to external audiences upon request.  Check out our County Health Data that has detailed health snapshots for all of the 57 counties in our service area.

         Convening: we serve as an independent, neutral convener for groups who want to work together to improve community health and need facilitation and other support to do so. We are currently working with health care leaders in Tyler to address the issue of access to primary care by low income and uninsured residents.

         Diocesan engagement: we are 80,000+ parishioners strong. We work with our congregations to engage them in advancing community health.  We serve as partners, connectors, and consultants through dedicated staff and other support. Many churches have extensive outreach and service ministries; others are just beginning to do this work.  We’re here to support them.

         Grant-making: we make grants to non-profit organizations that advance community health through transformative work. We direct our grants to organizations involved in building strong health systems and creating connected communities in accordance with the seven strategies outlined in our Strategic Plan. If you’re interested in applying for a grant, please read the plan and our grant guidelines.

 

We have four staff teams:

         Research: we have four (soon to be five) members on our research team led by Dr. Patricia Gail Bray. This powerful team has extensive experience and expertise in community health research. 

         Grant-making:  we have a six-person team led by Jo Carcedo, who has held senior executive positions in large and small health and human services organizations. The grants team includes people with deep experience in philanthropy, health care delivery, grant-writing and non-profit management.

         Impact: this four-member (soon to be five) team includes our Diocesan engagement staff, as well as the learning and evaluation functions.  Led by Dr. Lexi Nolen, this team works with all the other teams to ensure that we remain a learning organization that delivers impactful work.

         Administration: Susybelle Gosslee is our Chief Administrative Officer and Brian Sasser leads our communications work. Along with two administrative assistants and myself, that makes five of us. EHF has a grand total of 19 employees.

We want to hear from you! Comment on our blogs, sign up for our newsletter, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You can also ask questions or comment anytime by emailing us at [email protected].