Moving the Dial

Celebrating Spokane Gives

By Christina Kamkosi, EHF Program Coordinator

Spokane Mayor Condon asked, “What makes a city compassionate?” He found that Louisville, Kentucky had been recognized as one of America’s “most compassionate cities” by virtue of their commitment to volunteering in the community. Spokane Mayor David Condon knew that our citizens in Spokane were every bit as caring, so a delegation from Spokane went to Louisville to learn from their successes. 

“That visit really showed us how much we have in common as caring, compassionate communities. Louisville was a little ahead of us in terms of defining its story, but the trip got us thinking about how Spokane rallies to help during large festivals, in times of need, and everywhere in between. Spokane Gives became our way to shine a light on the need for year-round giving, recognize all of the good work already being done in the community, and connect people to their passions,” said Mayor Condon.

Empire Health Foundation (EHF) invests in ideas and organizations that result in a measurably healthier region. Beyond health care, this includes a focus on the social and physical environments that promote good health for all. One attribute of healthy communities is volunteerism. Not only does it address some of the community's most pressing needs, but research also shows that it provides health benefits for the volunteers themselves. 

Inspired by the Mayor's challenge, EHF joined with other partners including the City of Spokane, Spokane County United Way, Whitworth University, Spokane Teachers Credit Union and Windermere Real Estate to launch Spokane Gives. This initiative finds ways to expand the level and impact of volunteering in our community.

Spokane Gives’ first project promoted volunteering by shining a light on work already being done in Spokane. This project then grew to align with National Community Service month of April where a growing number of businesses sponsor mini grants for nonprofit organizations to buy community event supplies.

Spokane Gives has also created an online portal, www.volunteerspokane.org. This portal is managed by United Way and has volunteer opportunities all year-round. When you sign up, you get matched with needs that are of interest to you or get notifications when needs arise. The website also creates a volunteer resume for registrants and tracks the dollar value of volunteer hours which gives you an idea of your individual impact.

Four years after the "compassion challenge", we are delighted to report that the number of volunteers in our community has more than doubled. In addition, we've seen substantial growth in the number of volunteer hours and completed projects.

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Since the beginning of Spokane Gives, our community has generated more than six and a half million dollars in volunteer impact. Other incredible outcomes include the adoption of the Charter of Compassion by the Spokane City Council. The Charter for Compassion, crafted by world leaders under the sponsorship of the TED Prize winner, Dr. Karen Armstrong, seeks to foster compassion, civility and positive civic engagement to communities all over the world. The Mayor has also received a national award from Voices for National Service in recognition of Spokane Gives.

We want to thank all the partners and volunteers who have made Spokane Gives a success and invite everyone to join us in the next phase of this journey. “Everyone can make a difference,” said Antony Chiang, president of the Empire Health Foundation. “Big things start with the smallest acts of compassion, generosity and kindness.” Year-round opportunities to plant your seeds of compassion are available at www.volunteerspokane.org. Click here for a video of why others participate in Spokane Gives, and join us in April as we take this initiative to a new level. Stay healthy, be bold and volunteer more! 

Andy Hill Cancer Research Endowment (CARE) Welcomes Inaugural Executive Director

The Andy Hill Cancer Research Endowment (CARE) is excited to welcome Laura Flores Cantrell, J.D. as its inaugural Executive Director! Laura will officially join the Andy Hill CARE staff as Executive Director in April. She will be an incredible asset to the work, and will help lead the Board and community partners through the next phase in strategic development, resulting in breakthrough investments for cancer research in Washington State.

Read the full announcement on the CARE website here

Empire Health Foundation (EHF) serves as Program Administrator for the Andy Hill Cancer Research Endowment (CARE). EHF is responsible for working with expert scientific review panels to provide independent evaluation of grant applications, and will partner with the CARE Board to administer grants to fund cancer research that utilizes the best science with the greatest potential to improve health outcomes for Washingtonians.  

El cambio que queremos en nuestra comunidad debe nacer del amor a nuestra comunidad

By Ingrid Sub Cuc, EHF Program Coordinator

Cuando me mudé a Spokane, Washington en 2003 con mi pequeña familia guatemalteca, pensé que este era el lugar más difícil en el que pudimos haber aterrizado. Aunque la barrera lingüística fue difícil, fue aún más difícil estar en un lugar donde la mayoría de personas no comparten la misma cultura, idioma o tradiciones. A medida que nos fuimos adaptando lentamente a nuestra nueva comunidad, nos encontramos con otras familias hispanas/latinas que habían vivido en Spokane por más tiempo que nosotros los cuales nos ayudaron a formar una comunidad y permanecer.

La población Hispana/Latina en Spokane ha crecido de 4.5% en 2010 a 5.2% en 2017 únicamente. Desde el año 2016, el 12.6% de la población en el estado de Washington se identifica como hispana/latina y continúa creciendo constantemente. En los 15 años que llevo viviendo en Spokane, he sido testigo de cómo la población hispana/ latina crece no solo en números sino en diversidad. Los hispanos/latinos somos una de las poblaciones más diversas del mundo, muchos de nosotros no solo nos identificamos como hispanos/latinos sino como indígenas-latinos, afro-latinos, etc. Aunque el español es el idioma principal de muchos hogares hispanos/latinos a menudo, no es el único. Mi primer idioma fue Maya Kaqchikel, segundo el español y el inglés mi tercero. Los tres idiomas aún son hablados diariamente en mi hogar. 

   
  
   
  
    
  
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    En el 2010, 10.2 porciento de la población del estado de Washington era de originen Hispano. Los porcentajes más altos de residentes hispanos se encuentran en el área central de Washington. Más del 50% de la población de los condados de Adams y Franklin son Hispanos. La población de Yakima tiene más del 45%.   OFM    
  
   
  
    
  
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En el 2010, 10.2 porciento de la población del estado de Washington era de originen Hispano. Los porcentajes más altos de residentes hispanos se encuentran en el área central de Washington. Más del 50% de la población de los condados de Adams y Franklin son Hispanos. La población de Yakima tiene más del 45%. OFM

Al igual que muchos otros jóvenes que crecieron en Spokane, deseaba irme de Spokane con la primera oportunidad que se me presentara. Pensé que me iría de Spokane para estudiar en una universidad lejana, pero con vueltas inesperadas de la vida termine becada en la Universidad de Whitworth en Spokane. A pesar de experiencias incomodas y poco deseadas aprendí a aceptar y amar a Spokane como mi comunidad, siempre estaré agradecida con aquellos que ayudaron a mi familia a prosperar aquí a pesar de las dificultades. Ahora vivo aquí con mi esposo, trabajo aquí y contribuyo a mi comunidad educando y defendiendo los derechos humanos, como el acceso equitativo a servicios de salud. No pensé que encontraría un ambiente profesional en Spokane que valorara mi identidad y apoyara mi pasión por defender a aquellos que a menudo son ignorados n nuestra comunidad. Trabajar para Empire Health Foundation me ha dado la oportunidad de prosperar como una mujer Indígena-Latina profesional en un ambiente laboral que es un 49% racialmente diverso. Es el lugar donde me siento motivada para continuar la conversación sobre la equidad de salud para nuestras comunidades hispanas/ latinas sin importar nuestra raza, estatus migratorio o estatus social. Es también el lugar donde siento que puedo promover que es nuestra responsabilidad (como Spokane) de contribuir para que todas nuestras comunidades diversas sean más saludables.

Con el clima político actual y el lenguaje divisivo que flota a nuestro alrededor todos los días, es difícil no darse cuenta de la falta de diversidad en nuestras comunidades cuando uno se siente atacado y aislado. Sin embargo, quiero tomar esto como una oportunidad para conversar y crear programas que sean respetuosos, intencionales y sostenibles para nuestras diversas comunidades en Spokane. Es cierto que aquí hay muy pocos recursos para nuestras comunidades Hispanas/Latinas, por lo que tenemos la oportunidad de construir mejores sistemas que sean culturalmente competentes y que permitan a todos alcanzar una salud integral. Después de todo, se espera que para el año 2050 los Hispanos/Latinos seremos la minoría más grande de los Estados Unidos y el español ya es el segundo idioma más hablado con aproximadamente 40 millones de hispano/latino hablantes y otros 2.6 millones no Hispano/Latino hablantes. Como Empire Health Foundation tenemos como objetivo mejorar la salud de la región este de Washington con compasión, integridad y respeto. Nosotros como organización filantrópica esperamos caminar junto a nuestras diversas comunidades para hacer de Spokane el hogar amoroso y saludable que muchos de nosotros sabemos que puede ser.

Read the full story in English here

Data: United States Census Bureau

Washington’s Cancer Research Endowment (CARE) Fund Announces First Grant Awards to Recruit World-Class Researchers to State

Published by Washington's CARE Fund

Washington’s Cancer Research Endowment (CARE) Fund is excited to announce the inaugural recipients of the $500,000 Distinguished Researcher Grant Awards. Three Washington institutions will receive recruitment grants to bring five world-class cancer researchers to the state. See the full announcement here.

Created in 2015, the CARE Fund is a public-private partnership that aims to enhance the cancer research field by supporting the recruitment of distinguished researchers and funding research that has the potential for the next big breakthrough discovery. Empire Health Foundation, based in Spokane, WA, selected as CARE’s program administrator, will be responsible for administering the grants. For more information on the CARE Fund, please visit www.wacarefund.org or contact Peter Choi, CARE Program Coordinator (peter@empirehealthfoundation.org).

Recruiting takes time, relationship building and belief

By Daphne Williams, EHF Director of Human Resources and Operations

Walk into the doors of Empire Health Foundation (EHF) and immediately you know this place is different than other organizations in Spokane. You just aren’t sure how. Then you realize – the heavy focus on results, hiring the best people to perform the functions needed within this organization and ensuring that employees have everything needed to do the best work. One thing the organization lacked when I first started, and we knew it would be challenging to attain in our majority Caucasian town, was diversity. And that was it, my marching orders. “It’s not about finding that rare unicorn. It’s just going to take time and a belief it can be done.” Trust me, the first few times I’d heard Antony Chiang, EHF President, give me that rousing speech of encouragement, I was extremely doubtful. But, I knew I had nothing to lose if I put in serious effort.

On a Friday night, I began calling friends, emailing their contacts and meeting with different people in the community, all of whom were people of color. Talking to people on the street and at restaurants as they passed by no longer gave me pause. And a year and half later from my first day, our organization went from 11% racially diverse to 49% racially diverse (59% racial, LGBTQ, disability, veteran combined).

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Really, it’s not about unicorn hunting. It just took time, initiating relationships and a belief it could be done. And we did it! We now have the ability to better relate to and help more diverse communities in Spokane because we have staff who live in, relate with and understand these communities. Internally, EHF provides a place that supports our staff and their authentic selves as well as one that fosters personal and professional growth. And for people of color and minority groups in Spokane, when you walk in the doors of the Philanthropy Center, there is someone who looks like you, understands or lives in your community, and is advocating for your whole-person health.