Broader Perspective; Enduring Impact.

March 22, 2017

This quarter, we continued to build upon our Act Now grantmaking to help meet the immediate needs of Californians affected by recent changes at the federal level. We also took time to consider not just what we support, but how we meaningfully contribute to making California’s diverse communities healthier and free from violence. This required listening and learning – from local leaders, individuals, movements, organizations, advocates, and more — as well as a willingness to think bigger in order to find new solutions.

As a result, we’re focused on ideas and intersections that are often overlooked but have profound potential  like the connections between health and domestic violence. If we’re able to successfully address the shared root-causes of violence and poor health, we believe that we can accelerate our progress.

We’re also thinking more intentionally about prevention to help mitigate the impact of trauma on young lives and forestall violence and adverse health outcomes in the future. In addition, we’re working to bridge the historical divide between mental and physical healthcare to create integrated systems that support the wellbeing of the whole person.

I encourage you to watch two micro-documentaries, both of which illustrate these new intersections and the power of collaboration.

Despite this momentum, we still face legislative and policy changes that are not only antithetical to our values, they threaten families and individuals across California – as well as the vital community organizations upon which they rely. We remain dedicated to supporting these frontline organizations; they provide an essential safety net for low-income Californians and survivors of domestic violence, and they are the bedrock of previous advancements and future transformation.

In this uncertain environment, we find motivation in knowing that difficult times often compel us to seek new ways of doing things. Adversity can lead to breakthroughs and big ideas to address enduring problems. 

One illustrative example is a recent Foundation-funded event held by the Aspen Institute that brought together a variety of health leaders and experts to re-imagine innovation in healthcare. By leveraging design thinking, it generated a series of bold ideas that could fundamentally change the way that we pay for and deliver health care. The concepts and creativity that emerged were both remarkable and encouraging. 

Through continued innovation, resilience, and shared efforts, we can cultivate new solutions and respond to the challenges ahead. Now, more than ever, we must collaborate and think big in order to realize a safe, diverse, and vibrant California. 

Together we can.
Together we will.

Peter Long, PhD
President & CEO, Blue Shield of California Foundation