Spotlight: Antony Chiang, President of Empire Health Foundation
An entrepreneurial spirit blended with a mind that thinks outside the box and a heart geared towards philanthropy. This description fits Antony Chiang, President of Empire Health Foundation (EHF), perfectly. Antony built this private health foundation from the ground up, including recruiting an innovative staff and managing over $120 million, with $50 million reserved for philanthropy. EHF works to improve the health of communities in Eastern Washington by investing in promising programs and systems change. The foundation prioritizes relationship development with public health colleagues at the local, state, and federal levels.
Antony’s journey into health philanthropy started in the San Francisco Bay area. He earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering/Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley and his J.D. from Stanford Law School. He most recently served as vice president and general counsel for a nonprofit capacity building organization. Projects included replicating a successful United States technology donation program to 35 new countries, and leading a philanthropic service team to streamline international grant making. During that time, he was offered the opportunity to develop the foundation’s focus, team, and activities from scratch. Given the incredible opportunity, he and his family took a great leap and moved to Eastern Washington.
Life is very full for Antony, his wife Caroline, seven-year-old daughter Kara, and baby Camille who is four weeks old. In addition to a growing family, the foundation continues to grow in its partnerships, projects, reach, and impact. Antony is inspired by the opportunities to innovate with agencies at the local and state levels and make policy changes. He is encouraged to see that public health professionals are always looking at work through a population, health, and systems lens. In his own words, “The more effective we are as a team, the more impact we can have.”
Antony proudly shared that a lot of the foundation’s success is due to his incredible entrepreneurial team. They follow the high engagement model which is a hybrid between providing funding and operational strategies, and also collaborating with their partners in the field to ensure work on the ground happens successfully. Examples have included:
- Working with champions in rural communities.
- Focusing on underserved populations.
- Understanding and aligning with efforts in Native American populations.
- Transforming school lunch programs to healthy scratch cooking (six districts totaling 1.6 million meals a year so far).
- Providing an anchor investment to catalyze four year WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho) Spokane medical school.
- Leveraging matching funding from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and Grantmakers In Health (GIH) to provide grant writing resources for a successful Washington State Community Transformation Grant (CTG).
- Leveraging RWJF/GIH grant writing funds for a successful regional collaborative CTG grant.
- Seed funding for a successful County Health Rankings grant funding, one of only 20 in the nation.
Antony is gratified to see the readiness and willingness of public health colleagues to partner together. He said that his favorite, and the hardest, part of his work is determining how to fund sustainable policies that demonstrate change and will remain after the private funding ends. EHF serves a unique role by providing risk capital, which supports public health collaborations on high-risk but high return investment projects. Antony looks forward to partnering and creating sustainable system-wide changes that will benefit our communities. For more information: http://empirehealthfoundation.org/about-us
The days of “pink slime” and grease-saturated pizza being the easy choice in school cafeterias are slowly but surely fading away. More and more schools around the country are participating in programs that improve access to and education about locally grown healthy foods. To aid and expand this effort, the 2010 Hunger-Free Kids act funded the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to create a Farm to School program.
In November 2012, the USDA announced the recipients of its first ever Farm to School grant. Among 68 projects awarded in 37 states, Washington received three awards.
Walla Walla Public School District received $96,000 to develop and strengthen partnerships around regional procurement. They will enhance nutrition and education opportunities in their region by working with a local culinary institute to provide training and recipe development for district staff. The district will add two more school gardens and hire two part-time gardening coordinators to engage children and work with teachers on curriculum development. Field trips and in-class connections to local farms will help improve understanding and appreciation of local farmers and food. They will also mentor smaller districts nearby and serve as a pilot district for a state farm to institution geographic preference project with Washington State Department of Agriculture.
Cheney Public School District received $44,999 to expand and reorganize their nutrition program. While the school district has already moved to a scratch cooking program and started a Childhood Obesity Prevention initiative, this award will add essential missing elements and expand healthy options to all students in the district.
Washington State Department of Agriculture received $95,539 for continued technical assistance to school districts and farmers. During three scheduled mobile workshops, they will provide guidance to farmers wanting to supply produce to school districts, train district staff in hands-on peer-led cooking classes, and establish regional networks. Other outreach activities include developing materials on the safe use of school garden and farm-fresh produce in school salad bars, promoting Taste Washington Day and National Farm to School Month, and presenting at conferences and workshops around the state.
For more information, contact Tricia Kovacs at the Washington State Department of Agriculture: firstname.lastname@example.org
Celebrating a Year Transforming Washington’s Communities
The Washington State Department of Health recently celebrated one year of transforming Washington’s communities. This was done by making the healthy choice the easy choice where we live, learn, work, and play. Over 75 people attended the celebration at REI in Seattle. The event was called “Community Transformation Grant Annual Partner Celebration – Moving Forward Together.” Attendees included:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Washington Department of Health
- Healthy Communities Hubs
- Prevention Alliance
- Leadership Team
- Other partnerships
This event was very interactive. Attendees networked and shared their successes over the past year including:
- Safe Routes to School programs launched in Clark, Grant, and Thurston counties.
- More tobacco-free sites across the state. This includes South Sound YMCAs and Cowlitz County and Grant County housing authorities.
- Community assessments of neighborhood stores. This was a first step in working with grocery and corner stores to promote healthy items.
Patrick O’Carroll, Assistant Surgeon General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Mike Waldmiller, Senior Project Officer, CDC, praised Washington as a leader in building healthy communities to reduce chronic disease. For more information, contact Julie Alonso at email@example.com
Improving Access to Nutrition Counseling Through Videoconferencing—A Feasibility Study
Many rural health clinics have challenges recruiting and retaining a registered dietitian to provide nutrition counseling. To help address this, Washington State Department of Health Women Infants and Children (WIC) staff recently partnered with the University of Washington to measure the feasibility of providing nutrition services to WIC clients in remote, hard-to-serve areas using videoconferencing. The study assessed if internet-based video consultations by a registered dietitian improves access in clinics. It also evaluated the quality, satisfaction, and perceived benefits and barriers of WIC clients, WIC clinic staff, and the project dietitian.
Five local WIC agencies participated in the study. A WIC nutritionist consulted the clients by videoconferencing with them from a private room in the state WIC office. The clients participated in the meeting from a computer at their local WIC office. The nutritionist completed 40 high-risk counseling sessions. Local clinic staff engaged with clients in the process, checking height and weight when needed, and helping set up videoconference for the client.
The University of Washington led the evaluation of the project. Preliminary feedback is positive, especially from more rural agencies. WIC clients liked the new experience and found it to be fast and efficient. They said the dietitian was easy to talk to and liked that they could pull up growth charts on the screen. All clinic staff members were enthusiastic about this new approach. They report that it will:
- Increase access.
- Enable more timely follow-up.
- Enable training across clinics.
- Save travel time for the dietitian.
- Be more cost effective.
Feedback from the project’s dietitian mirrored the feedback from WIC clients and staff. One downside is that the internet connectivity in most rural areas of the state was not adequate to try this project. For that reason, using this technology in these very remote areas will still likely be difficult.
The study shows great potential for increasing access to nutrition services, especially for clinics that don’t have a registered dietitian on site. WIC coordinators are strategizing how this technology may fit into delivering WIC services in rural clinics. For more information about this study, contact WIC Nutrition Coordinator Cathy Franklin: Cathy.Franklin@doh.wa.gov. To view WIC publications on H.E.R.E., visit the WIC materials page.
Fall Prevention DVD Available to Order for Free
The Department of Health’s Older Adult Falls program has a DVD available to order that gives information on reducing fall risk factors and maintaining independence. Seattle Pacific University School of Health Sciences produced this 10-minute educational video in 2008.
Whether you’re working on a falls prevention campaign, providing health care services to older adults, or providing housing for senior citizens, this DVD is available for you. You can have a copy to show in a class, give this DVD to an older adult, or have it play on a loop in a waiting area.
The full video is available to view online. Contact Department of Health Older Adult Falls program manager Mary Borges at 360-236-2861 or Mary.Borges@doh.wa.gov to order this free DVD. Limited copies are available. Please provide contact information, mailing address, and the number of copies you are requesting.
New Toolkit to Review Project Impact on Health Equity
The Washington State Department of Health developed a Health Equity Impact Review Guide. The 15-page Guide helps identify ways a proposed policy, intervention, or project will impact health equity and identify actions to effectively reduce health disparities and increase health equity. The Guide is a modification of the King County Equity and Social Justice Initiative’s Equity Impact Review Toolkit. It offers a systematic approach in five stages, key definitions, questions to consider, and worksheets for each stage. The stages are:
Stage 1: Summarize the proposed policy or project
Stage 2: Identify and assess who will be affected
Stage 3: Describe negative and positive impacts
Stage 4: Analyze potential actions and prioritize
Stage 5: Modify proposal and plan evaluation
For more information about the new Health Equity Impact Review Guide, contact Gail Brandt at GailBrandt@doh.wa.gov. For more information and tools around health equity, see the Health Equity, Cultural Competency, and Social Determinants resource page on H.E.R.E.
Top 10 Downloaded Materials on the Health Education and Resource Exchange (H.E.R.E.)
Below are the 10 most downloaded materials on the H.E.R.E. website in the last two months. Check each issue to see which educational messaging people are seeking the most.
New Upcoming Trainings
Below are upcoming events that have been added to the H.E.R.E. website since the last newsletter was released.
- Advancing Injury Prevention through Policy Webinar--Implementation of State Youth Concussion Laws: Perspectives from the Frontlines - Webinar
- Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs Annual Conference - Washington, D.C.
- Active Living Research: Using Evidence to Prevent Childhood Obesity and Create Active Communities - San Diego, California
- Ask, Screen, Intervene: Incorporating HIV Prevention into the Medical Care of Persons Living with HIV - Seattle, Washington
- Health Literacy Conference 2013: Toward a Culture of Clarity - Portland, Oregon
- 8th National Conference on Quality Health Care for Culturally Diverse Populations - Oakland, California
- Society of Practitioners of Health Impact Assessment Workshop - Oakland, California
- 5th Annual Northwest Environmental Health Conference - Portland, Oregon
- 12th Native Women & Men's Wellness Conference - San Diego, California
- 2 Day STD Update for Clinicians with Optional Clinical Practicum - Spokane, Washington
- Healthy Habits for Healthy Kids: Practical Approaches to Preventing Childhood Obesity - Seattle, Washington
- Society for Public Health Education 64th Annual Meeting - Orlando, Florida
- Venipuncture Techniques - Seattle, Washington
- Health Disparities Research at the Intersection of Race, Ethnicity, and Disability: A National Conference - Washington, D.C.
- 2 Day STD Update for Clinicians with Optional Clinical Practicum - Anchorage, Alaska
- NACCHO Annual Conference 2013 - Dallas, Texas