Karla Fortunato

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Karla Fortunato joined HEFN's staff in 2004.  As one of HEFN's two Directors, Karla's day-to-day activities include managing HEFN's finances, operations, member engagement and collaboration, and special projects.       

Karla came to HEFN with a keen understanding of advocacy campaigns and grassroots organizing, having spent several years working on public health and health access issues in Massachusetts.  She managed the budget and policy campaigns for Health Care For All, a Massachusetts health advocacy organization best known for the passage of the 2006 health care insurance reform law.  In addition, she provided guidance in the planning and establishment of the Public Policy Institute, an organization committed to building the infrastructure and skills of social justice organizations.

Karla holds an MBA from the George Washington University and a BA from Randolph-Macon Woman's College.  She currently serves on the Health Leadership Circle of MomentUs, a campaign to build personal and institutional support for climate change solutions. She served as a member of the Serving Communities Committee of the National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures and as a citizen representative on the Montgomery County Citizen's Advisory Board.  Karla occasionally writes for HEFN's Giving InSight blog, and has been published in Health Affairs.

What Inspires Me Most About Environmental Health and Justice: 

The passion and innovation of funders, academics, and advocates working in this field.  This is a slice of environmentalism that has learned how powerful it is to link health and social justice with the environment, and the results are big.

Why I Love My Job: 

I get to work with a fabulous group of people who care deeply about the health of people and communities. I get a bird's eye view of the fields of environmental health and environmental justice, and the passion and innovation that is driving the field forward. I have the opportunity to apply my skills - analysis, organizational strategy, and business development - to support an organization and field that are working hard to make the world a healthier and more just place.

When I'm Not at Work You Might Find Me: 

Running, hiking, doing yoga, playing guitar or piano, walking my giant dogs, or spending quality time with my family.

Contact Me When: 

You'd like to talk about strategy development, funder collaboration, or trends in environmental health and justice grantmaking.

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