Giving InSight

A Blog for and about Funders Focused on Health and the Environment
David Fukuzawa, Cecilia Estolano and Miya Yoshitani at HEFN 2014 Annual Meeting
November 14, 2014 by Kathy Sessions
“We have faith in a different vision of 2029, because we have witnessed our own power to change the future.” These encouraging words from Michele Prichard of the Liberty Hill Foundation opened and framed HEFN’s 2014 annual meeting, Fifteen Forward: Strategies for a Healthy Future, which was held on October 27-28 in Los Angeles, California. In this blog post, HEFN Director Kathy Sessions reflects on the takeaways from the lively two-day meeting, which used a problem-solving lens to explore visions, tools and strategies for shaping healthier realities by 2029.
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Photo of skyline and flare
September 29, 2014 by Grant Oliphant
A just-published Yale University study finding that people who live near natural gas wells suffer from higher rates of respiratory and skin ailments than people who live farther away has come under fire from pro-drilling industry associations. The Yale-led study, conducted in southwestern Pennsylvania with funding from The Heinz Endowments, was clear in its scope and limitations. It sought to determine whether living in close proximity to a gas well correlates with health effects of any kind.
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August 1, 2014 by Kathy Sessions
What do people organizing for environmental justice, advocating for healthier housing and building materials, mapping hotspots of pollution and poverty, or monitoring impacts of oil and gas production have in common? They’re all creatively using data-sharing to engage lots of people in identifying, understanding and solving problems. In this blog post, Kathy Sessions discusses how HEFN held a meeting and has published a paper to help our environmental health and justice funder community explore the opportunities of using data-sharing efforts to scale up the environmental health and justice movement.
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Photo of Amy Solomon at Torres del Paine
July 7, 2014 by Amy Solomon
Recently Amy Solomon stepped away from her program officer position at the Bullitt Foundation. In this blog post, Amy answers questions she'd been asked – or had asked herself – and she shares her reflections on her twelve years at the Foundation, on philanthropy and on moving to the next chapter in her professional life.
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June 16, 2014 by Vanessa Daniel
When Groundswell Fund entered the treacherous waters of capacity building around Integrated Voter Engagement (IVE) three years ago, they did so acutely aware of the pitfalls it would entail. But even that didn’t prevent missteps and many “teachable moments.” After an 18-month pilot, and the launching of a full 24-month program with 10 groups in early 2014, Vanessa Daniel of Groundswell Fund shares their top 10 lessons learned in this blog post.
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Who We Are

Kathy Sessions is one of HEFN’s two Directors. In 1999 Kathy helped funders create HEFN, and she has worked to build HEFN and environmental health philanthropy ever since.

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