Tag Archives: st. luke’s health initiatives

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Valley Leadership honors Man & Woman of the Year

Valley Leadership announced Tommy Espinoza and Judy Shannon as the organization’s 2014 Man & Woman of the Year. The pair will be honored for their long-term contributions and commitment to our community at the 66th Annual Man & Woman of the Year awards luncheon in March 2015.

A native of Phoenix, Espinoza has demonstrated long-term, proactive community leadership in the Valley throughout his distinguished career.  During his 10-year tenure as president & CEO of Chicanos Por La Causa, Espinoza transformed the organization from a community activist organization to a community development corporation, setting it on a path to become one of the nation’s largest non-profits serving the Hispanic community. He has since duplicated this success in his work with the National Council of La Raza and the Raza Development Fund, where he currently serves as president and CEO.  Espinoza serves on numerous boards, including the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, the New America Alliance, the Phoenix Industrial Development Authority and the National Advisory Board of State Farm Bank. He has also served on the Arizona Board of Education, Greater Phoenix Leadership Council and the Governor of Arizona’s Interstate Banking Commission, as well as serving on the Mexican-American Advisory Council under President Jimmy Carter.

“His tireless work to grow business, public-sector and nonprofit organizations across our great state is a testament to the steadfast leadership and genuine dedication Tommy employs every day to engage individuals within the Hispanic community and beyond,” says U.S. Senator John McCain.

For more than 40 years, Shannon has been making a significant impact on the community as a fundraiser and erstwhile volunteer. She has been a key leader in several important fundraising efforts, including a $17 million capital campaign for the Heard Museum, where she also worked as director of Development and Community Affairs. She also led another successful multimillion-dollar capital campaign for the Ryan House, where she has served on its Board of Directors for a decade. Other current board service includes the Barrow Neurological Foundation Women’s Board, St. Luke’s Health Initiatives and The Board of Visitors. Shannon has also served on the boards of the Arizona Kidney Foundation, the Arizona State University Fine Arts Board and COMPAS and was the founder of the Madison Parent Teacher Organization. Shannon is also well-known for her ongoing 36-year commitment to the Junior League of Phoenix.

“In addition to Judy’s charming and persuasive ability to raise funds for various community causes, she has been a life-long volunteer and has made great contributions to better our community through her passion and compassion for others,” says Dr. Robert F. Spetzler, director of the Barrow Neurological Institute.

Espinoza and Shannon join a prestigious list of past Man & Woman of the Year award recipients.  U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater was honored as the inaugural Man of the Year and most recently Gary Trujillo and Ellie Ziegler were recognized as the 2013 recipients.

The newest inductees will be formally recognized at a luncheon on March 19, 2015, at the Arizona Biltmore. For more information or to purchase seats or sponsorships, call the Valley Leadership office at (602) 952-6760 or visit www.valleyleadership.org.

charitable trust

Arizona Gives Day Raises Amost $1.4 million

The Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits and Arizona Grantmakers Forum, along with presenting sponsor FirstBank, announced that the 2014 Arizona Gives Day, a 24-hour online initiative encouraging Arizona residents to recognize and financially support the efforts of various nonprofits, raised $1,392,292 (up from $1,019,650 last year) for the nearly 1,000 registered organizations statewide, a 36% increase. In total, 13,856 unique donors took the time to make 18,080 total donations in support of this statewide initiative.

“Our state rallied again this year and demonstrated what tremendous power individual donors can have for our state’s nonprofit community,” said Patrick McWhortor, president and CEO of the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits. “Whether they had a favorite cause or not, Arizonans rose up and explored the many missions of our participating nonprofits and helped show our state’s generosity to the world.”

Thanks to a financial commitment FirstBank and other incentive-prize sponsors, Arizona Gives Day encouraged competitions throughout the course of the day that allowed nonprofits, who reached certain milestones – to receive additional funding. Those winning these incentive contests will be gifted prizes from $1,000 to $18,000 in additional funds, which will be verified within the next 60 days.

Arizona Gives Day received additional financial and in-kind support from a variety of organizations throughout the state including:

Arizona Community Foundation
Arizona Republic/AZCentral/12News
AZ Family
BHHS Legacy Foundation
Clear Channel Media Entertainment
Community Foundation for Southern Arizona
CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company
Cox Communications
Eight – KAET PBS
FirstBank
Flinn Foundation
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Foundation
HAPI
Hickey Family Foundation
HMA Public Relations
Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust
St. Luke’s Health Initiatives
The Thunderbirds
Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust

According to Marissa Theisen, president and CEO of the Arizona Grantmakers Forum, “Gives Day initiatives across the country continue to see success and provide much-needed financial support to countless nonprofit organizations. Arizonans have much to be proud of in our second year.”

Air Quality

A Better Environment: Improving Air Quality And Our Health

Did you know 13 million deaths could be prevented every year by making our environment healthier? The fact is, public health is intricately connected to our environment regardless of where we live. This link between health and the environment has increasingly become a focal point for the medical community, policymakers and the general public. Some of the foremost factors are air pollution and exposure to pests and chemicals, which can have a significant impact on not only our health but also our quality of life.

The EPA considers indoor air quality one of the top five environmental risks to public health. It is a serious health issue for people who work inside, and furthermore, Americans spend 90 percent of their lives indoors.

Air quality is closely linked to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. and the leading cause of hospitalization in adults, and it can also contribute to asthma and cardiovascular diseases.

Did you know the main reason for school absenteeism is asthma? It accounts for more than 12.8 million missed school days in a single academic year, and every day, nearly 40,000 people miss school or work due to this chronic disease.

The annual cost of asthma is estimated at nearly $18 billion in direct and indirect costs, such as hospitalizations and lost earnings, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation. Household pests also contribute to health problems with German cockroaches and dust mites a key risk factor for asthma development and exacerbation of asthma symptoms.

Green building emphasizes ventilation and non-toxic, low-emitting materials that create healthier and more comfortable living and working environments. The built environment has also recently been recognized as an important potential contributor to reduced levels of physical activity. An important element of sustainable design is the preservation of natural environments that afford a variety of recreation and exercise opportunities. Green buildings also seek to facilitate alternatives to driving, such as bicycling and public transport, which eases local traffic while encouraging personal health and fitness.

An interactive panel of local healthcare experts discuss the impact of the environment on our health at Valley Forward’s Quarterly Luncheon on Tuesday, April 3 at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix.

Dawn Gouge, Ph.D., entomologist specialist at University of Arizona, will talk about how public health is affected by pests and pesticides, including the rising bed bug crisis our nation is facing. In addition, Fred Karnas, Ph.D., president and CEO of St. Luke’s Health Initiatives, will spotlight health impacts in relation to the built environment and what constitutes livable, walkable communities. The program will be moderated by Bob England, M.D., director of the Maricopa County Department of Public Health.

Join us for this enlightening perspective on how our health is impacted by where we live, work and play — and how we can improve our environment, including improving air quality and reducing exposure to pests and chemicals. Visit valleyforward.org for more information.

Produce

Local Non-Profit, Phoenix Public Market, Offers Food Connections

All across Arizona, communities are growing nutritionally. More farmers’ markets are opening in cities statewide, and areas that at first had difficulty finding homegrown and fresh food now have more options close by. A driving force behind this change is the non-profit organization known as Community Food Connections (CFC), based in Phoenix, Ariz.

Cindy Gentry, founder and executive director, started CFC in 2002.

Phoenix Public Market, Photo: Mark Caron

“The motivation was to create opportunities for low-income families, in particular to move beyond needing emergency food assistance by creating programs and developing and supporting policies that increase access to healthy food, while supporting local food production and distribution,” Gentry said.

Since its launch, CFC has gained $600,000 to support two food programs for low-income seniors. They have started a farm-to-school program in Arizona and founded the Phoenix Public Market in 2005.

The Phoenix Public Market, much like Farmers’ Markets across the state, is a unique program and currently the largest open-air market in the state. Local, small-scale agriculture and local artists and crafters showcase their work and products at the market.

farmers market, Photo: Mark Caron

“The difference between our market and many of the others is that it is a program of the non-profit Community Food Connections where we are actively working to create jobs, support micro-business development, help keep farmers on the land and create a vibrant gathering place in what has been a blighted area to-date,” Gentry said. “We are working actively to establish a public market like they have in other great cities of the world.”

CFC is in partnership with other non-profit organizations such as Arizona Homegrown Solutions, the Phoenix Permaculture Guild, the Association of Arizona Food Banks, LISC, and St. Luke’s Health Initiatives. Their work and goals are geared towards self-sufficiency rather than the emergency and supplemental support that many other food programs offer.

“Our goal is to help create community food security – focusing on growing the assets of the community to make it possible for every person to have adequate, affordable, safe and culturally-appropriate food at all times that maximize self-reliance and social justice,” Gentry said.

For more information or to contribute, visit www.foodconnect.org.