Group Health campaign reveals employees’ big hearts

In a testament to employee generosity, Group Health staff exceeded the fundraising goals for the 2002 Foundation campaign held in May. During the campaign, 1,224 employees gave or pledged $270,058, representing a 16 percent increase in donors and 26 percent growth in dollars raised.

The staff designated their gifts to support 1) the Foundation’s grantmaking programs, 2) specific Group Health departments, and 3) endowed funds that will ensure a continued stream of interest income for the Foundation.

“The message speaks loud and clear: Group Health’s employees remain committed to the care we provide to our members and the care we provide to our communities. Group Health has a terrific staff and I am grateful for their inspirational generosity,” said Laura Rehrmann, Foundation president and CEO.

Aubrey Davis of Group Health will receive the Health Care Achievement Award

Seattle–For long-time members of Group Health Cooperative, the nation’s largest consumer-governed health care organization, Aubrey Davis is a familiar face and name. Davis, past president of Group Health and a trustee for over three decades, will be honored with the Health Care Achievement Award on Sept. 28 in Seattle. The Group Health Community Foundation will honor Davis at its Gift of Health Gala benefiting children’s and teen health.

“Active leadership by consumer members is what makes Group Health Cooperative different. Aubrey Davis has been Group Health’s moral compass and business steward,” said Cheryl Scott, president and CEO of Group Health.

Davis’ involvement with Group Health mirrors the issues of a dramatic era in American health care. He joined the Cooperative in 1948 as its 238th member. Premiums at the time were just $3 a month. As a trustee during the 1980s, Davis monitored passionate debates about reproductive rights and medical coverage. When consumer members of Group Health voted whether to make abortion services available to members, Davis played a key role in rallying members to support a woman’s right to choose, which they did.

During the 1990s, Davis championed health care reform and advocated for access to health care for all people. Davis helped to launch the Washington Basic Health Plan, the nation’s first program of subsidized health insurance for low-income families. Last year 175,000 people received health coverage through the Basic Health Plan. Davis also served on the National Task Force on Medicaid Management.

Davis served 32 years on the Group Health Board of Trustees, including eight terms as chair. He remains a trustee today. In 1988, at age 70, he became Group Health’s president and chief executive officer. His four years at the helm were followed by four years as president emeritus.

Davis is also known for tackling other civic issues facing the Puget Sound region. For 11 years he was a Mercer Island City Councilman and for four, he was mayor. He also served with the federal Urban Mass Transportation Administration, Washington State Transportation Commission, and on the boards for METRO and the Puget Sound Council of Governments.

The Health Care Achievement Award honors visionary leaders in the health care industry who have exhibited courage and pioneering spirit to improve health care for the community or for large populations. One quality of these leaders is an endurance to persevere against all odds. Davis is the first recipient of the annual award.

The Gift of Health Gala runs from 6:00 to 10 p.m. and will be emceed by Jean Enersen of KING 5 Televison. Cheryl Scott of Group Health and Leo Greenawalt, president of the Washington State Hospital Association, will bestow the award. Mr. Davis is expected to address the audience at 8:50 p.m.

Nearly $200,000 awarded to community groups by Group Health

Nearly $200,000 awarded to community groups by Group Health

Grants to support programs for children’s health, access to care

Seattle– Group Health Community Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Group Health Cooperative, is announcing eight new grant awards today. Totaling $188,917, the grants provide seed money for health improvement projects benefiting youth in communities around the state of Washington.

“As the state budget for public health is threatened, philanthropy plays an essential role in filling some funding gaps. The community groups receiving these grants fulfill essential roles in helping to protect children throughout Washington,” said Laura Rehrmann, Foundation president and CEO.

Awards are:

  • $25,000 to Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery in Spokane to provide emergency safe shelter for children at risk for abuse or neglect, as well as subsidized childcare and educational programs for their parents.

  • $25,000 to Feminist Women’s Health Center in Yakima to deliver free reproductive health services to Spanish- and English-speaking female teenagers throughout the Yakima Valley.

  • $39,557 to Volunteers of America in Spokane to help homeless and at-risk teens apply for health insurance and get direct medical care.

  • $46,140 to Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center in Seattle for a model program to increase booster-seat use among 4- to 8-year-old Latino children in King County.

  • $5,000 to Whatcom Crisis Services in Bellingham to provide school-based group sessions to teen girls to help them avoid violence and abuse in dating and relationships.

  • $8,220 to Franciscan Health System in Tacoma to immunize 500 Pierce County children and teach families about communicable diseases via schools and health fairs.

  • $20,000 to Pierce County AIDS Foundation to provide mental health referrals and vouchers to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth in Pierce County.

  • $20,000 to CeaseFire Foundation of Washington for a statewide, social-marketing campaign to raise awareness about safe firearm storage. The campaign will engage media, violence prevention, public health, law enforcement and medical professionals in an effort to reduce firearm death and injury among youth.