It is that time of year where we reflect on our blessings of the past year.
As many of you know, 2013 has been an emotional year at the Health Forward Foundation. With 17 total employees, Health Forward has always been a small, tight-knit organization. We are a family and as many families do, we had a year full of ups and downs.
The year began with the announcement that our beloved President/CEO Steve Roling would be retiring. Leadership transitions are hard on any organization, but especially to a young organization that has only known one leader. While we were all personally happy for Steve to move into his next stage of life, we were nervous about what the future would hold under new leadership.
Over the next several months, we also learned that three of our fellow associates were battling serious illnesses. Watching three co-workers fight serious medical problems is difficult on small organization. We all did what we could to support them both personally and professionally. Our focus was to help them through their medical leave, but to say we did so effortlessly would be a stretch. Both as our friends and in our workload, their absence was felt every day.
Despite these trials, we still have so much to be thankful for.
We are first and foremost thankful that our Health Forward family is once again healthy. Watching our fellow associates successfully battle back from their illnesses with determination, humility, humor and grace has been an inspiration.
In September, we welcomed Bridget McCandless as our new President/CEO. We are truly grateful to have her on our team of associates and while we miss Steve, we know the future will be bright under her leadership.
We are thankful for the outstanding leadership from our board of directors, especially our Chair Karen Cox and Vice Chair Kenny Southwick, in finding the Foundation a leader that would continue Health Forward’s success while merging seamlessly with the fantastic work culture that Steve established. And also to The Community Advisory Committee for the work and support you’ve given the Foundation during this most difficult year, but especially for finding such great leaders to serve on our board of directors.
And of course, the bright spot of every year will always be how much our grantees accomplish to make our communities healthier. Health Forward will award approximately $20 million in grants this year. We are so proud to support our grantees in their work toward eliminating barriers and promoting quality health for the uninsured and underserved.
During this season of gratitude, we want to thank you – our Board, our CAC, our grantees and our partners. Your support of the Foundation and our associates during this year is so appreciated.
We wish you a year of blessings, health, love and laughter.