IPA Blog

IPA Convenes Area Philanthropists to Lead on Community Health

Wednesday, June 19, 2019
IPA Regional Forum held in Fort Wayne, Indiana

In early June, Indiana Philanthropy Alliance (IPA) convened area philanthropists and community leaders to create action plans for growing healthy communities. At the five regional forums, held in Valparaiso, Fort Wayne, Fishers, Scottsburg, and Huntingburg, Indiana, local leaders learned about the socioeconomic factors affecting the citizens of their communities and explored cross-sector opportunities to improve health outcomes.

“IPA was pleased to convene the philanthropic community of Indiana to address the root causes of systemic health issues,” said Claudia Cummings, President/CEO of IPA. “By providing insights into effective cross-sector collaborations to tackle these issues, IPA members will be better positioned to catalyze significant improvements in the health of the region’s population.”

Each forum addressed the fact that where we live is far more influential than our genetic code in determining how long and how well we live. Field experts and local service providers explored the social determinants of health (education, income, social support) and policy, systems, and environmental change strategies. Attendees learned about regional initiatives centered on workforce development, community-led crowdfunding/placemaking projects, nutrition, and substance abuse prevention. An action planning workshop helped funders consider ways to shift their thinking, program activities, and make proactive investments to support healthy and thriving communities with lasting impact.

“This was my first [IPA] workshop. The organization and presentations were amazing. I was awakened to the importance and the steps for growth in our Indiana communities, but what I didn't expect was the outstanding atmosphere of friendship, support, and positivity the forum gave.” – Ruth Davis, Board Member, White County Community Foundation.

The forums also covered the social determinants of health and funders’ role in supporting health and human services. Sponsored by Goelzer Investment Management, Ivy Tech Community College, and Indiana University Health Foundation, the event was attended by community, nonprofit, and philanthropic leaders engaged in supporting their respective regions.  Participating speakers included representatives from Health by Design, Indiana Family & Social Services Administration (FSSA), Ivy Tech, United Way, Purdue University Extension, and many others. Link to Event Resources

IPA’s mission is to champion, support, and connect members as they transform Indiana through effective philanthropy. IPA members shared their successes in working to create wellness opportunities through the built environment, nutritional education, and access to mental health facilities.  

“We have such a huge resource in IPA. We can’t do this work alone, and IPA brings us together to look at this collectively so we can better enrich our communities,” Mary Nielsen, Crown Point Community Foundation.

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