HomeTop StoriesNew philanthropy group Anchorum takes the initiative

New philanthropy group Anchorum takes the initiative

Mar. 2—Devising a half-billion-dollar plan comes with a lot of responsibility.

And, if you ask Jenny Parks of the Anchorum Health Foundation: a lot of legwork.

Parks, the newly installed senior vice president of strategic philanthropy for the organization, is part of the team charged with shaping how to spend the massive amount of money it will receive following the divestiture of Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center by its predecessor.

Last year’s stock transfer — technically from the nonprofit Anchorum St. Vincent, which owned half of Santa Fe Hospital until last summer — is expected to net the foundation $500 million over the next decade, which leaders say will be used for an ambitious, versatile project. efforts to improve health outcomes in 10 counties in northern New Mexico.

From now until July, when Anchorum plans to release its more detailed financing roadmap and start writing checks, Parks and her colleagues will be hitting the road as well as the books.

Site visits in the region. Meetings with all kinds of organizations. Spending hours going through reports and research. The foundation even brings in a geographic information systems specialist to keep track of the plethora of data points.

“This transaction will make us the largest foundation in New Mexico,” Parks said in a recent interview. “So we feel a huge responsibility to get it right.”

‘A very exciting time’

The Anchorum Health Foundation was created after the nonprofit Anchorum St. Vincent transferred half of its stake in Santa Fe Hospital to Texas-based Christus Health last year. The transaction will create a new entity led by President and CEO Jerry Jones.

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While some of the $500 million the foundation will receive under the deal will be invested to ensure the long-term health of the organization, Parks said it plans to, in the next fiscal year, which begins in July, will issue about $30 million in grants. , then approximately $20 million annually for the next nine years.

“It’s a very exciting time to be here,” said Parks, who joined the foundation on Jan. 8.

Parks, who lives in Santa Fe, began her career as an attorney working for a real estate development company in Austin, Texas. She later moved back to New Mexico — where she had graduated from high school years earlier — to take a job with the Trust for Public Land. She eventually joined what was then the New Mexico Community Foundation and took over as president and CEO of the LANL Foundation in 2015, overseeing the organization’s efforts to strengthen education in the region during a period of nine years, during which it grew from 14 to 33 employees.

She met and married her husband – Grove Burnett, co-founder of both the Western Environmental Law Center and the Vallecitos Mountain Retreat Center – in New Mexico, and their son is about to graduate from Santa Fe High School. The couple owns acequia-irrigated land about 20 miles from Ojo Caliente, where they grow hay and keep their horses.

In other words, says Sayuri Yamada, chairman of the Anchorum Health Foundation board, Parks knows the country’s situation.

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“She has those experiences in building partnerships with the communities in Northern New Mexico. She has experience in building programs,” Yamada said. “I think she was just the perfect match.”

‘A whole lot of data’

Anchorum’s approach to its half-billion dollar decade includes a measured pace and high value for partnerships.

The vision to build healthy communities includes a focus on 10 counties: Santa Fe, Rio Arriba, Colfax, Guadalupe, Harding, Los Alamos, Mora, San Miguel, Taos and Union.

The whole idea is that health is more than what happens in a hospital. Instead, the foundation aims to address the social factors that influence health, such as education or access to housing or food.

To that end, Parks and the Anchorum crew look at U.S. Census data. They work with New Mexico’s county and tribal health boards, which conduct public health work at the hyperlocal level and collect detailed community health assessments. They also look at the University of New Mexico research.

Additionally, Anchorum is partnering with third-party group Newpoint Healthcare to conduct a new health survey in the 10-county area, which Dr. Frantz Melio, a longtime physician and Anchorum’s vice president of health strategies, said it should be ready within the next few years. months.

“That will give us a pretty important starting point to determine what the needs are,” Melio said.

Building on existing work

Anchorum Health Foundation may be a new organization, but it is not starting its work from scratch.

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The foundation has been working for some time to fund efforts to bring more skilled nurses to Santa Fe. Melio said two projects are in the works: a traditional nursing home-style facility with about 80 beds, and another facility that would follow the “Green House” model of residential care – a smaller facility with a more home-like atmosphere.

Parks said she is also aware of Anchorum’s partnerships with local organizations. She visited Gerard’s House in Santa Fe, which provides grief support for children and adults, and St. Elizabeth Shelters. She toured Growing Up New Mexico, an early childhood education organization that hosts a range of programs.

“I’ve been doing philanthropy and nonprofit work in Northern New Mexico for a long time, so I know a lot of the people and a lot of the issues,” Parks said. “But it’s also new to me because I’m learning more about healthcare and a little bit more about the health ecosystem than ever before.”

Anchorum leaders say these partnerships, along with other data the foundation collects, will help the foundation stay in touch with what’s happening on the ground so they can adapt and be flexible.

“I want to make sure we don’t do that [get to the point that] five years from now, [we] We spent a lot of money and didn’t really get anything for it,” Parks said. “For example, we haven’t really turned a corner, moved the needle or had an impact on the systems we want to see improve in New Mexico.”

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