DEI Vision Statement and Core Values

As an organization and as individual board members and staff, Partners for Health commits to establishing a climate and culture of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and to abiding by these Core Values to guide our journey and hold us accountable to building a more equitable community.


In 2008, Partners for Health became a community-focused Foundation and awarded its first grants to address access to healthy foods, physical activity, mental health, aging well in the community, and access to healthcare. Our strategies, internal practices, and community engagements focus on meeting people where they are, and providing resources to build the capacity to overcome barriers so everyone can thrive. The Foundation provides general operating, programmatic, and advocacy support to strengthen organizations and bridge the gap in health disparities.

Like many of our peers in the field of philanthropy, we are evolving as a Foundation committed to addressing the impact of inequity and sustained structural injustice through listening to and learning from individuals and groups representing various identities and cultures in the community. Going forward, we believe it will be important for Partners for Health Foundation to focus our resources toward the promise of justice through policy change, advocacy, and the capacity building of nonprofit organizations.

Our journey has led us to be more intentional about acknowledging the root causes of inequity that run deep in our society and health disparities with origins within systemic and institutional advantages and disadvantages that disproportionately impact historically marginalized communities. To increase a greater sense of empowerment among our staff, board, grantees, civic groups, and partners, we will deliberately focus on the intersections of our differences and ways to remove historical barriers to essential resources. 


The following principles comprise the core of our strategies—from our internal practices, community engagement work, and our behaviors within our spheres of influence. Collectively, this set of core values reflect the full expression of what is essential to Partners for Health. They apply to our staff, board, grantees, civic groups, and partners.

We live and promote these Core Values:

Accountability – We will uphold and demonstrate the essence of our core values and encourage our stakeholders to unite with us to achieve measurable and sustainable outcomes. We mutually contribute to and benefit from our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We will share our progress,

challenges, and most promising practices to ensure accountability internally and externally.

Advocating – We stand up for equity and inclusion and work to dismantle systemic and institutional inequities. We are working to bridge the gap of access to economic and educational opportunities as well as health disparities. We fund organizations aligned with these principles and take a stand to change policies and practices that hinder access and quality care for the most vulnerable populations in our communities. 

Capacity Building – We are committed to investing in the ability of our staff, board, grantees, civic groups, and partners to achieve their organizational goals that bridge the gaps in health disparities. We understand that when our offices, organizations, and programs are accurately resourced, they achieve measurable results at higher rates.

Collaboration – We recognize that no one organization or foundation can create the changes needed to address systemic inequities and increase opportunities to thrive. A single organization cannot transform culture alone. We are centering our work internally and externally around collaboration with our staff, board, grantees, civic groups, and partners. We acknowledge it is essential to have representation that reflects the collective lived and learned experiences and realities faced in pursuing quality, equitable healthcare and the ability to live well. 

Community – We are part of the community and mutually contribute to and benefit from the richness of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. We center community in our efforts to partner and connect as we express our shared values. We all have a shared responsibility and accountability for shaping a culture of interdependence, fellowship, togetherness, and collective responsiveness to the needs expressed by all individuals and groups in our service area.

Empowerment – Historically and intentionally marginalized groups experience various levels of empowerment and disempowerment rooted in hierarchical structures and an imbalance of power within institutions. We acknowledge hierarchical structures are necessary within institutional decision-making, however they should not result in rigid practices that silence voices and ideas.
We will work to create the conditions for individuals and groups to maintain the agency that allows them to develop their internal capacity to achieve at their highest levels.

Equity – We are committed to providing the support necessary to overcome the barriers, policies, and practices denying people access to their best health and quality of life. Our primary focus will center on fairness, not sameness, so those who experience tremendous disadvantage will gain sufficient and significant access to resources, support, and opportunities.

Inclusion – We seek to create an environment where all kinds of people experience a sense of value and belonging, and everyone can thrive and succeed. As we work together to establish the best conditions to build a stronger and healthier community, our efforts will develop more meaningful and authentic relationships.

Integrity – We support brave and psychologically safe spaces for dialogue where we overcome our fear, lean into our discomfort, and engage one another respectfully and truthfully, to validate and affirm the voices, concerns, and needs of those we support. We will align practices and organizational culture with DEI principles and values that add credibility and reinforce our commitment.   

Justice – We work to dismantle the root causes of preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, or opportunities to achieve optimal health experienced by historically and intentionally socially disadvantaged populations. We understand that addressing power structures, policies, and practices will improve outcomes, experiences, opportunities, and quality of care. 

Learning – Through storytelling, listening, and research, we commit to a culture of ongoing learning alongside our staff, board, grantees, civic groups, and partners. Learning is the first essential element of our model for change that informs our programmatic strategies, community engagement, decision-making, grantmaking, reporting, and organizational development. 

Stewardship – As stewards of this Foundation, we highly value the human and fiscal resources within our spheres of influence. We responsibly take care of our treasures, strategic partnerships, and talent while courageously investing in organizations aligned with and advancing our mission and the health of our community. 

Working definitions for key terms included in our Core Values.