Contributed by Robin Minard
The Mat-Su Health Foundation (MSHF) has welcomed Amy Gorn and Elizabeth “Betsy” Smith to its team. Amy is the new program officer for the Healthy Foundations for Families focus area. Betsy is the Upper Susitna Valley community coordinator for R.O.C.K. Mat-Su (Raising Our Children with Kindness).
Amy is responsible for working with the MSHF program team to design and implement strategic initiatives to advance the foundation’s goals and vision. This includes reviewing and approving funding recommendations, providing project and grantee technical assistance and interacting with other grant-makers, not-for-profit leaders and public and private stakeholders whose work intersects with that of the foundation.
The goal of the Healthy Foundation for Families focus area is that all children and families are supported by a community-wide system that prevents maltreatment and promotes family resilience. Amy was previously employed as a community wellness coordinator at Rural Alaska Community Action Programs, Inc. Her experience also includes working in public radio in Sitka and Nome, and as a juvenile justice officer for the state of Alaska. She earned Bachelor of Science degrees in English and communication from College of Saint Benedict/St. John’s University.
Betsy is working to advance the mission of R.O.C.K. Mat-Su in the Upper Susitna area, in particular supporting day-to-day communication and administration, community engagement and data functions in her newly-created part-time positon.
R.O.C.K. Mat-Su is a cross-sector collaborative working to promote family resilience and reduce child maltreatment in the Mat-Su Borough. Betsy is also employed as the part-time executive director of the Northern Susitna Institute in Talkeetna. She has previously held a variety of positons in program management and environmental education. Betsy earned a Master of Education degree in environmental education from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Arts in biology from College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University.
Mat-Su Health Foundation is the official business name of Valley Hospital Association, Inc., which shares ownership in Mat-Su Regional Medical Center. In this capacity, the MSHF board members and representatives actively participate in the governance of Mat-Su’s community hospital and protect the community’s interest in this important healthcare asset through board oversight. The MSHF keeps its share of Mat-Su Regional’s profits in the community by investing into charitable works that improve the health and wellness of Alaskans living in the Mat-Su. More information is available online at www.healthymatsu.org.