A.J. McClure will step into the Executive Director role at Global to Local (G2L) on Dec. 1. Over the past three years, first as G2L’s Director of Programs and now as G2L’s Deputy Director, A.J. has overseen our local efforts to serve our most vulnerable communities through our Community Health Worker and Connection Desk programs. He manages the SeaTac-Tukwila Community Coalition, which addresses health and social inequities by expanding food security, increasing community leadership opportunities, and reducing barriers to high-wage employment. As Co-Chair of the Food Innovation Network Steering Committee, A.J. provides strategic leadership for the program, which launched the Spice Bridge food hall and commercial kitchen last month.
Having worked in South King County for over 10 years and calling it home for over 12 years, A.J. brings a personal connection to the work. As a son of Filipino immigrants, he remembers his dad being told an apartment was available over the phone, but then showing up in person only to be told it was taken. He also remembers his mom telling him about the 12-hour days she and her brothers worked in the cannery to help their mom care for their family of five. A.J. understands that many people in the communities G2L serves share similar experiences, and this fuels his commitment to work tirelessly in pursuit of health and racial equity.
G2L was established in 2010 to explore how the application of global health strategies could reduce health disparities and improve health in the U.S. Our founders focused the organization’s efforts in South King County, and from the outset, implemented a key global health strategy—listening to communities about their needs and co-designing solutions together. Using this approach, G2L has developed a variety of successful programs that have increased opportunities for South King County communities to thrive.
Since G2L was founded, its primary focus has evolved from implementation of global health strategies to meeting those needs identified by the community regardless of the source of the ideas. G2L’s board modified our mission statement earlier this year to reflect this evolution. Our current leader, Dr. Jonathan Sugarman, helped lead the process and, recognizing the importance of organizational leadership being vested with representatives of G2L’s community, last February he informed the board of his decision to step down by the end of the year.
G2L Board Chair Lisa Cohen made the announcement in an email to our subscribers, writing:
I want to take this opportunity to thank Jonathan for his selfless leadership during the past two years. We hired him to conduct an unflinching analysis of G2L’s best course moving forward. He has always put the organization and the staff first. He has earned our respect and admiration. Jonathan will remain at Global to Local as a Senior Advisor until February 2021 to complete some specific projects.
In addition to our South King County work, Global to Local is nationally recognized as a leader in identifying successful health interventions from around the world, and adapting these solutions for U.S. communities. We will be exploring continuation of this element of our work with the Washington Global Health Alliance, one of Global to Local’s founding organizations.
In this tumultuous time when so much seems uncertain, I am grateful so many people are undaunted by the challenges we face. A.J., Jonathan, the Global to Local team and board, and our valued partners spend each day dedicated to this critical work. Because of their commitment, I am optimistic about the future for Global to Local—and our community.
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Jonathan Sugarman, MD, MPH will join Global to Local next week as our CEO. With over three decades of experience improving health both domestically and internationally, Jonathan is well suited to build on Global to Local’s success in demonstrating how global health strategies can advance health equity in the United States. Communities around the country are interested in adapting the innovative programs we’ve piloted in SeaTac and Tukwila, from a smartphone app that helps patients control diabetes, to culturally appropriate fitness classes. Jonathan brings an ideal skill set to support the development of similar programs nationwide, starting with our upcoming projects in Cle Elum and Spokane.
Jonathan began his work leading health improvement efforts as an Indian Health Service physician on the Navajo Nation. He served as president and CEO of Qualis Health for nearly 20 years, guiding the Seattle-based nonprofit to national recognition as a leader in improving population health, particularly among vulnerable populations. He has held leadership roles in numerous local, state, and national associations, including the Washington Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the Physicians Consortium for Performance Improvement. He is a technical facilitator for the Joint Learning Network for Universal Healthcare (JLN) People-Centered Integrated Care Collaborative. The JLN is an innovative, country-driven network of practitioners and policymakers from over 30 nations who co-develop global knowledge products that help bridge the gap between theory and practice to improve the health of more than 3 billion people.
Jonathan is a graduate of Harvard College, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine. He serves as a clinical professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Washington, and as a lecturer in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
In an announcement message, Global to Local Board Chair Lisa Cohen wrote:
“Given these credentials, it is clear why Jonathan emerged as the most outstanding candidate during our five-month nationwide search to replace our founding executive director, Adam Taylor, whom we can’t thank enough for establishing Global to Local as a model for improving community health. We’re also grateful to A.J. McClure, who stepped in as interim executive director following Adam’s departure this summer. As deputy director, A.J. will continue to oversee our King County programs.
“We’re delighted to welcome Jonathan to our team, and look forward to his leadership – and your partnership – as we strive to advance health equity in South King County and beyond.”
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G2L staff share their ideas about leadership; Executive Director Adam Taylor’s sign reads, “Leadership is a voice for all.” Having spent eight years helping to build leadership in South King County and at G2L, Adam is moving on to new adventures. Image credit: Ken Tran.
After leading G2L for eight years, Founding Executive Director Adam Taylor will step down from his position on June 29 to begin a yearlong travel adventure with his family. In his announcement, Adam wrote, “Global to Local has never been stronger, which is why I have decided this is the right time for this transition. Our staff of over 20 is exceptional, our funding is solid, our partnerships are deep, and we are seeing the impact of our work every day.”
G2L Board Chair Dan Dixon highlighted some of Adam’s accomplishments in a message to our newsletter subscribers:
“A few examples of Adam and the G2L team’s work include development of a nationally recognized diabetes management program that utilizes highly efficient and cost-effective health promoters and a smart phone app that dramatically improves the wellness of users with diabetes. This program is now being launched in the Swedish System. Adam has also worked tirelessly with dozens of community partners and with support from the Seattle Foundation and King County to develop a Food Innovation Network that is launching new food businesses and improving access to healthy foods.
“Adam has engaged corporate and government partners along with universities and community groups to pursue distinctive avenues of innovation, from economic literacy and job training and placement to primary health care. One of the signature achievements of Adam’s tenure, in partnership with HealthPoint, was development of the Connection Desk that enabled thousands of individuals to sign up for the Affordable Care Act and other important services ranging from housing to employment and much more.”
Identifying G2L’s Next Leader
G2L’s board has already launched a national search for our next executive director, with the goal of having someone in place by the end of June. Details about the position are posted here; we hope you will share this opportunity with your networks.
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Happy Friday from the G2L crew. Can you tell how much we love our work?
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G2L is hiring two full-time Community Health Workers
Join our CHW team! We are seeking two (1 Somali-Speaking and 1 Spanish Speaking) culturally-competent CHWs to provide health-related services to Latino and Somali residents of section 8 housing in SeaTac an Tukwila. Applicants who have a deep understanding of the community’s needs, are comfortable fostering partnerships, and have a passion for improving the local community are encouraged to apply!
Visit the Opportunities page for more detail. Applications due: July 5th, 2017
Today is my last day interning at Global to Local, and my looming exit presents a bittersweet opportunity for reflection on an inspiring six months. This reflection is also a thank-you, because my time at G2L was defined by its amazing, welcoming staff who make South King County a better place every day with their hard work. Because I have been a communications and development intern, it seems appropriate that this post take the form of an internet-friendly list.
- Think Hard – A Promise Kept
When I first came on in our SeaTac office I asked my supervisor, Allison, to make me ‘think hard’ – not just make copies and run for coffee (which, coincidentally, I did very little of). She agreed. I quickly realized that such a goal was unavoidable, here – everyone was already thinking very, very hard about how to help the residents of SeaTac and Tukwila live healthier lives. My supervisor fulfilled my request without trouble – I felt that I was doing real work to be utilized by the organization, and stretching my thinking in the same way that the present staff already was.
- Great People, Great Work
I never expected to feel so at home in a professional setting as an undergraduate, yet the staff of Global to Local welcomed me quickly and warmly. They fostered the growth of my ideas, and encouraged me to stretch my thinking and work-processes in an environment where I had room to succeed and fail without the risk of negative repercussions. It became clear to me that the same mindset which was allowing their innovation as an organization was allowing my growth as an activist and student in the non-profit setting. They genuinely care about people. Additionally, they were supportive and kind to me.
- Something Different
G2L takes creative, thoughtful, unconventional approaches to healthcare that I consider to be of particular importance in today’s uncertain national health climate. They have left behind the fear of failure that pervades conventional health networks, allowing them to take risks that standard systems will not – to the benefit of the residents of South King County.
I am proud to have been a small part of this movement for innovation, and beyond grateful to the staff at Global to Local for making me a part of their team. It brings me great comfort to know that there is a small group of committed people working hard to pioneer new methods of improving health in our communities. I cannot wait to hear what they do next.
Medical Anthropology & Global Health
University of Washington
Global to Local is hiring one full-time Community Health Worker and one full-time Operations Manager. Check out the descriptions and apply today!
Opportunities at G2L
We are all very excited at G2L to announce that our Leadership Engagement Manager position has been filled! Please join us in welcoming Jojo Gaon to the G2L family. Jojo comes with much experience in leadership and art, including starting Youth Speaks, a youth arts and leadership development organization.
This position was created in response to several community conversations we hosted over 2016 that indicated the desire for more pathways toward leadership for underserved communities. The Leadership Pipeline program will be a collaborative process of bringing together key stakeholders to assess needs and develop solutions. Where our existing Connectors Program works toward training and employing community members to provide equitable community engagement, the Leadership Pipeline will be focused on equitable access to both civic and professional leadership opportunities.
From building the job description to the interviewing process, we have been all hands on deck – staff and community partners combined. Thanks to the whole team for your support on this process. We can’t wait to see Jojo in action!