At AHW, we define what we do in one word: Changemaking.
What began as a description of our strategic direction has now become our mantra. It defines how we approach our work, our partnerships, and the impact we want to see. It’s a focus that pushes us to do more, better.
To us, it means we don’t just issue grants, we invest in great ideas and promising work. We connect to build deep and lasting partnerships that bridge sectors and siloes. And we influence how new knowledge can become action.
We are changemakers. From cells to society, we are propelling the most promising work and ideas for a healthier Wisconsin today, and for generations to come.
Since our inception, our focus has been on supporting positive change. We began traditionally, seeking to issue grants to projects that showed promise to advance health outcomes. We built AHW around that purpose.
Along the way we learned that we could partner to accelerate discovery, catalyze innovation, and support communities statewide in impacting poor health outcomes. Yet we recognized that this work involved more than grantmaking, and our partners wanted a different, deeper kind of support.
To build our 2014-2018 Five-Year Plan, we took this recognition as a challenge to strategically plan how we could do more, better. We asked ourselves: How could we better catalyze positive change in the health of Wisconsin communities? And we asked our partners and stakeholders what a new approach should look like. The answers resulted in a new focus for our work. We call this our move from grantmaker to changemaker. And the years since have been marked by tremendous growth and learning.
We explored news ways of doing our own work, shifting our operations and strategies to not only invest in measurable, positive change, but to connect sectors and communities and influence the way ideas and knowledge become action.
Today, we are putting our changemaking roles into action, focused on creating conditions that help our partners produce better outcomes for their communities, develop new knowledge that can accelerate research innovations, and support the education and development of our health workforce.
We are excited by the momentum and progress, and we are learning from challenges we encounter along the way. And we look forward to every step in building a healthier Wisconsin.