I have attended a lot of conferences over the years and have always felt driven to go to as many sessions as possible, to gather information and knowledge to bring back to my colleagues at the Maine Community Foundation. This time around was no different: I set out to get the latest on National Standards, to explore issues related to endowed philanthropy, to learn how community foundations and United Ways can do more together.

Imagine this scenario: it’s Monday and John Smith waits to be released from the county jail. In his hand, he holds confirmation of a medical appointment for Tuesday that someone from a community-based organization arranged for him, anticipating he will get the medical treatment he needs. John is HIV positive.

Well, the phrase “Culture of Health” can mean different things to different people. But in general, it means recognizing that health is an essential part of everything we do… And that every [BOG1]person deserves the chance to achieve well-being.

The fabric of Foundations funding human services forms a rich mosaic with themes as diverse as housing, education, employment, social justice issues, physical and public health. The thread that interconnects with all of these is the mental health of the individuals and communities who are targets for support and improvement. It can be a complicated puzzle.

“Dream big.” That’s Ivye Allen’s philosophy when it comes to securing funding and support for local community efforts aimed at enhancing education, health care and other community needs. As President of the Foundation for the Mid South, Allen has employed that aspirational approach to help generate significant state and federal funding for a range of local programs and initiatives.

In this weeks This Week at the Council, you'll read about: Deadline Extended: Submit Your Nominations for the Council Award Program; Elevating Philanthropy's Support for Veterans; Loyola University Honors Vikki Spruill; Healthy Minds Healthy Communities; Tweet of the Week

A lot has been accomplished over the years since HIV/AIDS first was discovered. Scientists have come a long way toward finding a cure, and in the process many of those afflicted with the disease are living much longer than in the past.

At a recent gubernatorial candidate forum I attended in Rhode Island, a Brown University professor presented on the challenges of climate change for the Ocean State. His last slide gave three examples of “win-win solutions.” At the top of the list was the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI).