Nancy Sasaki took the executive role at Alliance Healthcare Foundation, despite her colleagues sharing stories of disconnection with the community it worked to serve. Since its inception, the foundation board was directed by well-educated thought leaders from different parts of healthcare whose goal was to help the less fortunate in San Diego and Imperial Counties.
The challenge was perception. Based on an initial community survey sent to previous applicants for funding, AHF was perceived as challenged in understanding what it was like to be poor and underserved. Because of this perception, applications for funding from organizations that served this population were low, and the funds made available for change were not allocated.