Amid controversies over decisions to support leftist social causes, programs and events, the Mat-Su Health Foundation is in the midst of a series of “community listening sessions.”
The next two gatherings are set for Oct. 11 near Willow and Oct. 12 in Wasilla. Both events are free to attend, but participants are asked to RSVP.
The listening sessions were announced shortly after an annual membership meeting earlier this summer in which rank-and-file members of the foundation expressed growing frustration over the organization’s support for controversial social issues rooted in critical race theory and LGBTQ activism.
Founded to promote the health and wellbeing of Mat-Su residents, the enormously wealthy health foundation captures 35% of the annual profits from Mat-Su Regional Hospital. Much of this money is then redistributed to myriad nonprofit and educational groups that align with the health foundation’s philosophy and ideology.
While the foundation funds many non-controversial items, such as scholarships and outreach programs for the homeless, it increasingly targets money for workshops, educational events and training sessions that promote controversial leftist ideologies, which many residents see as undermining traditional family values in the largely conservative Mat-Su area.
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A sizable portion of the foundation’s roughly 360 members want to change the organization’s bylaws regarding how board members are elected. Current bylaws allow only sitting board members to select and replace fellow board members. The larger membership has absolutely no say in the matter.
While 25% of the members can call a special board meeting, they have no authority to set the agenda. Only board members can do so. Given these circumstances, the board enjoys immense and insular power over the foundation, its bylaws and overall direction.
The ongoing listening sessions continue on Oct. 11 at Sheep Creek Lodge north of Willow, and Oct. 12 at Everrett’s Restaurant in Wasilla. Both events run from 6-8 p.m. and include refreshments. They are being billed as a platform for stakeholders to “share their thoughts, concerns, and suggestions with us” for the purpose of “building stronger connections with each of you.”
While notices for the listening session ask attendees to RSVP by Oct. 4 and 5 for the two upcoming events, staff at the Mat-Su Health Foundation confirmed that residents can still sign up for the sessions after those dates have passed.
— Click here to RSVP for the Oct. 11 listening session at Sheep Creek Lodge.
— Click here to RSVP for the Oct. 12 listening session at Everrett’s Restaurant in Wasilla.
— Click here to become a voting member of the Mat-Su Health Foundation.
— Click here to see who serves on the Mat-Su Health Foundation Board of Directors.
— Click here to apply to serve on the Mat-Su Health Foundation Board of Directors.