Grantee News

SVP Tucson Fast Pitch Applications Now Open

June 27, 2016 – Tucson, AZ

Social Venture Partners (SVP) Tucson is seeking applicants for Fast Pitch, a free communication skills-building program for local nonprofits culminating in a showcase event, modeled after traditional venture capital funding competitions.

SVP Tucson has opened applications for their Fast Pitch program. Fast Pitch provides Tucson’s nonprofits with community collaboration, skills building and increased awareness to grow their impact. This innovative program provides an opportunity for nonprofits to “pitch” their cause to an audience of more than 500, to gain local awareness and to win cash awards.

Through a competitive application process, 15 non-profit leaders will be selected to participate based on their innovative approaches to creating social change and their potential for significant positive community impact. Selected nonprofits will receive training and mentoring over the course of two months from volunteer business, marketing and coaching professionals on how to succinctly and powerfully “tell their story.”

The program culminates in a “Fast Pitch” competition – a high energy, rapid-fire presentation event during which seven finalists share the mission, vision and impact of their organization with the audience and judges – in just three minutes! Fast Pitch finalists compete for over $40,000 in grants and prizes.

2015 was Fast Pitch’s inaugural year in Tucson and it made a big impact, resulting in over $100,000 in awards, grants and donations; $200,000 of media exposure; and $300,000 of skills building training delivered to nonprofits. Fast Pitch is changing the game, and providing new opportunities for the Tucson nonprofit community.

Applications are open now through August 8th. The Fast Pitch Showcase will be held on November 10, 2015, at the Leo Rich Theater in the Tucson Convention Center.

Contact Information:
Ciara Garcia, Executive Director
Direct: 520-209-2878 Cell: 520-449-0169

About Social Venture Partners Tucson

Our Mission
SVP Tucson is an ever-expanding community of engaged philanthropists dedicated to building the capacity, strength and impact of nonprofits in addressing social problems. We accomplish this through:

  • Thoughtful and strategic investments and collaborations
  • Our Partners’ engagement and expertise, and
  • Inspiring and equipping Partners to be more strategic and effective with their giving

SVP Tucson is a member of the Social Venture Partners network of more than 3,900+ engaged donors in 40 cities, in 9 countries, who have contributed $54M+ to 700+ nonprofits to date.

UA College of Nursing Launches Integrative Nursing Faculty Fellowship

June 15, 2016

The first cohort of integrative nursing faculty fellows from the UA College of Nursing: Sharon Hom, Megan Munson, Mary O’Connell, Ruth Carlson, Connie Miller, Michelle Kahn-John, Deborah Williams, Elizabeth Spinks, Melissa Goldsmith and Kim Blumenfeld. As the first participants in the world’s only Integrative Nursing Faculty Fellowship (INFF), 11 fellows from the University of Arizona College of Nursing have begun charting a new course for nursing education.

“Leaders in nursing education have yet to fully embrace the theory and practices of integrative nursing to improve health-care practice,” said Joan Shaver, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the UA College of Nursing. “We need a new approach to nursing education that will better meet what patients want, and we view this fellowship as a game-changer. Our faculty fellows will evolve a new framework that unites traditional views of what constitutes health with broader views of what constitutes well-being, even when disease may be present.”

Funded through the generous support of The David and Lura Lovell Foundation, the INFF program offered by the UA College of Nursing is a first-of-its-kind program for educating and preparing nursing faculty to transform nursing education using the science, theory and practice of integrative nursing.

“Integrative nursing is a whole-person, whole-system approach to health and well-being,” said Mary Koithan, PhD, CNS-BC, FAAN, the Anne Furrow Professor of Integrative Nursing at the UA College of Nursing and director of the INFF program. “During this fellowship, faculty will learn to use and teach the full range of evidence-informed therapeutics to manage symptoms such as pain, fatigue, nausea and insomnia – all commonly seen across health-care settings in which nurses deliver care.”

On May 19, INFF participants enjoyed a welcome with Dr. Jean Watson, founder and director of the Watson Caring Science Institute, who spoke the following day about the connection between caring science and integrative nursing.

The first INFF class, comprised solely of UA College of Nursing faculty members, began the yearlong fellowship on May 20. In 2017, the second cohort will include 30 fellows from nursing schools across the nation. The application will open on February 1.

“Students are opening up to integrative nursing in ways that are exciting and challenging,” said Ruth E. Carlson, MSN, RN, an INFF fellow and clinical instructor who teaches mental health nursing in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. “Our patients also are becoming aware of the integrative therapies that are available and expect that these be provided as part of their care. As faculty, it is imperative for us to be there to develop, excite, challenge, teach and model integrative nursing practice for our students.”

The first cohort of INFF participants includes:

  • Kim L. Blumenfeld, MSN, RN, clinical instructor
  • Ruth E. Carlson, MSN, RN, clinical instructor
  • Melissa M. Goldsmith, PhD, RNC, clinical associate professor
  • Sharon Hom, PhD, MS, RN, clinical instructor
  • Michelle Kahn-John, PhD, RN, PMHNP-BC, GNP, assistant professor
  • Pamela Lusk, DNP, RN, PMHNP-BC, FAANP, clinical associate professor
  • Connie S. Miller, DNP, RNC-OB, CNE, CCCE, clinical assistant professor
  • Megan A. Munson, MSN/Ed, RN, clinical instructor
  • Mary F. O’Connell, MA, RN, PHN, clinical instructor
  • Elizabeth A. Spinks, MS, RN, clinical instructor
  • Deborah K. Williams, PhD, MPH, RN, clinical assistant professor

For more information about the Integrative Nursing Faculty Fellowship, please visit:

About the University of Arizona College of Nursing
At the University of Arizona College of Nursing, faculty members envision, engage and innovate in education, research and practice to help people of all ages optimize health in the context of major life transitions, illnesses, injuries, symptoms and disabilities. Established in 1957, the college ranks among the top nursing programs in the United States. For more information, see:

About the University of Arizona Health Sciences
The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. The UA Health Sciences includes the UA Colleges of Medicine (Phoenix and Tucson), Nursing, Pharmacy and Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the growing Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, the UA Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona and the greater Southwest to provide cutting-edge health education, research, patient care and community outreach services. A major economic engine, the UA Health Sciences employs almost 5,000 people, has nearly 1,000 faculty members and garners more than $126 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information:

Lead Guitar Receives NEA Art Works Grant

Arizona-based nonprofit Lead Guitar announced today that it was awarded a coveted National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Art Works grant to fund its 2016-2017 classical guitar programs. The grant is specifically earmarked to support Lead Guitar’s expansion in the greater Phoenix area, where Lead Guitar will partner with seven schools.  Funding from the NEA will ensure the quality and sustainability of Lead Guitar’s Phoenix programs, and the Art Works grant is a terrific nod of approval to Lead Guitar’s work.


About Lead Guitar
Lead Guitar was incorporated as a nonprofit in 2006, but concert guitarist Brad Richter began developing the Lead Guitar curriculum in 1999 for Page High School in Page, AZ. Lead Guitar grew steadily from 1999 until 2013 when it became an outreach program of the University of Arizona College of Fine Arts. In the 2016-2017 school year, over 50 schools will operate Lead Guitar programs in Arizona, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Illinois.  Lead Guitar’s mission is to provide rigorous instrumental music education to the young people who need it most. Lead Guitar establishes and supports classical guitar programs in public schools with reduced access to the arts, focusing on Title I schools and schools with a high percentage of students eligible for federal free and reduced lunch.

About NEA
The National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency that funds, promotes, and strengthens the creative capacity of communities by providing all Americans with diverse opportunities for arts participation.

To learn more about Lead Guitar, please contact
Brad Richter, Executive Director
888 N. Euclid Ave. Room 203
Tucson, AZ 85721

Local Health Experts Explore Role of Faith Communities in Well-Being at Day-Long Conference

What are the connections between mind, body, spirit and community in achieving good health? Why is resilience the cornerstone for well-being? How can we grow in mind, body and spirit after trauma? These are just a few of the topics that will be addressed as Interfaith Community Services (ICS) presents “Faith Communities and Well-Being: Mind, Body, Spirit and Community,” a day-long conference from 8:30 am to 4:30 p.m., Friday, April 8 at Oro Valley Church of the Nazarene, 500 W. Calle Concordia, Oro Valley, AZ 85704.

The conference, made possible by The David and Lura Lovell Foundation with support from Cenpatico Integrated Care and Community Partners, Inc., will bring together a wide range of local and regional health and faith experts who will guide attendees to better understand personal health and the benefits of balancing physical, spiritual and emotional aspects of well-being.

Registration includes lunch, snacks and materials and is $45.00 per person or $35.00 each for teams of two or more. Register at or by calling 520-297-6049 ext. 233. Walk-ins are accepted as space permits at $50.00 per person.

“What we hope to do with this conference is to reinforce that we are complex human beings,” says Veda Kowalski, ICS Health and Senior Services Director and event organizer. “In that complexity, it’s helpful to realize that our health is made up of many pieces of a puzzle that makes each of us unique, and it is important to be aware of how all of these pieces fit together for our best health.”

The conference features two keynote speakers, Dr. Esther Sternberg and Dr. Anne Borik, who will offer information and inspiration weaving both scientific and alternative perspectives. Dr. Sternberg, internationally recognized for her studies on the effects of the brain’s stress response on health and the science of the mind-body interaction, will address healing spaces and the science behind how place and space around us can trigger emotions that help us heal. She is professor of medicine and research director for the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, University of Arizona, founding director of the UA Institute on Place and Wellbeing and author of two books, The Balance Within: The Science Connecting Health and Emotions and Healing Spaces: The Science of Place and Wellbeing.

Dr. Borik will present on the art of moving prayer. She has combined her medical expertise as an Internal Medicine physician with years of fitness experience as an exercise physiologist to develop an innovative program known as Sign Chi Do, which incorporates sign gesture with movement, music and breath. Originally designed for stroke recovery, the technique works to strengthen the brain and body connection and has been used by faith communities and medical groups around the world. In addition, Borik is a volunteer Eucharistic Minister at her church, Medical Director and Founder of the Gilbert Hospital Wellness Program and author of Prayer Prescribed: A Path to Restoring and Preserving Your Well-Being.”

As a special highlight of the day, Lovell Foundation board member and former ICS CEO Bonnie Kampa will also honor volunteers serving in the new ICS Care Partners Program, a pilot project with Banner University Medical Center. The project provides non-medical assistance to seriously ill patients transitioning from hospital to home, helping them heal while avoiding unnecessary emergency room re-admissions. The award will spotlight the health impact of volunteering for both the giver and the receiver.

Rounding out the program, local and regional professionals representing diverse backgrounds in healthcare, counseling, community and public health and faith will lead breakout sessions on a range of topics including resilience, managing stress, keys to happiness, suicide awareness, end-of-life care issues, recovering from trauma, achieving wholeness and the role faith communities play in being places of both spiritual and physical healing. Visit to download a conference brochure for complete details on workshops and speakers.


Interfaith Community Services (ICS) was selected by The Lovell Foundation to organize the conference based on its history in bringing diverse faith communities and community groups together, as well as its leadership role as an advocate and service provider for all ages with varying social, economic and health needs. ICS provides an umbrella of integrated services that help seniors, disabled adults and individuals and families in financial crisis achieve stable, healthy and independent lives. Programs include health education and awareness, such as Mental Health First Aid, Mental Health Safe Space and end-of-life care workshops; caregiving and senior services including transportation, friendly phoning and visiting, mobile meals and health advocacy; emergency assistance including help with rent and utilities, The ICS Food Bank, and aid for work-related needs; and self-sufficiency programs encompassing case management, job search assistance and financial literacy. ICS offers compassionate support by connecting 750 volunteers and 89 faith community partners with our community’s most vulnerable residents. From nutritious food to health evaluations to a ride to the doctor’s office, ICS provides help and hope to more than 37,000 people a year.

Campus rape

The signs of an avalanche were stirring at last month’s Sundance Film Festival, one that could have especially strong reverberations for everyone who is concerned about promoting social change—including activists, donors, and fundraisers. That low rumble you hear comes from the premiere of “The Hunting Ground,” a film about sexual violence on campuses that has the potential to take activism to a new level, especially among philanthropists and lawmakers.