Earlier this year, our Foundation unveiled its new structure. Most of the programs that are well-known to our grantees and partners will continue their work within the Foundation towards the advancement of an open society in Ukraine. However, one of them will now operate as a distinct, independent, and self-sustained foundation.
We are referring to the “Public Health” program, which for many years has contributed to the development of an economically efficient and non-discriminatory healthcare system, transparent and rational use of budgetary funds, and ensuring equal access for citizens to essential medicines and appropriate treatment. The program has also focused on advancing accessible palliative care and promoting the right to health in areas with restricted freedoms.
This significant and vital area of work is now partly embodied in the new Foundation, “Healthy Solutions for an Open Society.” On April 5th, the foundation had its first public presentation, and we were honored to be invited to its inaugural celebration.
“The Public Health program, from which the Foundation sprouted, has always been one of the most formidable endeavors within the ‘Renaissance’ movement. Therefore, truthfully, I am reluctant to let it go,” says Oleksandr Sushko, the Executive Director of the International Renaissance Foundation. “However, the emergence of a separate institution from the program serves as evidence of the validity of the Open Society Foundations’ longstanding vision to support truly crucial ideas, from which societal transformation can arise.”
The “Healthy Solutions” Foundation was established in late 2022 as a subsidiary project of the International Renaissance Foundation and serves as a continuation of the work of the Public Health program. However, it operates as an independent foundation with its own strategy, priorities, team, board of directors, program, and grant-making capabilities.
Its founders are the International Renaissance Foundation, Victoriia Tymoshevska, and Tetiana Havrysh (the leading expert of the foundation and leader of the Kharkiv Expert Group for Healthcare Reform). Victoriia Timoshevska, who will head the foundation as its chair, has been in charge of the Public Health program in our foundation for 15 years.
Mission and philosophy
So, what is the “Healthy Solutions” foundation? It is an analytical center and a dialogue platform, created with the aim of prioritizing human beings as a value in the architecture of a new social contract and making health an integral part of the perspective that should be applied to any societal transformations.
The foundation’s work is based on years of experience from the Public Health program, nine years of experience from the Kharkiv Expert Support Group for Medical Reform, the “medical” direction of ILF legal company’s activities, and three strategic sessions with thought leaders.
During the presentation, the team explained the philosophy that will underpin the activities of “Healthy Solutions”:
“We interpret health not just as the absence of illness, but as the highest possible level of self-realization and integration into society. Around this idea, we aim to bring together people from various fields such as education, culture, healthcare, social protection , public administration, and others. All those who prioritize societal transformations based on the principles of freedom, dignity, and responsibility.”
Tasks and strategy
The foundation has three key objectives:
- To redefine the concept of health and work towards transitioning from the paradigm of “surviving” to “living” through collaborative societal transformations.
- To create demand for health by promoting awareness and emphasizing the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
- To propose a model of interaction that upholds the dignity of all stakeholders.
“Our greatest value and most important capital are people. Therefore, their trust, expertise, and willingness to work towards diverse transformations, with a focus on the human being at the center, are incredibly important to us,” said Victoriia Tymoshevska, the head of the Foundation, during the presentation.
As of today, the foundation has ten strategic directions, each with its own large projects and significant amount of work:
- Supporting the capacity of new institutions, including participation in the development of monitoring programs for the National Health Service of Ukraine (NHSU).
- Supporting medical self-governance and deregulation of medical practice, including participation in the development and advocacy of the Deregulation Law.
- Building new community governance systems, including research and training programs for communities.
- “Free Doctor – Free Patient” initiative.
- Building people-centered systems in post-war times.
- Protecting patient rights and creating new precedents in patient rights protection and changing the rules of the game.
- Transformations in military medicine based on the principles of human dignity.
- Advocacy campaigns for media and NGOs.
- Humanitarian programs.
A significant portion of the foundation’s work will revolve around the topic of military and military medicine. The team has already identified the focus of research on all the risks and needs in this field and has outlined the potential partners.
“For me personally, this is one of the priority areas of work,” says Victoriia Tymoshevska. “When communicating the direction of military medicine with various international partners whose strategies focus solely on civilian populations, we often have to explain that in the vast majority of cases, we are talking about ‘forced combatants,’ about people who were civilians just yesterday. And our joint task is to help them return to civilian life for those who wish to do so. This simple explanation that these ‘combatants’ were baking bread, developing software, or teaching children just yesterday often changes the perspective of donors and partners.
But the point is not even that (especially considering that for our current defenders, it is mostly important to perceive themselves as military personnel at this stage). The point is that each and every one of them is a human being.”
A vision for the future
Thanks to the experience of the team and co-founders of the foundation, the start of work on all strategic priorities will not take long. “Healthy Solutions” already has plans for future collaborations with international institutions and coalitions with representatives of former Public Health programs and national Open Society Foundations, which will become a platform for promoting people-centered changes in the field of health care, deregulation and professional leadership at the local and national level. And, of course, partnerships with the International Renaissance Foundation.
Over time, the Healthy Solutions team will talk more about themselves on their sites. We advise you to follow them on the foundation’s website and Facebook page. Well, we only wish success in everything planned and are proud of the fact that we are connected not only by the common DNA of values and projects, but also by the vision of the development of an open society in Ukraine.
Photos: Valentyn Kuzan