A New Chapter | The Reiner Foundation
By Kirsten Cutler
Scott Reiner has spent the past eight years of his life developing and leading a vision for Adventist Health. Now, he and his family are following a vision for something different. In late July, Scott announced that by year’s end he will close out his career with Adventist Health to start a family foundation focused on global health and well-being.
The foundation – which Scott says is the result of a joint vision with his wife, Margo – will be focused on community health and development through learning and discovery.
“We have been thinking about this for at least a decade,” Scott shares. He says the idea germinated years ago when they traveled internationally to help with medical and educational projects. “In our travels in Africa and India, we recognized the incredible opportunity to potentially make a difference, and so this idea has emerged that we will create a family operating foundation.”
"We want to truly help the individuals in those communities identify what they really need and what they really want, versus what we think they need and what we think they want. It's about learning and discovery together."
Scott says he is looking forward to a new chapter full of opportunity to learn, make plans, form relationships and partnerships, and most importantly, make a difference. His son, Rees, recently completed a master’s degree in global public health and will serve as director of operations for the foundation, and their daughter, Ali – who is finishing her master’s degree in communication – will lead the foundation’s communication and marketing work. Their efforts will initially focus on areas in Sub-Saharan Africa, where Rees has lived, studied, and worked.
“We’re looking at evaluating and assessing the community needs around nutrition, water, education, and women's empowerment,” Scott explains. “Then, we can partner with the community to help them achieve some of those goals.”
Another way to view the foundation’s vision, Scott says, is like a jump-start for communities toward a healthier future. “The goal is to actually develop health and economic infrastructure that they don't have today in very poor, rural areas,” he says.
The second and equally important element of the vision is to provide opportunities to learn from each other. “There are two terms in our mission statement that are kind of interesting: collective learning and discovery,” he says. “We're really taking the position that we don't know a lot. We know some academic things, we know some theoretical things, but the truth is we want to truly help the individuals in those communities identify what they really need and what they really want, versus what we think they need and what we think they want. It's about learning and discovery together."
To follow the journey of The Reiner Foundation and sign up to receive updates, visit their website.