Mat-Su Health Foundation 08



Wasilla, Alaska –The Mat-Su Health Foundation (MSHF) recently welcomed Jim Beck and Vandana Ingle to its team. In addition, Desiré Shepler was promoted to director of a community initiative supported by the foundation called R.O.C.K. Mat-Su (Raising Our Children with Kindness).

Jim joined the foundation staff as a program officer, and he is leading the Healthy Aging focus area. Jim is responsible for working with the program team to design and implement strategic initiatives to advance the foundation’s goals and vision. This includes reviewing and approving funding recommendations; providing project and grantee technical assistance; and interacting with other grant-makers, not-for-profit leaders and public and private stake holders whose work intersects with that of the foundation. Jim previously served as executive director of Access Alaska, Inc. He holds a master’s degree in public administration with a nonprofit management concentration from the University of Colorado at Denver, and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Vandana was hired as a program associate to support the foundation’s program team in implementing grant programs and other strategies to further the organization’s mission. Some of Vandana’s responsibilities include assisting in day to day implementation of grant and scholarship programs; educating grantees and prospective grantees about MSHF grant and scholarship program objectives and criteria; investigating grant request; and preparing grant reports. Vandana previously served as director of development and communication at Frontline Mission. She earned a master’s degree in communications media for children from SNDT College, India, a bachelor’s degree in ministry from Nazarene Bible College in Colorado Springs, and a bachelor’s degree in commerce/banking and finance from the University of Poona, India.

In her new role as director of R.O.C.K. Mat-Su, Desiré oversees a collaborative project working towards increasing family resilience and creating a culture that supports children and families, as well as reducing child maltreatment and number of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Mat-Su Children experience. Prior to her promotion, Desiré was a program officer with the foundation. Desiré holds a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Alaska Anchorage, as well as a bachelor’s degree, also from the University of Alaska Anchorage, and an associate’s degree from Mat-Su College. She received an academic scholarship from MSHF in 2010, the first such scholarship recipient who went on to employment with the Foundation.

About MSHF: Mat-Su Health Foundation is the official business name of Valley Hospital Association, Inc., which shares ownership in Mat-Su Regional Medical Center. In this capacity, the MSHF board members and representatives actively participate in the governance of Mat-Su’s community hospital and protect the community’s interest in this important healthcare asset through board oversight. The MSHF invests its share of Mat-Su Regional’s profits into charitable works that improve the health and wellness of Alaskans living in Mat-Su. More information is available online at