Established in 2002, Brindle Foundation is a small family foundation based in Santa Fe, New Mexico with a focus on Early Childhood. We carry on a legacy of caring and thoughtful philanthropy created by Martha Ann Healy.
News & Events
It's Count all Kids Day for the US Census!
March 18, 2020
"With roughly 300 federal programs using Census data to allocate more than $675 billion each year, inaccurate Census data could result in a decade or more of inadequate funding for key programs serving babies and their families across the nation." Please share these resources from Zero to Three for how important it is that we all join forces to count babies.

In New Mexico especially, it is more critical than ever to respond to the census, given the undercount we experienced as a state last time.

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Brindle Names Mary Nell Wegner as Executive Director
January 2020
Following a very reflective search process, the Brindle Foundation is pleased to announce Mary Nell Wegner as our new Executive Director.

A resident of Santa Fe, Mary Nell has extensive experience as a maternal and reproductive public health advocate and strategist across the globe. Most recently she served as Executive Director of the Maternal Health Task Force at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She has worked both for funders nationally as well as for community-based and nonprofit organizations (EngenderHealth, White Mountain Apache Tribal Health Authority, The Women’s Dignity Project, Planned Parenthood) and holds degrees in Cultural Anthropology, International Education, and Public Health. Bringing expertise in organizational capacity building, leadership development, systems-level collaboration, programmatic learning, and a natural ability to forge partnerships, Mary Nell has helped to strengthen numerous programs on behalf of mothers, babies and families, including rural and indigenous communities, in the US and internationally.

Brindle remains committed to its work in early childhood, prenatal to three, supporting direct service programs in Santa Fe, San Miguel, Mora, Rio Arriba and Taos counties, as well as statewide efforts around early childhood policy and advocacy, and higher education. The foundation cares deeply about the issues facing New Mexico and in keeping close relationships with grantees and partners. Mary Nell’s commitment to building and tending relationships and understanding the social determinants that have an impact on maternal, newborn and child wellbeing promise to carry on the heart and thoughtful engagement so valued by the foundation.

We wish to thank NPAG, Linh Nguyen, Katherine Jacobs and numerous others who have helped us in conducting the search.

We are excited that someone of Mary Nell’s caliber will lead us, beginning Jan 21st, in “making noise for babies” in this new decade.
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Brindle Transitions
May 2019
As many of our Brindle Foundation friends already know, Kim Straus, our wonderful manager since 2002, will retire from Brindle at the end of May.

From Brindle’s first convening of grantees, when he asked “What does it mean to be born in Santa Fe?” Kim has been a tireless advocate for babies and their families. His influence on early childhood has extended statewide as he served on the Children’s Trust Fund board, The J Paul Taylor Early Childhood Task Force and other important policy groups that advocate for child well-being.  We will be forever appreciative for all of Kim’s great work.

Beginning in June, we are happy to introduce Karen Rowell, who will serve as interim foundation manager.  Karen retired as Executive Director of Youth Shelters and Family Services here in Santa Fe in 2013 and has since remained very involved in community activities. As she puts it, “It’s my honor to assist Brindle in this transition.”  We are grateful for her willingness to be with us in the coming months!  She can be contacted at karen@brindlefoundation.org.

Over the next several months, the Foundation will be going through a thoughtful search process for a new Executive Director. We will be working with a national search firm, which will also serve as the point of contact for inquiries related to this process. We will keep you informed as further details come available.

Very best wishes!
Nan, Kevin and Craig Schwanfelder
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A New Department for Early Childhood in New Mexico
February 2019
A highlight of the 2019 New Mexico legislative session was the creation of the new cabinet level Early Childhood Education and Care Department (ECECD). Early childhood programs currently in other state departments moving to the ECECD include childcare assistance and licensing, home visiting, PreK, early intervention and early childhood educator professional development. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham will soon name a Secretary-Designate for the new department and the department is expected to become fully operational by July 2020.
New Mexico Receives Preschool Development Grant Birth to Five
January 2019
New Mexico learned in January that it had received a $5.4 million federal grant under the Every Student Succeeds Act. The funding from the Administration for Children and Families of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will help states build and strengthen early learning systems for children birth to age five and their families. New Mexico’s application calls for the effort to begin prenatally. Under the grant, the state will conduct a statewide needs assessment and strategic plan, create an early learning media campaign, share professional development opportunities and best practices, and improve the overall quality of early learning services. These activities will also lay the foundation for the new Early Childhood Education and Care Department. More information here.
New Mexico drops to 50th in the nation in child well-being
June 2018
“New Mexico’s dismal ranking should serve as a wake-up call to our state that we must act—and that action must be comprehensive and sustained... The data show we are at a crossroads—we can continue to disinvest in our children or we can insist upon a new direction, one in which we make a deep commitment to improving conditions for all New Mexicans.” -James Jimenez, New Mexico Voices for Children in response to this year's KIDS count data.
See Searchlight New Mexico for their coverage and other excellent articles about early childhood in NM.