November 12, 2012; Source: Daily Courier

The Southwest Health Professions Education Center, Inc. (SEC) in Arizona recently opted to close after 19 years of providing continuing education to health professionals in a workshop format that also offered participants continuing education credits. It operated as a partnership with the Northern Arizona Veterans Affairs Health Care System.

Their demise is being chalked up to a combination of the greater availability of online courses and a reduction in available resources. Mitchell Gelber, the SEC board president, said that, faced with their own budget considerations, groups that may have sent people to their workshops were now opting to forego the extra cost. So in line with its bylaws and Arizona state law, SEC decided to take its remaining assets of $51,500 and provide mini-grants ranging from $1,500 to $5,000 to 14 other nonprofits while also donating to 26 existing endowed scholarships at Yavapai College. The money is welcomed by the recipients, who say that it will be well used.

At the Yavapai Family Advocacy Center, a $5,000 grant will help pay for 24/7 on-call help for victims, among other things. At the Chino Valley School District, a $5,000 grant will be used to buy more food for their Hungry Kids Program. St Vincent DePaul will purchase a commercial refrigerator so it can provide more perishable food in food boxes with its $3,000 grant. West Yavapai Guidance Clinic will use its $5,000 for case management services to serve the more than 300 people they see who are mentally ill but don’t meet the requirements for the Arizona health Care Cost Containment System. The Coalition for Compassion and Justice will use its $3,000 grant to deal with emergency health needs among its constituency like fixing a child’s broken tooth or a TB test needed as a condition of employment. U.S. Vets received $5,000 and will put that toward furnishing the apartments that it leases for homeless veterans.

You get the picture. Thus, an organization is born, lives and then dies, leaving behind a rich legacy that will be of great consequence. –Ruth McCambridge