Dr. Ruth Shaber created the Tara Health Foundation in 2014 after more than two decades working on the frontlines of women’s health care. After founding the Women’s Health Research Institute at Kaiser Permanente, she committed to building a foundation that would apply the principles of evidence-based medicine to philanthropy. Tara Health is dedicated to identifying and supporting innovative solutions that improve the health and well-being of women and girls.
Dr. Shaber decided to name the foundation after the goddess Tara in order to invoke the strength and compassion of a powerful female deity. Tara, a Hindu goddess later adopted in Buddhism, embodies both fierceness and maternal protection for all beings. She represents creation, wisdom, oneness and strength to overcome obstacles.
Prior to founding Tara Health, Dr. Shaber read Impact Investing: Transforming How We Make Money While Making a Difference by Jed Emerson and Antony Bugg-Levine. The book inspired her to deploy the full potential of the foundation’s philanthropic capital, committing 100 percent of its assets to its core mission of supporting women and girls.
Tara Health is now taking this commitment to the next level, by engaging peers to join in piloting and demonstrating the use of creative philanthropic capital to drive social and financial returns. The foundation also invests in nonprofits and startups working in U.S. reproductive health and workplace equity.