When Kim Bourn moved to Tucson 28 years ago, she wanted to continue to run races in memory of a friend who died of cancer. So she helped establish the Race for the Cure and the Southern Arizona affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. The experience launched her 20+ year career and passion for public health.
Kim obtained her B.A. in communication and psychology from the University of Colorado and her M.A. in higher education administration from the University of Arizona. She was the first development director for the UArizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health before becoming the director of the Zuckerman Family Foundation.
Her first assignment with the Zuckerman Foundation was to create an analysis of food resource and sustainability programs in the community. She conducted a gap and duplicative analysis to better understand how to help create long-lasting impact and collaborations. The Foundation decided to fund the Community and School Garden Program, housed in the School of Geography, Development & Environment.
“We decided that the Community and School Garden Program could be one of the prongs in the public and private partnerships we were creating to make a long-term, collaborative impact in that space,” Kim said.
Kim added, “The program is exemplary, and I would love to see it in every school across the country. The hands-on learning and academic integration it provides for students in the K-12 schools is just invaluable.”
Kim joined the SBS Advisory Board and learned more about the college.
“I love that there's so much cross-cultural and cross-professional work being done,” Kim said. “And I love how J.P. [SBS Dean] helps us understand the diversity and inclusion in all of that work, and its impact on a local and national level, as well as where the opportunities and challenges lie. It is inspiring to be involved.”
Kim volunteers extensively in the community, which is a value she has passed on to her three children (who she thinks might be future Wildcats – “We do bleed that Bear Down blood!”). Kim has volunteered with Integrative Touch for Kids and Tucson Medical Center and works with a number of nonprofit organizations and executives to provide coaching and advising on philanthropic endeavors.
Kim’s commitment to public health has been fortified by the COVID-19 pandemic, and she hopes that a possible silver lining is that more people understand how important public health is for the entire community.
In late 2019, Kim resumed working at the university as the executive director of corporate engagement and business development for the College of Public Health, and she sees many synergies between the work in her college and in SBS.
“I think that the College of SBS and the College of Public Health have some great opportunities for some broad-based engagement and for improving health outcomes for everyone in southern Arizona and across the state,” Kim said.
This article was part of the 2020 SBS Developments magazine.