HealthSpark Foundation was created in 2002 from the sale of the North Penn Hospital to Universal Health Services. Both parties agreed to preserve the hospital's charitable assets, accumulated over four decades, and establish the foundation. Originally, the foundation was known as the North Penn Community Health Foundation and the service community mirrored the six-mile primary service area radius of the hospital’s.
In 2012, the foundation shifted its strategic focus embracing a new systems change framework to engage the county’s health and human service safety net stakeholders. Recognizing a need for scale and impact, the foundation expanded its service area to include all 62 municipalities in the county and also re-affirmed its prior regional and statewide advocacy commitment to public policy. Early in 2016, it changed its name to HealthSpark Foundation and adopted the dandelion brand emphasizing our local reputation for “seeding great ideas”.
Program Information: HealthSpark Foundation identifies, selects and invests in programs and agencies that will improve the health, welfare and quality of life of the community. It embraces a population health framework to address selected health and human service needs in Montgomery County, PA. The county is one of the wealthiest in the nation, yet has pockets of deep poverty and poor health outcomes that are difficult for many to overcome in such an affluent area.
- Financial Information:
Total Assets: $41,970,565 (FY 15)
Amount Dedicated to Health-Related Grants: $737,685 (FY 15)
- Special Initiatives and/or Representative Health and Human Services Grants
Philabundance, the Delaware Valley’s regional food bank, convenes and provides administrative support for the MontCo Anti-Hunger Network (MAHN) which is working to improve how food is acquired and distributed throughout the county’s network of 50 food pantries and other emergency food providers. The foundation is also working to improve the system at the organizational level by offering capacity building grants and peer learning opportunities to food pantries. ($180,000 over 3 years)
The Health Care Improvement Foundation is facilitating discussions and a discovery process with the leadership of Montgomery County’s six nonprofit hospitals, the county health department and the county’s two federally qualified health centers, leading to the identification of one or more opportunities to formally partner and/or collaborate to address an unmet community need. ($50,000)
Penn Foundation and ElderNet are administering pilot programs targeted to reducing the costs of serving the dual eligible population, through improving the discharge and care transition processes from specific hospitals. The Penn Foundation pilot is working with dual eligibles who have both behavioral and chronic health conditions. (Penn Foundation: $100,000 over two years and ElderNet: $70,000)
In partnership with the Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation, this grant brings behavioral health screening kiosks to various locations throughout Montgomery County. The kiosks provide a quick, anonymous screening assessment for treatable behavioral conditions like depression and anxiety, offer information on treatment resources in their area and help reduce stigma. ($59,000)
One of the foundation’s longest investments, Your Way Home is transforming the county’s housing and homeless system using a Housing First approach to provide services more efficiently and effectively, and at a much lower cost to the system. ($750,000 since 2008)
“With literally thousands of philanthropic organizations working in communities across America and beyond, we have inadvertently created barriers to effective collaboration and partnering. We ask our grantees to collaborate and encourage partnerships and alliances to create systemic solutions designed to enhance person-centered, cost-effective quality programs. Some foundations have created funding partnerships too, but as a field, this continues to be daunting work. Funders are passionate about the value of meaningful partnerships, and HealthSpark continues to seek philanthropic partnership models that are sustainable and far easier to put in place than is currently possible. We expect our grantees to collaborate and partner. Why is it so difficult for us?”
Russell Johnson, President and CEO