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Cone Health Foundation

January 2017

Mailing Address: 1200 North Elm Street, Greensboro, NC 27401-1004
Physical Address: 721 Green Valley Road Suite 102, Greensboro, NC 27408
Phone: 336.832.9555

Cone Health Foundation was established in 1997 following the merger of two nonprofit hospitals, with the goal of improving community health in greater Greensboro, North Carolina. The foundation is a supporting organization to Cone Health with assets of $110 million. We have awarded more than $82 million since our founding and invest about $5 million annually, in health-related nonprofits. The majority of these grants fall into the foundation’s four focus areas of grantmaking: access to health care, adolescent pregnancy prevention, HIV, and substance abuse and mental health.

Cone Health Foundation’s mission is to invest in the development and support of activities, programs and organizations that measurably improve the health of people in the greater Greensboro area. Greensboro is the third largest North Carolina city with a diverse population of about 270,000. The percentage of poor people living in Greensboro is 19.8 percent—higher than both the state and national level. Further, 26.9 percent of its children live in poverty and of those over age 5 living in Guilford County, an estimated 13 percent speak a language other than English at home. Significant disparities, including racial, ethnic, and education level, exist within these and many other public health measures in Greensboro. The foundation pursues its mission by using its resources and voice to support its most vulnerable neighbors grappling with some intractable health issues in our funding priority areas.

Program Information:

Following many years of responsive grantmaking, Cone Health Foundation implemented a new strategic focus in late 2015 that is aimed at achieving impact at the community level. Today, its four funding areas have explicit strategies for achieving established goals. With a focus on strategic partnerships, resources are deployed toward a limited number of realistic goals. In this way, greater synergy among grants is achieved, resulting in greater impact.

This shift in direction meant that new grantee relationships would be forged and that some agencies, which had earned foundation support for many years, would be excluded from funding consideration. Devising an equitable, responsible exit strategy while funding new partners meant that the Foundation would exceeded its required payout. These nonprofits do important work, but are not focused on the new strategies Cone Health Foundation aims to achieve. In most cases, agencies were given two years of notice that funding would cease. This glide path included an additional one year of funding to transition the agency to a new funding model.

  • Financial Information:

    Total Assets: $110 million
    Amount Dedicated to Health-Related Grants: 100%

  • Special Initiatives and/or Representative Services Grants

    Cone Health Congregational Nurse Program. Congregational Nursing program is a unique nursing practice established as a collaborative between Cone Health, Cone Health Foundation, and Greensboro’s faith communities. This partnership recognizes that religious organizations have a long history of promoting healing and caregiving. ($247,880)          

    Healthy Tomorrow Alliance. SHIFT NC (Sexual Health Initiatives for Teens) leads a coordinated, technical assistance and training initiative for clinic partners to improve access to health care and contraceptives–specifically long acting reversible contraceptives–targeted to Greensboro’s older teens. ($149,494)

    North Carolina Center of Excellence for Integrated Care. Provides peer-to-peer training and mentoring to a co-occurring Disorders Learning Collaborative focused on integrating treatment of people with co-occurring substance abuse and non-severe mental health disorders. The integrated treatment approach helps people recover by offering both substance abuse and mental health services at the same time and in one setting. ($134,205)

    Regional Center for Infectious Disease (RCID). RCID provides medical care, social work, care management, substance abuse, and mental health counseling along with dental services and housing assistance for over 1,400 people living with HIV in Greensboro. ($232,081)  

    Say Yes to Education. Part of a $70 million effort to provide last dollar scholarships to eligible graduates of Guilford County Schools pursuing post-secondary education. ($1,000,000))


Most Pressing Health Issues

“Our nation is still digesting the impact of the 2016 election. Now, more than ever, we recognize that when it comes to health philanthropy we don’t have all the answers. What we know is that there will continue to be a crucial role for advocacy and that many of the principal levers for addressing Greensboro’s health-related needs remain with state and federal policy makers.

That’s why we commissioned a study, along with Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, that assesses the impact on all 100 counties North Carolina of not expanding Medicaid. The nonpartisan study was prepared by prominent researchers at George Washington University and clearly demonstrates that the cost to the state of expanding Medicaid is low, compared to the economic boom it brings. Expanding health care access to 500,000 hardworking North Carolinians caught in the coverage gap makes good economic sense and puts the health needs of people first.

The arguments for Medicaid expansion are compelling. Given our new political realities, some might consider Cone Health Foundation’s Medicaid advocacy work to be in vain. However, people in our community still need access to health care, no matter who controls the political agenda. The work of philanthropy is privileged work. We must not squander the opportunity to stand for others when the odds seem overwhelming. Funding advocacy and working to bring about change is a strategy for hope, tempered by reality.

Our very wise Board Chair opened a recent meeting by quoting Martin Luther King, Jr.: 'The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.' That’s where we are focused at Cone Health Foundation.”

Susan Shumaker, President