The Foundation for a Healthy High Point was established in 2013 when the UNC Health System acquired the High Point Regional Health System. As part of the acquisition, UNC Health System supported creating a private, independent health legacy foundation with a $50 million endowment. In 2018, Wake Forest Baptist Health acquired the High Point Regional Health System resulting in an additional $5 million contribution to the foundation’s endowment. Since its founding, the foundation’s assets have grown to more than $60 million. Its impact area mirrors the hospital’s service area: Greater High Point, which includes High Point, Jamestown, Trinity, and Archdale, North Carolina.
High Point, North Carolina is the only city in the state that encompasses four county governments: Forsyth, Guilford, Davidson, and Randolph. With a diverse population of 120,000 located between Charlotte and Raleigh, the area is home to a variety of businesses including the once-flourishing North Carolina furniture industry, making High Point the “home furnishings capital of the world.” Despite its entrepreneurial spirit and successful business landscape, the community still faces challenges and opportunities when it comes to its health needs. It has pockets of highly concentrated poverty and violent crime rates on par with large urban cities. In addition, high-priority areas for residents include food insecurity, housing, transportation, and systemic inequities.
The foundation emphasizes the relationship between wellness and a successful, sustainable community. Its purpose is to encourage, support, influence, and invest in improving health and wellness throughout Greater High Point. It aims to be a collaborative leader in support of initiatives that address long-standing health problems and strengthen the health of our community.
The Foundation for a Healthy High Point has three focus areas: Maternal, Infant & Child Health; Behavioral Health; and Capacity Building. It is currently conducting a strategic planning process to assess its grantmaking strategy. The process will position it to move towards a more upstream funding approach that addresses the causes of health outcomes and supports system change efforts.
Total Assets: $59,550,005 (FY20)
Amount Dedicated to Health-Related Grants: $2,219,291 (FY20)
Special Initiatives and/or Representative Health and Human Services Grants
YWCA High Point – VaxConnect—This grant funded a pilot program to increase COVID-19 vaccinations among people who are hesitant, lack access to transportation, and are residents of two zip codes in Guilford County, North Carolina heavily impacted by the pandemic. The YWCA High Point hired three individuals as Community Connectors trained by the Guilford County Health Department. Working with volunteers, the connectors engage in door-to-door outreach to provide education about the COVID-19 vaccine, assist with scheduling appointments, and support transportation to vaccine sites. Rather than giving grant dollars directly to local health departments, the foundation collaborates closely with them, and funds community-based organizations to conduct activities that complement and coordinate with the efforts of governmental agencies. ($50,000)
Ready for School, Ready for Life—This grant provides operational support to the backbone organization of a county-wide initiative to build a care system for children ages 0 to 8 and their families. By the end of 2021, the goal is to have the prenatal-to-age-three system in place across High Point and Guilford County, North Carolina including evidence-based programs such as Nurse-Family Partnership, Healthy Steps, and Family Connects. ($30,000)
Guilford County Division of Public Health – Guilford Family Connects (GFC)—Funded by this grant, GFC deploys a dedicated Registered Nurse in two zip codes, where low birth weight and infant deaths are more concentrated. The nurse offers a home visit to all mothers within one to three weeks postpartum. During this visit, the nurse provides a health assessment of the baby and mother; observation for possible challenges in the home and the adjustment to life with a newborn; and general education and referrals as needed. ($102,155)
Caring Services—This grant helps to establish a physical office location in High Point, North Carolina for two crisis intervention services provided by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). UNCG’s social work field program and Guilford County Solution to the Opioid Problem work in collaboration with Guilford County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to provide social services—such as crisis counseling and referrals to mental health providers—to individuals referred by EMS. It anticipates serving 267 clients during the grant year. ($10,000)
UNC Greensboro Center for Housing and Community Studies—This grant supports the UNCG Center for Housing and Community Studies’ comprehensive, coordinated eviction mediation program. It will provide relief to an overburdened court system and help to coordinate resources between community agencies providing emergency rental assistance. In addition to direct application, cases can be referred by various sources, including community agencies, the Small Claims Court system, the City of High Point, the Sheriff’s Department, and a hotline. ($30,000)
Foundation for Healthy High Point and GIH
The foundation’s Executive Director, Curtis E. Holloman has been attending GIH events since the start of his health philanthropy work in 2000. He says, “GIH has served as the go-to place for best practices and fresh ideas. I have met individuals who remain a part of my professional network. GIH peer learning and information sharing cultivates, inspires, and sets a standard for us to be better.”The Foundation’s new VaxConnect program was cited in the September 2021 GIH Bulletin article, “Public Private Partnerships to Strengthen the Public Health Infrastructure.”
How Local Philanthropy Advances Community Health
“Local health philanthropy has evolved over the years, moving away from funding direct services to becoming strategic change agents, offering community leadership, and promoting collaboration. Place-based health legacy foundations can leverage impact beyond our grantmaking, using our resources to help set agendas and fuel system improvements. By convening and partnering with regional nonprofits and the public and private sectors, we can achieve sustainable solutions to entrenched health challenges.”
– Curtis E. Holloman, Executive Director