In 1972, Potomac Hospital in Woodbridge, Virginia was opened as the result of the grassroots efforts of concerned local citizens who recognized that residents in their community did not have ready access to acute health care services. The motto of these local citizens while raising funds and support for the community hospital was, “A Life Is Reason Enough.” Potomac Hospital delivered care to the community until 2009 when a merger with Sentara Healthcare, Inc. occurred and the Potomac Health Foundation was created.
The mission of the foundation is to improve the health of the community by increasing access to health care for the medically underserved. Its board of directors endeavors to maintain the legacy and spirit of Potomac Hospital’s 40 years of service to the community.
The foundation’s service area is in Northern Virginia. It is comprised of more than 390,000 people in eastern Prince William County, Virginia and adjacent communities in southeast Fairfax and north Stafford Counties. The service area is increasingly racially and ethnically diverse, with the majority of Prince William County residents being people of color and a large portion identifying as Hispanic/Latino. Prince William County is one of the wealthiest and healthiest counties in Virginia, but needs assessments indicate pockets of significant unmet need and substantial room for improvement in health-related lifestyles, health status, and access to health services.
Program Information: Potomac Health Foundation has made over $28 million in grants since 2011. The foundation makes general operating, program, and capital support grants to organizations serving its geographic service area. The board of directors recently completed a strategic planning process which will guide the foundation’s grantmaking from 2017–2020. It will focus on access to health care, behavioral health, and capacity building of the nonprofit sector. The foundation will spend the first part of 2017 refining grantmaking in these areas.
Total Assets: $104.06 million FY16
Amount Dedicated to Health-Related Grants: 4.84 Million FY16
- Special Initiatives and/or Representative Health and Human Services Grants Health Safety Net (HSN) Program—HSN support is provided to eight agencies making up the health safety net for the medically underserved in the community. This includes access to primary, dental, medication, mental health, vision, or other health programs designed to increase access. These grants are made on an invitation only and annual basis and there is no limit to number of years funded. ($1,032,793)Howard L. Greenhouse Large Grant Program—The signature grant program of the foundation has made three-year project-based grants on an annual basis through a responsive Request for Proposals process and is named after Howard L. Greenhouse, a founding board member of Potomac Hospital and a current board member of Potomac Health Foundation. The Large Grants address a variety of health issues focusing on access, prevention, and innovation. Several projects initiated with funding by a Howard L. Greenhouse Large Grant have been sustained with other resources. ($2,687,748)
Management Assistance Program (MAP)—MAP grants are one-year capacity-building grants to agencies that currently have a large grant award and are made by invitation only. This strategy was created to ensure that Potomac Health Foundation investments in large grant programs could be sustained by grantees. The goal of MAP is to help grantees deliver the same or higher levels of care after graduating from the foundation’s large grant funding by promoting agency and program sustainability. ($67,006)
Strategic Changes in Grantmaking Direction
“As the foundation moves forward with our new strategic plan during these changing times, we are seeking to step up in our role as conveners in the community and bringing our partners together. A focus on health access and the factors that affect individuals’ ability to get health care, will require collaboration across a variety of different partners, including the ones with whom we traditionally do and do not work. These are conversations the foundation wants to help facilitate across the community.”
Susie Lee, Executive Director