Building Partnerships for Progressive Healthcare Reform

Isn’t it ironic that the people most affected by the nation’s dysfunctional healthcare system tend to be from the same communities that are largely left out of reform discussions?

To encourage greater engagement of the communities who would most benefit from health system improvement, Northwest Health Foundation awarded eleven grants totaling $500,000 in 2010.  The grants are part of an effort by the Foundation to help Oregonians shape the next phase of reform by focusing on health equity and public health. 

“Northwest Health Foundation is, at its core, a social justice organization,” said Rev. Mark Knutson, Foundation board member, and chair of the Healthcare Reform Committee, in a NWHF press release. “These grants demonstrate how seriously this organization takes issues of equity and fairness.”

In issuing the request for proposals, Northwest Health Foundation asked for innovative partnerships between two or more organizations. Projects were encouraged to include such activities as grassroots organizing, public-will building, coalition building, strategic communications, and policy analysis.

According to Chris DeMars, program officer for the Foundation, the partnerships are a critical element of this funding process.

“By encouraging these unique partnerships, we wanted to bring all voices — experienced advocates as well as those that have been politically marginalized — to the healthcare reform advocacy conversation,” she said.

For more information, check out:

The article on these grants in the Skanner Newspaper

Northwest Health Foundation Press Release (includes a list of all grantees)