Rooted in faith and active in hope, the Episcopal Health Foundation (EHF) believes ALL Texans deserve to live a healthy life – especially the poor and those with the least resources. That’s why we’re changing the conversation on health and reshaping the debate around health care to focus on addressing the non-medical, root causes of poor health.
Health is much more than seeing a doctor. Access to affordable medical care is vitally important, but it’s only 20% of what contributes to a person’s overall health. The remaining 80% is determined by social and economic status, health behaviors, community safety, physical environment, and much more.
By providing millions of dollars in grants, working with community partners and congregations, and providing important research, EHF supports solutions that address the underlying causes of poor health.
We’re dedicated to improving #HealthNotJustHealthCare in Texas.
Where we started
Episcopal Health Foundation is based in Houston and was founded in 2013 by the Episcopal Diocese of Texas upon the transfer of St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System. Bishop Andy Doyle of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas lead the effort to use the more than $1 billion in proceeds to start a foundation that would reshape the way the Episcopal Church engages the community and change the way we think about health in Texas.
EHF chose to focus on improving community health, rather than just health care, because the opportunity for good health starts long before you need to see a doctor. Health systems need scalable solutions to address non-medical factors that impact health. EHF was created as a community-based philanthropy to spark transformative change within the diocese’s 57-county service area that serves more than 11 million Texans.
What we’ve done
In 2015, EHF became fully operational with divisions for research, grantmaking, and congregational and community engagement. The Foundation has become a leading advocate for advancing community health as a top issue within the health care debate.
Through grantmaking, EHF funds innovative solutions to improve health, not just health care in Texas. EHF awarded its first competitive grants in 2015. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than 500 grants totaling more than $140 million to clinics and organizations working across the state, including many grants to organizations that address the root causes of poor health. EHF’s outcomes-focused approaches are bolstering the ability of many different organizations to have a bigger and more sustained impact on the health of communities in Texas.
Research plays a critical role in guiding EHF’s work. Our research team has produced more than 100 reports focused on health from all angles, including EHF’s annual Texas Health Policy Polls, social determinants of health, rural health, the Affordable Care Act and the uninsured, and much more. We’re uncovering invaluable insights about health policy and systems, and putting forward real, actionable pathways to deliver advances in health for all Texans.
Through community engagement, EHF helps Texans take charge of their own health. We’re bringing leaders, neighborhoods, and sections of the health system together to begin to look for real solutions to specific health issues facing communities.
EHF’s congregational engagement team advances our mission through partnerships with 150+ Episcopal congregations within the 57-county region served by the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. EHF helps congregations organize and focus their efforts to have the greatest impact on their communities’ health.
Where we’re going
EHF continues to explore new and innovative tools such as impact investing, research-based initiatives, and other efforts to stimulate profound, sustainable impact throughout community across Texas and revolutionize how Texans approach health.
Our Core Values
- Informed Action. Rigorous research is the foundation for actions and initiatives that have the potential to transform human lives and organizations.
- Collaboration. The most effective use of financial resources is often discovered in ministries that go beyond the limits of individuals or individual congregations. Broad-based communities galvanized around responses to particular human needs have a powerful potential to effect real and lasting change.
- Empowerment. The old adage is true: It is good to give a hungry person a fish; it is empowering to teach the same person to fish. Loving and compassionate people often need training to be effective change agents. Leadership development and training are central to empowerment.
- Stewardship. Good stewardship requires careful oversight and development of the abundance that God provides.
- Transparency. All actions and decisions are open to the light of public scrutiny. Secrecy and confidentiality are not the same thing.
- Accountability. The results of decisions and actions of EHF are audited and measured against reasonable benchmarks. Mistakes are made. When mistakes are treated with openness and honesty, lessons are learned. Public accounting and reporting are made on a regular basis.
- Transformation of human lives and organizations. The best good is good that lasts by effecting transformational changes in root causes.
- Compassion for the poor and powerless.