EHF announces first grant partners in plan to transform community health

The Episcopal Health Foundation announced today it has approved more than $2.4 million to benefit grant partners working to improve community health across 57 Texas counties. These grants are the first to be awarded by the Board of Directors under the Foundation’s ambitious strategic plan adopted in 2014.

“These grants reflect our intent to create strong health systems that can address the root causes of poor health in our communities,” said the Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle, the ninth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas and chair of the Episcopal Health Foundation board of directors. “We’re dedicated to moving beyond a charity model of philanthropy to be a transformative model that brings long-lasting change to a community’s well-being. Our first grants are an initial step toward that goal.”

EHF’s overarching vision is transformation to healthy communities for all. The Foundation developed seven strategies to help strengthen health systems and connect communities to achieve community health. Each grant recipient meets one of those key strategies.

“We believe every grant partner is part of the change we think is necessary to achieve community health,” said Elena Marks, EHF’s president and CEO. “Together, they also begin to build strong, connected communities that team up to tackle tough health problems together, instead of working in isolation.”

Grants announced today include:

  • $120,000 to Northwest Assistance Ministries (Harris County)
    Strategy: Comprehensive, community-based primary care

Grant will support a new comprehensive case management and home-visitation program for NAM’s Children’s Clinic.  Medical and social service case managers will help to determine the root causes of the children’s re-occurring medical problems and work with the families to find solutions.

NAM’s leadership and medical staff proposed the new program after observing children from vulnerable families who are suffering from asthma and other health problems repeatedly showing up at the clinic even after treatment. NAM understands that the root cause of the asthma attacks are environmental and this new program will enable NAM to help their patients prevent asthma attacks in the first place.

  • $145,086 to CommUnity Care Health Centers (Travis County)
    Strategy: Comprehensive, community-based primary care

Grant will support a one-year demonstration diabetes prevention project to work with 5,000 pre-diabetic patients from vulnerable populations served in CommUnity Care’s 25 health centers. The goal is to discover the best interventions to prevent the onset of type-2 diabetes in these at-risk, low-income patients.

CommUnity hopes to then share the information and lesson learned with other federal qualified health centers in Texas and across the country so that others served in community health centers can benefit from the kinds of interventions often unavailable to lower-income populations.

  • $100,000 to Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute (Central, East & Southeast Texas)
    Strategy: Mental health and wellness

Grant provides support to advance a collective research and policy agenda on mental health and healthcare across Texas. Grant will help fund a Houston-based senior fellow to advance behavioral health policy research that will impact non-profit organizations providing behavioral health services. This grant builds the capability of our diocese to understand, plan for, and respond to mental health needs.


This is the first round of EHF grants to be awarded in 2015. The Foundation expects to announce additional grant partners in June, September, November and December. EHF estimates it will invest approximately $9 million in grants to community organizations in 2015. The goal is for grant-making amounts to grow each year as the Foundation builds partners and capacity in the region.

“There’s a shared pride within the board that we’re now in position to begin to change people’s lives for the better,” said Linnet Deily, executive chair of EHF’s board of directors. “When you combine these grant investments with all the other important work we do, we have the opportunity to make that kind of mark.”

EHF is leading research looking into the effects of the Affordable Care Act and health reform in Texas. In addition, the Foundation recently compiled important overall health information and children’s health snapshots for all 57 counties.

Along with working with new grant partners, EHF is creating new coalitions and partnerships. That effort includes working with more than 150 churches across the diocese to strengthen and develop community health outreach. EHF is also leading and funding a community engagement plan for the Prosper Waco collective impact project and is convening groups in Tyler and other communities who want to work together to improve access to health services. Through it all, the Foundation is committed to being accountable by continually measuring its true impact on improving community health.

By the Numbers

$1.2 million to support comprehensive, integrated community-based primary care

$475,000 to increase access to health services

$433,000 to support mental health and wellness

$100,000 to enhance early childhood development