Episcopal Health Foundation (EHF) has received a $20 million investment from national philanthropist MacKenzie Scott that will further the foundation’s important work to improve health, not just health care in Texas. The one-time, unrestricted gift will be used to maximize the impact of EHF’s ongoing grantmaking, research, and community engagement programs.
“This generous donation is validation that our work to go beyond the doctor’s office to address the underlying, non-medical factors that impact health is critical in Texas,” said EHF’s founding president and CEO Elena Marks. “We’ve worked to find successful solutions to help ensure everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be healthy. This gift is a vote of confidence in the need for this work.”
From its creation in 2013, Episcopal Health Foundation has changed the conversation on how Texas approaches health. While medical care makes up about 20% of what determines a person’s overall health, the remainder is determined by non-medical factors like income, diet, exercise, health behaviors, family support, housing conditions, environmental factors, and more. Yet, well over 90% of the overall health spending in the U.S. goes to medical care. At the same time, our health outcomes fall behind most every other wealthy country in the world.
“We’ve continually looked for tools outside medical care that actually deliver health to show that they can make a big impact,” Marks said. “But until the health system changes what it pays for and shifts dollars upstream, we’ll continue to get the same health outcomes, especially for those most in need.”
That’s why EHF not only works to make health care more affordable and accessible, but also provides funding and other support to help organizations find preventive solutions that address the non-medical, root causes of poor health. To date, EHF has invested more than $450 million in grants, research projects, community and congregational engagement efforts, impact investing, and more.
“We had a unique opportunity at EHF to do something that’s different and transformative from the beginning. This meaningful donation is more evidence of the importance of being a different kind of philanthropy focused on upstream, transformational change,” said Linnet Deily, EHF’s executive board chair.
EHF leaders say they not only admire Scott’s unparalleled generosity in Texas and across the country, but they also share her continued commitment to ensure that people struggling against inequities are the ones best equipped to design solutions.
“This gift recognizes our central commitment to raise community voices so those most affected by inequalities can determine the best ways to take charge of their own health,” said Bishop C. Andrew Doyle, the ninth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas and chair of EHF’s board of directors. “At the same time, we’ve helped more than 100 Episcopal congregations organize and focus their efforts to have the greatest impact on their communities’ health. Together, it’s a commitment to making sure that under-resourced communities are at the center stage for change.”
To schedule an interview, contact Brian Sasser at [email protected] or 832-795-9404.
About Episcopal Health Foundation: https://www.episcopalhealth.org/about/
File video of EHF-funded projects, research, presentations: https://vimeo.com/753995179
By providing millions of dollars in grants, working with congregations and community partners, and providing important research, Episcopal Health Foundation supports solutions that address the underlying causes of poor health in Texas. EHF was established in 2013 as a supporting organization of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, is based in Houston, and has more than $1.3 billion in estimated assets. #HealthNotJustHealthCare