5 of the Most Effective Foundations Dedicated to Healthcare

Healthcare Foundations

  • The Hearst Foundation
  • The United Health Foundation
  • The Peterson Center on Healthcare
  • The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • The John A. Hartford Foundation

Because healthcare is a huge industry that impacts all people, healthcare foundations have assumed many responsibilities for improving both the system and the policies that drive it. Five of these foundations, offering diverse solutions and addressing different populations, stand out in their effectiveness in addressing healthcare issues.

1) The Hearst Foundation

The Hearst Foundation is actually two philanthropies managed as one that receives funds from the Hearst Corporation. It has assets worth approximately $1 billion. This organization is not listed with healthcare foundations because it is not specifically directed to solve healthcare problems. It also tackles issues in culture, education and social services. The foundation has several focuses on healthcare issues. One is the improvement of leading regional hospitals, medical institutions and centers that provide services to low-income people. Another arm of the foundation looks at building and improving healthcare professional skills and at funding programs that increase the number of healthcare practitioners. They also give grants to research. Their system of funding begins with finding organizations and programs that already impact healthcare in some way and partnering with them to improve their performance. Grants range from $40,000 to $1 million.

2) The United Health Foundation

This foundation is open to funding many things from direct assistance to individuals to backing healthcare lobbyists. Established in 1999, they recently gave $315 million to world-wide healthcare programs and initiatives. Employees of the company which parents the foundation are encouraged to donate both money and time to the organization. Their approach is to “partner with organizations that offer innovative healthcare delivery that improves access and outcomes.”

3) The Peterson Center on Healthcare

This is a non-profit that focuses on funding programs that provide lower-cost and more effective healthcare. They work on improving the healthcare system through grants and partnerships to research projects and other programs that look at healthcare in the “big picture.” The Peterson Center partners with the Kaiser Family Foundation to monitor the healthcare system quality and cost and to make the information available to healthcare consumers. They also look for existing solutions that are working on a local or regional basis and fund programs that promote those solutions nationally.

4) The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

This foundation works to improve local healthcare from disease prevention to treatment. They fund programs on several fronts including childhood obesity and well-being, health leadership development including nursing programs and healthcare access. The funding is directed at public health initiatives. Their $400 million annual giving addresses issues in community health and even funds a home-visit program that impacts at-risk families.

5) The John A. Hartford Foundation

Health and well-being of older adults is the emphasis of this non-profit. Their goal is to promote healthcare systems that are age-friendly. They also fund programs that support family care-givers. Another focus of the Hartford Foundation is palliative care, along with other end-of-life issues. They give grants for education of caregivers and healthcare workers and for programs that inform and influence public policy concerning the healthcare needs of the aging population. Since its inception in 1982, the Hartford Foundation has awarded more than $565 million in grants. In 2017, The Hartford Foundation funded an AARP program to support family caregivers dealing with serious issues, an educational drive by The National Committee for Quality Assurance that supports an age-friendly health system, a documentary entitled “The Best Years: a Film About the Last Phase of Life” developed for educational purposes by Fordham University and other worthy projects impacting the lives of the elderly and their caregivers.