CaringMatters Awarded 2019 Brooks Saltsman Award

The Healthcare Initiative Foundation Awards CaringMatters the 2019 Brooks Saltsman Award for their commitment to volunteerism in the health field

Montgomery County, MD – June 26, 2019 – The Healthcare Initiative Foundation (HIF) is honored to announce CaringMatters, formerly Hospice Caring, as the 2019 recipient of the Brooks Saltsman Award for their commitment to volunteerism in the health and wellness field.  With this honor, CaringMatters is awarded $5,000 in her honor.  Brooks Johnstone Saltsman was a former Healthcare Initiative Foundation Trustee who dedicated her life to volunteerism and this award was created to honor her legacy.  “We’re honored to receive this special award in recognition of our dedicated team of CaringMatters volunteers. We applaud the Healthcare Initiative Foundation for their support of our community-based end-of-life and bereavement services,” CaringMatters Executive Director, Allison Stearns.

In 1999, Saltsman was elected as a Board of Trustee for the Healthcare Initiative Foundation.  During her tenure as a HIF Trustee, the Foundation had the privilege of benefiting from Saltsman’s tremendous talent and love of service for Montgomery County residents. CaringMatters is a Montgomery County nonprofit that exemplifies Saltsman’s dedication to her community and volunteerism.  

Founded in Montgomery County in 1989, CaringMatters provides free-of-charge social supports and education to our community with the value that no one should have to die or grieve alone. Volunteer Helping Hands is CaringMatters’ Hospice Support program, where trained volunteers provide companionship and practical support for patients with serious, life-limiting illnesses.  Peer bereavement groups, led by trained volunteers, offer a safe and confidential place to cope with loss and grief.  CaringMatter’s Children Bereavement Services allow children to explore their feelings while developing healthy coping strategies. Camp Erin, Good Grief Clubs, and Family Nights are all volunteer-based programs geared towards helping children and their families grieve in a safe and compassionate environment. Successful implementation of CaringMatter’s programming would not be possible without the dedication of their team of volunteers.  In FY18, volunteers donated more than 18,000 hours of their time at a value of nearly $500,000. 

With the $5,000 award, CaringMatters plans to increase the knowledge of partners and service providers by providing education and training related to grief and bereavement to community professionals who work with families in the up-county regions of Montgomery County.  Through two trainings, community partners, including educators, will be able to provide more effective and efficient referrals to county programs and nonprofit services. Additionally, programs like their Good Grief Club and/or an Adult Peer Support Groups will be added in the up-county area for children, adults, and families.  With this grant award, more than 55 persons will be served through these trainings and programs.

HIF supports organizations that offer solutions to improve the quality and delivery of healthcare for residents of Montgomery County, Maryland. Within our geographic and focus area, we consider efforts to improve the quality and delivery of healthcare, expand the availability of comprehensive healthcare, build appropriate capacity in the healthcare network, and grow the healthcare workforce. To learn more, please visit our website at and like us on Facebook at

To view the press release, click here.

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