One More Step on Our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Journey

Over the summer, the Healthcare Initiative Foundation (HIF) collaborated with CommonHealth ACTION (CHA) to host focus groups with HIF grantees as part of our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) assessment. We had originally hoped to launch this in the spring, but the COVID pandemic derailed these plans and we felt it imperative that we wait until our valued community partners could breathe and fully engage.

As summer fell upon us recovery remained out of sight and the disproportionate impact of the crisis on our black and brown residents was abundantly clear further exemplifying the structural inequities already present in our community. HIF knew that before we could move forward with our fiscal year 2021 funding, we needed to hear from our community partners and decided to forge ahead virtually with the EDI work. We thank and extend our gratitude to the (17) seventeen nonprofits that gave of their time this summer and are excited to share what we learned and how we are responding to the assessment.

EDI Strengths Identified by Partners:

  • Supports nonprofits and their missions.
  • Offers capacity building, provides guidance, support, understanding, and listens to objectives and plans.
  • Furthers EDI work and directs investments to historically underinvested communities.
  • Offers and funds learning opportunities including EDI trainings and webinars.
  • Supports partnerships, innovation, and collaboration.
  • Believes in the power of community supported convenings to give voice to challenges and solutions.

EDI Opportunities Identified by Partners:

  • Provide greater opportunities for grantees to share their perspectives during decision-making processes.
  • Data deadlines and reporting requirements are too demanding.
  • Sustainability policies negatively impact organizations who offer free programs and services.
  • General operating support is needed and the restricted funding prevents nonprofits from adapting and responding to the community.
  • Greater focus needs to be placed on cross sectoral responses to address the social determinants of health.
  • Supports are needed for the health, safety, healing, and restoration of staff.

HIF is proud of the work that has been done and recognizes that our EDI journey continues and initiated some key strategies this fall to further our EDI work. We remain committed to this ongoing internal reflection and evolution so that our investments are not perpetuating the systemic inequities but driving the change we want to see in pursuit of our mission.

HIF’s Fall EDI Journey:

  • Revamped and streamlined our application and reporting processes to better reflect the priorities identified by our grantees and create better efficiencies and less burden on grantees.
  • Convened monthly meetings with the Grants Advisory Committee to continue to keep them informed of the opportunities and challenges faced by our community partners.  
  • Planned for grantee panel discussions with the Foundation staff and board to lend greater voice and share priorities.
  • Surveyed grantees on how they prioritized funding for both their organization and for the community and plan to utilize these results in the grant review.
  • Relaunched our equity webinars to offer opportunities for grantees to share how they are breaking down barriers to ensure access to programs and services.
  • Volunteered in the field with our nonprofits and community to connect and learn how to better support efforts through the Foundation’s investments.
  • Met with all our grantees virtually to revisit where they are and how we can support them in their work and make adaptations to better serve together our community.

We know this journey is not complete and our learning is not done, but with grace, empathy, and persistence we take steps each day towards building stronger and more mutually accountable relationships with our partners and community. Thank you for all that you do each day to support the health and wellness for all in Montgomery County.

Crystal Carr Townsend

President and CEO

Healthcare Initiative Foundation

Building Equity Webinar Series Continues

On Tuesday, November 17th, HIF will resume its Building Equity Webinar Series with the topic “Creative Kits: Innovative Ways to Serve Our Youth Population“. In March, HIF put a hold on hosting its future episodes in the series due to COVID response priorities. We are excited about being able to take this Webinar Series as an opportunity to highlight the amazing, innovative responses of our nonprofit community in response to the pandemic and its impact on our region.

The next episode will highlight the work of EveryMind and Arts on the Block. Despite the ever-changing road map, our community partners have developed and implemented innovative ways to reach their program participants, especially their younger constituents.  One of those methods of outreach has been the implementation of take-home customizable ‘kits’ for program participants and clients – art kits and therapy kits!

Register is free and now open to any interested participants. You can register by clicking on this link.

If you have an idea for a future topic, please reach out to Jessica Fuchs at

Food Provider Grantees Announced

Montgomery County awarded $1,126,100 in grants to twenty-eight nonprofits to build additional capacity for their food assistance programs

For a second grant round, the Healthcare Initiative Foundation partnered with Montgomery County HHS, the Montgomery County Food Council, and the Greater Washington Community Foundation to provide nonprofit food assistance providers with funding to support their programmatic operations. Montgomery County issued their press release announcing all twenty-eight grantees on Monday, August 17th. The full release is available below.

For Immediate Release: Monday, Aug. 17, 2020

“Montgomery County has awarded $1,126,100 to 28 local food assistance providers to improve their infrastructure and expand their capacity to provide food access to hard-to-reach communities in Montgomery County during the response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. This program was funded by the Federal CARES Act as appropriated by the County Executive and Montgomery County Council, the Community Food Rescue mini-grants program, and the newly launched Food Security Fund at the Greater Washington Community Foundation.

The COVID-19 Emergency Food Assistance Provider Capacity Building Grant is a partnership between the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Montgomery County Food Council (MCFC), the Healthcare Initiative Foundation (HIF), and the Greater Washington Community Foundation (The Community Foundation). The County’s Food Security Task Force, formed by the County’s Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (OEMHS), reviewed and determined all grant awards. The HIF and The Community Foundation are the fiscal agents for the program and will award the money.

These grant awards will support community nonprofit purchases of refrigerators and freezers, shelving and space enhancements, vehicles, forklifts, hand trucks, computers and software, as well as repairs to existing infrastructure. Funded investments will directly expand these organizations’ ability to store and transport larger quantities of shelf-stable and cold-stored food and are estimated to increase community-wide capacity for food assistance distribution and delivery to over 31,000 households.

“I am proud to be part of a community where our nonprofit and faith-based organizations work tirelessly to ensure our residents have access to nutritious and culturally appropriate food, especially during this national pandemic,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “Providing funding to help these organizations improve their infrastructure and increase their capacity to feed more residents is money well spent.”

Special consideration was given to organizations who formed partnerships to better serve the community and provide culturally diverse food access services. Despite funding limitations more than half of the applications were awarded full or partial funding. As the County’s food security response to the pandemic continues, it is anticipated that additional funds will be made available to further support initiatives that address the significant food security needs of our community.

“Food insecurity is currently being experienced by more residents in our community than ever before,” said County Council President Sidney Katz. “So many of our neighbors are feeling the instability caused by the health crisis in so many ways. It is incumbent upon us to provide culturally appropriate food to those in need and these funds will do just that. I want to thank all of the nonprofit and faith-based organizations who are forging partnerships to reach out to the communities hardest hit by the pandemic.”

Nonprofit organizations were eligible to apply for up to $85,000. The organizations receiving grants, ranging from $1,075 to $85,000, are:

Adventist Community Services of Greater Washington, Inc.

American Diversity Group

Bethesda Cares

Caribbean Help Center, Inc

Chinese Culture and Community Service Center, Inc.

Clifton Park Baptist Church

Damascus HELP Inc.

Guru Gobind Singh Foundation

Indonesian American Association

Islamic Center of Maryland

Kingdom Fellowship African Methodist Episcopal Church

Kings & Priests Court International Ministries Inc.

Liberty Grove United Methodist Church

Manna Food Center

Meals on Wheels of Takoma Park and Silver Spring

Montgomery County Muslim Foundation

Nourish Now Inc

Rainbow Community Development Center

Shepherd’s Table

Small Things Matter

So What Else, Inc.

Southern Bethany Baptist Church

Camillus Church Food Pantry

The Living Legends Awards for Service to Humanity

The Salvation Army

Up 2 Us Foundation

Vietnamese Americans Services, Inc.

Women Who Care Ministries

DHHS, along with Montgomery County Public Schools, MCFC, and a network of over 110 local food assistance providers and community partners have been working during the COVID-19 pandemic to address the dramatically increased need for food assistance across the county. To address food insecurity and plan for a greater need, OEMHS created the Food Security Task Force, made up of County staff, community partners and food assistance recipients to create and implement a comprehensive and innovative Food Security Response Strategy.

Montgomery County Government recently partnered with The Community Foundation to launch the Food Security Fund to galvanize private sector and individual support of food access initiatives in the County in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Visit the Food Security Fund website to learn more and contribute. 

For the latest COVID-19 updates, visit the County’s COVID-19 website and follow Montgomery County on Facebook @MontgomeryCountyInfo and Twitter @MontgomeryCoMD.

Put the “count” in Montgomery County! Be sure to complete the Census online, by phone, or by mail. It’s safe, confidential, easy, and important. #2020Census #EveryoneCountsMCMD”

# # #

Media Contact: Mark Hodge,

BlackRock Hub Gets Recognition

When a community comes together with innovative solutions for complex problems amazing things can happen! Montgomery County created a video highlighting the work being done at the Upcounty Consolidation Hub. View the video here.

The team of community leaders including HIF’s President & CEO, BlackRock Center for the Arts Executive Director, County Executive Marc Elrich, and Grace Rivera-Oven.

When COVID closures started in March 2020, BlackRock Center for the Arts converted from a performance and event venue into a community consolidation hub providing meals, groceries, COVID relief kits, diapers, and more to residents living Upcounty. Healthcare Initiative Foundation is one of the proud investors of this forward-thinking work. This piece, created by Montgomery County Council Media, highlights all the pieces and partners that have to come together each and every day to provide cohesive services to our community.

To learn more about the hub, what items and donations are needed, or if you need to inquire about receiving assistance, visit the BlackRock website.

HIF Awards Brooks Saltsman Award

The Healthcare Initiative Foundation Awards Vietnamese American Services the 2020 Brooks Saltsman Award for their commitment to volunteerism in the health field

Montgomery County, MD – July 8, 2020 – The Healthcare Initiative Foundation (HIF) is honored to announce Vietnamese American Services (VAS) as the 2020 recipient of the Brooks Saltsman Award for their innovative utilization of volunteers to increase access to health and wellness resources during the COVID-19 Pandemic. 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.  In 1999, Saltsman was elected as a Board of Trustee for the Healthcare Initiative Foundation.  During her tenure as a Trustee, the Foundation had the privilege of benefiting from Saltsman’s tremendous talent and love of service for Montgomery County residents. With this award, VAS will receive $5,000 to support their ongoing response to COVID-19.

VAS is a Montgomery County nonprofit that exemplifies Saltsman’s dedication to community and volunteerism. Established in 2015 and based in Silver Spring, VAS is focused on the social, physical, and economic well-being of Vietnamese-Americans.  VAS’s diverse programming reaches deep into the community through events, such as their annual Maryland Mid-Autumn Festival, English language and economic classes, and their Adult Medical Care Center which opened in 2020. Providing on-site comprehensive medical care, connection to insurance resources, and culturally equitable services, meals, and activities, the Adult Medical Care Center is the first of its kind center in the region to offer this level of care to the Vietnamese-American community. 

When COVID-19 struck in March 2020, VAS responded immediately by launching their Sewing Mask Project utilizing members of their community who had been laid off during the pandemic.  Within two months, those volunteers had made 15,000 masks for local hospitals and clinics, essential front-line staff, employees at senior care facilities, group-homes, and local shelters.  Selflessly, these volunteers sprang into action and addressed an immediate and critical need. One of the Sewing Mask Project’s volunteer seamstress said, “During the quarantine, sewing masks for VAS kept my family busy and allowed us to stay strong together and work together. I called my friends and relatives to donate fabrics, my husband fixed the sewing machine, I sewed, and my kids helped to iron the masks. We were worried about the pandemic but I believe that we can fight back together.”  VAS will use this $5,000 award to continue this COVID-19 response project and to celebrate their volunteers.  If you would like to learn more about Vietnamese American Services, their Adult Medical Care Center, or to assist with the Sewing Mask Project, visit their website at

HIF supports organizations, within our geographic and focus area, that 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 for Montgomery County residents. To learn more, please visit our website at and like us on Facebook at


If you would like more information about this topic or the Healthcare Initiative Foundation’s grant priorities, please contact Jess Fuchs at or 240-499-2827.

HIF’s FY20 Small Grants Announced

The Healthcare Initiative Foundation Awards $60,000 to impact #7500 Montgomery County residents as they access physical healthcare, mental health services, and social service programs.

Montgomery County, MD – June 26, 2020 – In June 2020, the Healthcare Initiative Foundation (HIF) invested $60,000 in #9 Montgomery County nonprofit organizations that will help to offer solutions to improve the quality and delivery of healthcare in the county. HIF’s grants support behavioral health access across the lifespan; access to quality and comprehensive health and wellness services; sustainable integrated business models for safety-net services; sustainable service delivery systems and safety-net services; and the growth of a highly skilled and culturally competent healthcare workforce. HIF is excited to be able to be able to partner with such spectacular organizations representing the very best of Montgomery County’s nonprofit community. 

These nine nonprofits represent a wide variety of health and wellness services that have been uniquely adapted to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the movement for race equity and social justice. To this end, approximately, 46% of the investments are supporting behavioral health for adults and children as we all work to respond to the overwhelming trauma that has impacted our community.

Lynn Arndt, Executive Director of BlackRock Center for the Arts, one of the small grant recipients shares, “Every week, the Upcounty Consolidation HUB at BlackRock provides food, diapers, hygiene kits, and essential items to hundreds of the most vulnerable families in Upper Montgomery County. HIF understands the needs of these families who have been disproportionately impacted by the virus and the power of collaboration.  HIF’s early support of the HUB through this grant was essential to the creation of the HUB.  We are is just one example of how the foundation makes our community better every day.”   

Behavioral Health Across the Lifespan: $27,500 investment to impact #151 individuals

  • Boys Town Washington, D.C. – $15,000 Provide a Child Psychologist to begin comprehensive psychological evaluations and assessments of #50 children with increased telehealth capabilities.  
  • Identity – $10,000 Provide accessible group therapy sessions to #36 parent, family, and/or caregivers at three Upcounty Montgomery County schools to increase life-skills management of anxiety, isolation, and self-care practice.
  • NAMI Montgomery County – $2,500 Provide #65 Montgomery County residents affected by mental health conditions with free peer-led support through Connection Recovery Support groups and Peer-to-Peer class as a response to the increased mental health needs initiated by COVID-19. 

Access to Quality and Comprehensive Health and Wellness Services: $22,500 investment to impact #3,862 individuals

  • Germantown HELP – $5,000 Provide necessary food items and delivery to #3200 emergency food clients whose needs have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Spirit Club Foundation – $5,000 Host regular online fitness and yoga classes for #60 Montgomery County youth with disabilities who are unable to attend their usual classes due to COVID-19 through a partnership with KEEN (Kids Enjoy Exercise Now). 
  • Vikara Village – $10,000 Provide low-cost alternative to traditional mental health treatments through trauma-informed Body Love Yoga program that promotes a healthy sense of self #600 to middle and high school youth.
  • Shared Horizons, Inc. – $2,500 Provide financial support for #2 Montgomery County families who have a need for a specific medical device, equipment, or therapeutic support that is not otherwise covered by other programs, such as Medicaid. 

Sustainable Integrated Business Models for Safety-net Services: $5,000 investment to impact #3,500 individuals

  • BlackRock Center for the Arts: $5,000 Provide operational support for the coordination of the Upcounty Consolidation Hub to serve #3500 individuals and their households by providing food and fresh produce, household items, COVID-19 quarantine kits, diapers, and more.   

Culturally Competent Healthcare Workforce: $5,000 investment to impacted #36 individuals

  • Urban Alliance – $5,000 Serve #36 Montgomery County Public School seniors through the High School Internship Program (HSIP).  The program includes a 6-week workforce readiness bootcamp, mentorship, a Public Speaking Challenge, and long-term employment goal planning and will be available virtually to allow for accessibility.   

HIF supports organizations, within our geographic and focus area, thatimprove the quality and delivery of healthcare, expand the availability of comprehensive healthcare, build appropriate capacity in the healthcare network, and grow the healthcare workforce for Montgomery County residents. To learn more, please visit our website at and like us on Facebook at


If you would like more information about this topic or the Healthcare Initiative Foundation’s grant priorities, please contact Jess Fuchs at or 240-499-2827.

Health Equity Report Released

Metropolitan Council of Governments on June 10th released their Health Equity: How Opportunities for Health are Shaped by Race and Ethnicity report. This report is a follow-up to the 2018 Uneven Opportunities: How Conditions for Wellness Vary Across the Metropolitan Region. The Healthcare Initiative Foundation is a proud investor of both the ‘Health Equity’ and the ‘Uneven Opportunities’ reports.

Metropolitan Council of Governments shares, “Health Equity: How Opportunities for Health are Shaped by Race and Ethnicity, is a tool to normalize the conversation on why equity matters and the importance of addressing the conditions that restrict opportunities for good health and economic mobility.”

HIF’s website also includes an interactive toggle map of Montgomery County’s life expectancy and its relationship to median income, level of education, and insurance. To view the PDFs of the Healthy Equity and the Uneven Opportunities reports, click here.

Funding support for the 2020 ‘Health Equity’ report include Healthcare Initiative Foundation, Potomac Health Foundation, Northern Virginia Health Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, and CareFirst Bluecross BlueShield.

HIF Announces FY20 Capacity Building Grants

The Healthcare Initiative Foundation Awards $740,550 in the FY20 Capacity Building Grant Cycle to #24 Nonprofit Organizations. Projected to Impact Nearly 70,000 individuals.

Montgomery County, MD – May 15, 2020 – The Healthcare Initiative Foundation (HIF) awarded $740,550 in FY20 Capacity Building grants to support 24 organizations in Montgomery County, MD working to provide high-quality, comprehensive, and sustainable healthcare.  HIF’s grant priorities include: behavioral health access across the lifespan; access to quality and comprehensive health and wellness services; sustainable business models and integrated service delivery for systemic transformation (placed-based initiatives and collective impact models); and the growth of a highly skilled and culturally competent healthcare workforce. These grants are projected to impact more than 70,000 Montgomery County residents.

In 2019, the Foundation made a commitment to more responsibly invest in communities that have historically been underinvested in by stakeholders. In FY20, sixty percent of the total HIF award, or $443,767, is going towards programming aimed at Montgomery County’s historically underinvested in zip codes.  Fifty-four percent of our FY20 Capacity Building investment is going towards supporting sustainable service delivery systems and safety-net services across the lifespan.

Support Behavioral Health for Adults and Children: Total funding award in this priority area is $163,500 with #720 individuals to be served.

  • EveryMind – $63,000 Provides a full-time therapist to offer onsite behavioral health therapy at Daly Elementary School to serve #50 youth and their guardians. The therapist will provide day and evening hours at Daly ES and will accept referrals from Holy Cross Health Center. In addition to the therapy sessions, the program will serve #25-50 family members and at least #10 youth through psychoeducational groups.
  • Ayuda – $19,000 Provides wrap-around support services and trauma informed behavioral health services for the immigrant community who have experienced domestic violence and human trafficking.  The program will serve #35 and will include referrals to local partners for essential services like food and clothing.
  • Greater Washington Jewish Coalition Against Domestic Abuse (JCADA) – $11,500 Builds capacity for their 3-pronged approach to education and advocacy around power-based violence. Their youth educational and prevention programming will serve #500.
  • Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Care, Inc. (MC) – $50,000 Offers behavioral health services for pregnant mothers in coordination with existing prenatal services at the clinic. The program will conduct care coordination for #70 clients and also provide behavioral health interventions for #30 of these clients.  #20 staff members will receive training on maternal mental health.
  • Warrior Canine Connection – $20,000 Provides Mission Based Trauma Recovery (MBTR) to Veterans in partnership with the Cohens Veterans Clinic in Silver Spring, MD.  This innovative program uses a professional instructor to train the program participants, who are Veterans, in service dog training modalities using the animals (dogs) who will be a service animal for another Veteran. The program will serve #65 residents, #45 veterans and #20 family members, in an effort to decrease Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) symptoms.

Support Sustainable Service Delivery Systems and Safety-net Services Across the Lifespan: Total funding award in this priority area is $401,000 with #7,184 being served.

  • American Diversity Group – $32,000 Provides dental screenings, basic treatments, and necessary referrals to #180 students and parents at Daly, Gaithersburg, & Clopper Mill Elementary Schools.  Additionally, the program will provide dental screenings and procedures to #250 at 2 dental and 4 health fairs in Montgomery County.
  • CaringMatters – $25,000 Provides resource coordination for #144 patients receiving care at the Adventist Healthcare Aquilino Cancer Center. #115 of participants will receive access to non-medical community resources through a Resource Specialist. The Coordinator will be the point person for referrals to Hope Connections for the onsite support groups for newly diagnosed patients and to Volunteer Helping Hands for in-home support of those who are seriously ill.
  • Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind – $50,000 Provides eye exams to #770 people (#720 adults at #7 safety-net clinics and #50 youth in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), who are low income or uninsured, for diabetic retinopathy in adults and eye education to all. #50 youth from Daly and Clopper Mill Elementary Schools will receive an on-site eye exam. #40 students will receive 2 sets of eye-glasses. This support enables clinics to meet HEDIS standards for patients with diabetes and state law requirements for 5% of students failing vision screenings to receive a follow-up exam. This school vision expansion pilot is in partnership with Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Children’s Opportunity Fund (COF), MCPS, and HIF. 
  • Crittenton Services of Greater Washington – $20,000 Expands the SNEAKERS program to Seneca Valley and Clarksburg High Schools to serve #30. Their programs are 26 weeks of health, sex, and relationship education.
  • Family Services, Inc. (FSI) – $50,000 Coordinates access to care and resources to reduce risk and disparities to #332 persons, of which #270 are clients (#150 new, #120 existing). New and existing clients will receive ongoing care and assessment as a part of the Thriving Germantown collaboration. Trauma-informed training will be provided to #150 MCPS staff and faculty in Germantown area schools. FSI also convenes the #20 community partners of the collective impact work to evaluate the effect of the multigenerational, cross-sectoral work.
  • Maryland Foundation of Dentistry (MFD)- $10,000 Provides navigation and connects individuals with disabilities with necessary dental hygiene and intensive treatments to #100 Montgomery County residents.  Working with over 500 local pro bono dentist MFD is able to offer these dental services free of charge. #90 patients will be brought up to ‘good standard of dental care.’
  • Mobile Medical Care – $34,000 Partners with the 340B Drug Pricing Program to provide 1,000 prescriptions to #400 patients. Through this effort #300 patients with diabetes will have greater access to a more expansive selection of insulin prescriptions at more affordable rates tailored to the patient’s needs. Along with improving quality of care, this is an innovative business strategy. The program will become financially sustainable, offset financial barriers to patients, as well as, earn revenue for the clinic. 
  • Nourish Now – $20,000 Expands existing Nourish Neighborhood program to #10 sites in Montgomery County to serve #160 households and #500 individuals. The food recovery program delivers 3 days of healthy meals once a month to households with a focus on improving food insecurity and promoting the ‘Family Meal.’   
  • Prevention of Blindness Society of Metropolitan Washington – $40,000 Provides comprehensive on-site eye exams to #400 Montgomery County students in 8 participating schools that have failed the school vision screen. #360 of students who complete the exam will receive 2 pairs of glasses at no cost to the family. This expansion pilot is in partnership with Montgomery County HHS, Children’s Opportunity Fund, MCPS, and HIF. 
  • The American Heart Association – $50,000 Implements programming at 3 Montgomery County safety-net clinics (4 sites) for #3,764 patients to improve outcomes related to blood pressure using a bilingual nurse navigator. The nurse navigator will offer education classes to develop standards of practice for quality assurance at the clinics. These protocols will be institutionalized after the first year for the model to be expanded to all Montgomery County safety-net clinics.
  • The Tree House Child Advocacy Center of Montgomery County, Inc – $50,000 Supports #200 child abuse victims by providing direct medical care through their Board-certified Child Abuse Pediatrician. The program also supports the training of #7 Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) nurses at Adventist Healthcare Shady Grove Hospital to standardize exam and screening practices to improve health and behavioral health outcomes and assist with possible criminal investigations.
  • Vietnamese American Services, Inc – $20,000 #500 seniors will receive support through the Vietnamese Adult Medical Day Center.  Services at the Center include medical care provided by a Registered Nurse on staff, appointment scheduling, transportation assistance, and culturally appropriate meals and activities.  #400 seniors will be enrolled in health insurance while #150 will receive support in accessing health care services and #15 will be referred to Mobile Medical Care for specialized health care services.

Promote Sustainable Integrated Business Models for Safety-net Services Across the Lifespan: Total funding awarded in this priority area is $77,050 with #150 being served.

  • Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA) – $45,000 Continues the operation of the Partners in Care model with their #7 community partners at Homecrest House while expanding the programming and services to a new location in Silver Spring at Springvale Terrace. Providing #100 residents with care coordination with the goal of enabling residents to remain in their homes.
  • Manna Food Center – $32,050 Provides healthy food access to #150 Montgomery County seniors by offering no-cost Lyft rides to Manna’s new food market location in Silver Spring. The program also increases access to SNAP benefits to #36 seniors by providing assistance with the application process and a partnership with the Jewish Council for the Aging (JCA) to offer navigation services. 

Promote the development of a culturally competent healthcare workforce: Total funding awarded in this priority area is $50,000 with #26 being served.

  • Leadership Montgomery – $50,000 Offers the opportunity for #20 Montgomery County nonprofit health and wellness professionals to go through Phase 1 of the two-day/16-hour Racial Equity Institute (REI) workshop. Additionally, #6 professionals from 2 Montgomery County nonprofit organizations will have the opportunity to complete the 8-month Racial Equity Action Leadership (REAL) training. 

Support Sustainable Service Delivery Systems and Safety-net Services Across the Lifespan: Total funding awarded for this priority area is $49,000 with #61,340 being served.

  • Institute for Public Health Innovation – $28,000 Continues the development of #35 new Local School Wellness Councils in MCPS for #60,000 students in a total of #135 schools by March 2021 with the goal of implementation in all #207 schools. The project will also offer trauma-informed training for #100 MCPS staff (Administrative and School Wellness Coordinators) to infuse these learnings into their school wellness plans. This support provides match funding to secure the Trinity Health Community Transformation multi-year grant.
  • Montgomery County Food Council – $13,000 Supports the ongoing work of the Food Security Council Advisory Board (FSCAB) which provides outreach, resources, and training to residents experiencing food insecurity to become resource navigators and leaders in their communities as well as develop a report with recommendations and action items to reach #500 community members. Through community action advocacy events a total of #1170 residents to be engaged in solutions for food insecurity.
  • Nonprofit Montgomery – $5,000 Montgomery Moving Forward expands their relationship with Holy Cross Health and Shady Grove Hospital and 3 nonprofit healthcare or human service organizations in East County to reach #200 parents.  The program will educate these healthcare partner providers about the Early Childcare Education (ECE) toolkit and will encourage them to disseminate the ECE Employer toolkit to parents and caregivers.
  • Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments – $3,000 Supports the development of a ‘Racial Equity’ report by the Virginia Commonwealth University Center on Society and Health that expands on the ‘Uneven Opportunities’ report. The data will focus on how race impacts health and life expectancy in our region.  HIF funds will support this work for Montgomery County.  The ten regional Public Health leaders from will come together for a Racial Equity Leadership Series to operationalize this equity work in their communities. 

HIF supports organizations, within our geographic and focus area, thatimprove the quality and delivery of healthcare, expand the availability of comprehensive healthcare, build appropriate capacity in the healthcare network, and grow the healthcare workforce for Montgomery County residents. To learn more, please visit our website at and like us on Facebook at


If you would like more information about this topic or the Healthcare Initiative Foundation’s grant priorities, please contact Jess Fuchs at or 240-499-2827.

Maryland Releases Recommendations for Nonprofits

On May 13th, Governor Hogan released his updated Roadmap to Recovery Plan and the initiation of Phase I and the release of the Stay at Home order.

As a part of Maryland’s Roadmap to Recovery, Governor Hogan launched a Nonprofit Advisory group through the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives to get valuable ongoing input during the recovery from religious groups and nonprofit organizations. HIF’s President and CEO, Crystal Townsend, was honored to be a part of this Advisory Workgroup.

To view the recommendations put forward by the Nonprofit Advisory Workgroup click here. This document does not have any authority and these are suggested recommendations, a synthesis of the work group’s discussions, for the Governor’s consideration. Every jurisdiction may add additional restrictions or guidelines recognizing the different conditions in areas throughout the state and that a one-size-fits-all approach may not be appropriate.

Food Access Grant Awards Announced

text of News Release

Montgomery County Food Access Grants Awarded to 38 Community Organizations

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, May 12, 2020

       Montgomery County awarded 38 food assistance grants to community groups providing food assistance to vulnerable residents and families in the county.  A total of $1.2 million was appropriated to increase food access during the response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Non-profit organizations were eligible for up to $75,000.  A portion of the funds will be used for partnerships with ethnic grocery stores to increase the availability of culturally appropriate food assistance, as well as deliver hot meals to residents and purchasing food from local kosher markets to distribute to seniors.

       “The need for food assistance has grown dramatically because of this pandemic, and I am appreciative of the work with many of our community partners to get food to our residents as best as possible,” said County Executive Marc Elrich.  “We will continue our work together to address the needs of our residents during this difficult time.” 

       “The economic hardships experienced by countless Montgomery County residents as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic have created ever-increasing and sustained demands on food banks, nonprofit providers and community service partners providing food assistance,” said Council President Sidney Katz. “We are deeply grateful for our community partners and their ongoing efforts to combat food insecurity during this extremely challenging time. The Council is committed to providing the resources necessary to assist in these essential efforts across our community.”

       The organizations receiving grants, ranging from nearly $7,000 to $60,000, are:

  • Adventist Community Services
  • AHC, Inc.
  • American Diversity Group
  • American Muslim Senior Society
  • Bethel World
  • CASA
  • Catholic Charities
  • Chinese Cultural and Community Center
  • Direct Support for Immigrants
  • Gaithersburg HELP
  • Germantown Black Rock Hub
  • Goshen United Methodist Church
  • Help for Life Foundation
  • Hindu American Community Services
  • Hughes United Methodist Church
  • Humanity First USA
  • Indonesian American Association
  • International Cultural Athletic Association
  • Islamic Center of Maryland
  • Islamic Community Center of Potomac
  • Jewish Council for the Aging
  • Kingdom Fellowship AME Church
  • Kings and Priests Courts International Ministries
  • Korean Community Service Center of Greater Washington
  • Latin American Youth Center
  • Manna Food Center
  • Nourish Now
  • Rainbow CDC
  • Salvation Army
  • Shepherd’s Table
  • Silver Spring Christian Reformed Church
  • So What Else
  • The Living Legends Awards for Service to Humanity
  • Up2Us Foundation
  • Vietnamese Americans Services
  • Washington Youth Foundation
  • Women Who Care Ministries
  • YMCA Youth & Family Services

       The COVID-19 Emergency Food Access Grant is a partnership between the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Montgomery County Food Council (MCFC) and the Healthcare Initiative Foundation (HIF). The County’s Food Security Task Force, recently formed by the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (OEMHS), reviewed and determined all grant awards. The HIF is the fiscal agent for the program and will award the money.

       DHHS, along with Montgomery County Public Schools, the MCFC and local food assistance providers have been working during the COVID-19 pandemic to address the increasing need for food assistance across the county. To address food insecurity and plan for a greater need, OEMHS created the Food Security Task Force, made up of county staff, community partners and food assistance recipients. A strategic plan to address food insecurity and priorities for future food assistance spending is being developed.

       For the latest COVID-19 updates, visit the County’s COVID-19 website and follow Montgomery County on Facebook @MontgomeryCountyInfo and Twitter @MontgomeryCoMD.

       Put the “count” in Montgomery County! Be sure to complete the Census online, by phone, or by mail. It’s safe, confidential, easy, and important. #2020Census #EveryoneCountsMCMD

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Media Contact:  Mary Anderson,