FY22 HIF Grantee Training Registration

To register for the FY22 HIF Grantee Training, use the zoom link below.

Zoom registration link available here.

Additional Opportunity: Grant Portal Walkthrough Training

October 29

Zoom registration link available here.

In an effort to respond to feedback from our grant and community partners, we wanted to offer an additional training on October 29th, to provide an informal walkthrough of our grant portal, Foundant. Anyone is welcome — current, former, or interested grant partners! Jessica Fuchs, HIF’s Director of Grants and Community Impact, will discuss how to create an account, access a user’s dashboard, where and how to access open applications, and answer any questions partners might have. The link to register for this training is here. This opportunity is NOT a requirement of interested grant partners, but rather a supplement to the training with additional insight into our online grant portal.

If you have any questions regarding either the October 26 Annual Grantee Training or the October 29 Grant Portal Walkthrough, email Jessica Fuchs!

Many Hands Make Light Work

Building Equitable Vaccine Capacity

During the pandemic the adage of ‘many hands make light work’ rang true. Through successful community partnerships and strategic investments, the Healthcare Initiative Foundation (HIF) and *partners were able to break down barriers to access and build the necessary capacity to administer nearly 13,000 vaccines through #70 vaccine clinics in just (3) three months, fully vaccinate 6,500 Montgomery County residents. Most of the vaccines were administered in communities highly impacted by COVID-19 in collaboration with trusted community partners and leaders who were able to effectively engage our Black and Brown residents and residents who speak English as second language.

The County in March 2021 was seeing disproportionate COVID-19 vaccine pre-registration. An eligible tier at the time for pre-registration was 75 and older. The pre-registration rates for White residents 75 and older was at 73%, while the COVID prevalence was at 25%. Conversely, in the over 75 Hispanic population the COVID prevalence was 40% and yet only 6% of those 75 and older were pre-registered for a vaccine. Similarly, in the Black and African American population 75 years and older, there was a COVID prevalence rate of 19% with only 6% pre-registered. The disproportionate access among race was evident and it was not surprising knowing the connection between race and place that the pre-registration data also showed that the County residents gaining access to the vaccine were not from the most highly impacted communities.

Seeing this disparity, HIF proactively in early March requested proposals from our safety-net health providers and the HIF Board created a Vaccine Fund to respond to these proposals. The Foundation fully understood the complexity of the vaccine supply and the tiered eligibility. We also knew from past implementation roll outs with the Health Exchange, COVID-19 testing, etc. that it takes time to build capacity and we wanted our trusted nonprofit safety-net partners to be at the planning table and primed for scalable implementation so infection rates could be stalemated, and lives could be saved in the communities hardest hit by the pandemic.

Utilizing the proposals, the HIF team built an implementation plan that allowed for contiguous input from the nonprofit partners that identified the safety-net vaccine administrator, vaccine supplier source (e.g., County, Federally Qualified Health Centers, State of Maryland’s Equity Taskforce, Holy Cross Health System, Safeway Pharmacy, etc.), location of the vaccine clinic, date of occurrence, and available community food or outreach partner as appropriate. HIF then proposed the plan to the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that was approved for execution.

In late March, HIF awarded $369,000 to MobileMed, Chinese Culture and Community Service Center (CCACC), Vietnamese American Services (VAS), Korean Community Services Center (KCSC), and Care 4 Your Health (C4YH) to develop and provide community-based vaccine clinics in COVID-19 highly impacted areas of the County to improve vaccine access and address the disparate outcomes for our Black and Brown residents. 

At the time of the HIF grants awards, public dollars were anticipated to be forthcoming. As a funder we had the ability to respond nimbly and quickly to save lives making funding available expeditiously to trusted community partners. We also knew that this frontend capacity building investment was essential to onboarding and training staff, site development, process management, establishing quality and safety measures, and identifying multiple access points for vaccine suppliers, so that when funds became available there was the capacity to scale up efforts.  

Through the planning and implementation phases, HIF facilitated weekly convening meetings where partners provided updates, shared new barriers and successes, and became each other’s champions. As the pilot progressed, the collaborations grew stronger with additional safety- net providers like Casa Ruben, Global Sustainable Partnerships (GSP), and ANGARAI CARES CBO joining the collaborative effort along with health systems and insurance carriers.

The partners have continued to meet weekly even after the conclusion of the HIF grants with the goal of reaching all residents that have not yet received the vaccine. HIF is proud of what these community leaders and partners have accomplished over the (3) three months and the efforts that they are continuing to lead with public investment.

As we reflect upon this work, HIF and the vaccine partners identified (7) seven pillars of success which can help lay the foundation for future community centered approaches for equitable access to care.

Pillars to Addressing Equitable Vaccine Access

  1. Lead with Trusted Community Partners and Leaders – It is critical to partner with community organizations that residents trust at the onset of planning if you want to transform the systemic barriers to access to care. Community organizations are led by leaders trusted by and often from the community with strong reputations of offering services with integrity. For addressing vaccine access, this necessitated HIF to invest on the frontend partner planning and coordination efforts so that the deployed strategies centered community voice and patient needs and were designed with community. This advanced planning enabled the healthcare safety-net providers to collaborate with the faith community, food distribution sites, grocery stores, businesses, neighborhoods, other nonprofits, and with community organizers to bring the vaccine clinics where residents were already engaged. It also required funding trusted community ambassadors and case managers with the cultural understanding and linguistic capacity to assist with navigation, address concerns, help with the registration process, and connect with health providers for medical advice. Through the HIF grant to CCAC, VAS and KCSC were provided subgrants to provide culturally and linguistically centered patient navigation services for the CCAC ‘s vaccine clinics. In addition, HIF outside of the Vaccine fund granted GSP and Identity, Inc. funding to support culturally and linguistically centered community outreach efforts around vaccine education and vaccine access.
  2. Integrate Service Delivery – Many of the safety-net partners shifted their models from having residents come to them in the more traditional clinic model to going to where residents were accessing services such as food distribution locations, health fairs, grocery stores, businesses, community events, faith services, etc. Further, as opportunities presented, additional services were integrated into the clinic outreach days such as vision exam for children, health screening, other immunizations, etc. This advanced collaboration and resource sharing amongst nonprofits made multiple services more readily available to the community. Moving a clinic model to community takes multiple site visits and advance planning particularly as you concentrate on the safety planning and the flow of operations. Through effective collaboration and planning, ANGARAI CARES CBO, American Diversity Group (ADG), KloudData, and DHHS partnered to successfully launch a community service organization in the Plum Orchard area of Silver Spring to provide critical services out of a single center in English, Spanish, Amharic, French, and Mandarin-Chinese. These services include food distribution; free COVID testing; COVID vaccination; and chronic disease management clinics.
  3. Convene Collaborative Strategic Planning and Build Partnerships – Philanthropy serves a vital role as neutral convener bringing partners together to assist with the planning and service integration. We know that successful collaboration takes time and support is needed beyond grant dollars for planning, information sharing, and implementation. For these projects, HIF designed the initial implementation plan integrating the proposals from the (3) three safety-net clinic partners to create a comprehensive plan for addressing the inequitable access to vaccines. The implementation plan was approved by DHHS and subsequently updated weekly enabling the foundation and partners to coordinate and ensure that these resources were being deployed strategically to highly impacted communities. HIF also hosted weekly partner-led provider meetings to allow a safe space for learning, collaboration, continuously planning, and support. The vaccine partner group has affectionately named itself, ‘Rebels with a Cause,” leaders working towards systems transformation. Through this collaboration, they celebrate each other’s successes and bolster one another during hardships.  One of the partners, GSP, was working for several months to expand their integrated diabetes and vaccine education community outreach program into Montgomery County to serve Black and Brown residents. The partners rallied around GSP, offering encouragement along the journey, and celebrated with GSP when they reached the pivotal milestone of their getting their request for a bus approved.  
  4. Strengthen the Healthcare Workforce – Training our future healthcare workforce on community centered approaches built around cultural and linguistic needs is paramount.  At the onset of the vaccine partnership, HIF engaged with Montgomery College and The Universities at Shady Grove to connect nursing students with the community-based vaccine clinics. This collaboration not only increased the capacity of the safety-net partners to offer efficient and effective clinics, but also allowed valuable training opportunities for nursing students on community-based responses, safety protocols, pop-up clinic operation, and quality patient engagement. Many nursing students were unable to work directly with patients for over year because of the pandemic missing vital experiential learnings and these clinics helped many students regain their purpose and passion for nursing and passed along crucial skills. One example of this is MobileMed, utilizing Montgomery College nursing students to help staff up their vaccine clinic at the Lakeforest Equity Center (LEC). The pre-registration was done the day before the clinic by the LEC team during their food drive-up event by trusted community organizers. The day of the clinic, Nourish Now offered additional food resources for participating residents.  Each of the partners utilized their strengths to offer training to future healthcare workers and provide comprehensive and integrated services for vaccines and food distribution that were culturally centered at a trusted provider location where residents were already accessing services.  
  5. Accessible and Flexible Service Delivery Models– Flexible approaches are needed when countering access barriers to care. No one can do it all but making investments strategically that meet the continuum of care for the entire population is vital. Working with community partners, HIF invested in the multiple strategies for vaccine administration funding partners to offer vaccines in the home, in the community, at their clinics, and with partner organization to ensure the right delivery model was offered to meet the resident’s individual and household circumstances. C4YH patients are primarily Hispanic residents over 65 and many were homebound and did not have the capacity to go outside of their homes for the vaccine. The younger members of the community had severe transportation barriers making it difficult to community to get to the needed services.  Additionally, most of those that were employed could not leave their jobs to receive services.  Understanding these challenges, the C4YH leadership designed the safety workflow and protocols to offer vaccines in the home, in the community after-hours, and on the weekends. This innovative approach made access available more quickly to those that did not have access through the mainstream offerings.
  6. Fund Diversified Partners – Investment in diverse and multiple partners to manage the vaccine education and vaccine process allowed for services to be delivered in culturally and linguistically respectful ways. HIF and the partners were cognizant that there were going to be unforeseen barriers that emerged during the implementation and there was a commitment to work through these together. CCAC partnered and gave subgrants to Vietnamese American Society (VAS) and Korean Community Services Center (KCSC) knowing that language and cultural norms may circumvent residents from coming to their clinic. Working with VAS and KCSC they were able to work through these intrinsic challenges and build bridges of trust and connect residents with vaccines.
  7. Build the Capacity of the Healthcare Safety-Net – HIF intentionally funded healthcare nonprofit providers to build the capacity for the safety-net health clinics to both scale-up their services locally and engage more residents in long-term health services. By having a nonprofit medical provider in the community offering the vaccines, residents have become more aware that healthcare is available, and they learn how they can be connected to a medical provider and gain access to health coverage. An example of this is the efforts being led by Dr. Ligia Peralta, founder of Casa Ruben, who is a strong advocate and a pediatrician. Through her work, she is ensuring that children not only receive the COVID-19 vaccines, if eligible, but that children are also linked to care and up to date on all their immunizations which in many instances have lapsed due to the pandemic.  Working with a trusted a community provider is key, and the UpCounty Distribution Hub has collaborated with Dr. Peralta to join them as a part of their food distributions taking place in the community. These integrated clinic and food events further offer valuable opportunities to engage caregivers in discussions about health coverage and healthcare resources available for themselves and their children. Another partner, CCAC through their vaccine clinic engagements, was able to enroll #150 Montgomery County adult residents, that had no prior healthcare, into Montgomery Cares connecting them with health coverage and consistent medical care. We have always known the vital importance of connecting residents with consistent healthcare and now seeing the harmful impact of COVID-19 on individuals with pre-existing conditions the necessity of quality healthcare access for all is even more abundantly clear.

Thank you to all the collaborative partners that are our community heroes! The progress made in these initial months provided the seminal foundation for countering the disparate inequities in getting access to the vaccine.

Vaccine Partners

*MobileMed, Care 4 Your Health (C4YH), Chinese Culture and Community Service Center (CCACC), ANGARAI CARES CBO, Vietnamese American Services (VAS), Korean Community Services Center (KCSC), Identity, Inc., Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Holy Cross Health, Global Sustainable Partnerships (GSP), Nourish Now, American Diversity Group (ADG), Casa Ruben, Montgomery College, The Universities at Shady Grove (USG), Gaithersburg Cares Hub, LakeForest Equity Center (LEC), and UpCounty Consolidation Hub at BlackRock Center for the Arts

Transforming the Grantee – Funder Relationship

Philanthropy can be so much more than the dollars distributed, and when funders invest with the community and include community voice in the work, we all are better stewards of these resources. Creating a successful partnership between funders and nonprofit requires calculated leaps together, and longer-term and more robust commitments supporting innovation, on-going learning, advocacy, and the facilitation of vital connections. 

At the onset of the pandemic, the Healthcare Initiative Foundation (HIF) was approached by Black Rock Center for the Arts (BRCA) for seed funding to reopen their closed facility to serve as a temporary warehouse and distribution center for donated food to be disseminated to the community. All that was needed was funding to bring back the Facilities Manager that was laid-off to safely reopen for nonprofit partners and volunteers to operate.
 As the planning and implementation commenced, the Foundation:

  • Engaged with community leaders and nonprofits to bring on more partners and volunteers to meet the ever-growing need;
  • Frequently presented on the HUB model to community leaders and stakeholders;
  • Created vital connections to address barriers and expand the scope of services;
  • Made additional calculated investments to other nonprofit partners to align the Hub’s work with testing, vaccines, and telehealth; and
  • Personally volunteered to support holiday giving, Easter, Halloween, and other events.

The benefits of HIF’s ongoing collaborative partnership relationship have far exceeded the initial seed funding of just $5,000.

Over the last year, the UpCounty Distribution Hub at BRCA has grown to serve #1200 individuals weekly with comprehensive resources (i.e., activity kits, culturally appropriate and quality perishable and nonperishable foods, sports equipment, COVID safety-kits, diapers and formula, and sanitary kits, etc.) and case management to connect to vital services (i.e., rental services, testing, vaccines, telehealth, etc.). This Hub has also served as a model for (7) seven other regions in Montgomery County to create community-centered, culturally-responsive, and integrated service hubs and will be one of the innovations that has transformed service delivery during the pandemic.

What does it take to transform the funder and grantee dynamic from primarily a transactional relationship to an authentic, collaborative partnership?

Some key strategies that HIF has found to be vital are as follows: address systemic barriers; invest in innovation; integrate services and align investments; and provide on-going implementation support.

Address the systemic barriers that are deterrents and create obstacles to service delivery. Funders can utilize their personal and professional networks to connect leaders with resources, information, and social and political capital to navigate these barriers and build lasting trust. Grantees are often unable to fully advocate because of the power dynamics and the dependency on these institutions for future support and access. Philanthropy can serve as the neutral broker in these conversations to help navigate the change.

Invest in innovation serving as a valuable equity incubator. Investors can fund new and/or emerging nonprofit leaders, particularly offering support to BIPOC leaders that have been historically underinvested in, to build their capacity to offer sustainable services. These organizations frequently start off as an all-volunteer run organization and assisting them with this transformation as they grow is imperative. Funders can also support proof of concepts to build credibility and fund community-based strategies that are built with the community versus for community. We have learned repeatedly that just building the program and service is not enough as access requires attentiveness to cultural norms, language capacity, transportation, childcare, employment flexibility, and safety.  Engaging with community on the design of the plan and throughout the implementation is imperative to ensure that these opportunities are accessible by all in the community.

Integration of services and aligning investments is fundamental to ensure continuity of care and enhance efficiency through shared resources and partnership. As funders, we have the opportunity and privilege to meet with so many nonprofits doing phenomenal work, so it is incumbent on us to share and connect. No one organization needs to do it all, but through vital connections and collaboration their participants can have access to it all and each partner can do what they do best. For example, medical providers can have access through collaboration and integrated funding to healthy food and behavioral health services, greatly improving the health and wellness of their patients. Additionally, as the example above highlighted, a Hub can be the collection center of many needed resources to disseminate seamlessly to residents versus a resident having to go to multiple locations to get all that they need.

Provide ongoing implementation support offering opportunities for grantees to continuously engage with funders so that problem-solving can occur. These discussions can lead to advocacy, technical assistance, and/or a chance to offer flexibility around the project design, budgeting, and timing for the project. Through the pandemic, this lessoned was reinforced as our valued partners and systems were adapting to a very dynamic environment. Being embedded in the change enabled us to be the vital support to nonprofits to ensure resources and services were available even if the strategy and modality changed. We were successful together.

As we continue our path to recovery, HIF is committed to advancing our collaborations and partnerships with our nonprofits and fellow philanthropists as we know investments are not enough to yield the change we want to see in our community.

Thank you to all our partners for the journey.

Crystal Townsend

President & CEO

HIF Invests in Vaccination Clinics

Healthcare Initiative Foundation (HIF) is enthusiastic to award $369,564 from its COVID-19 Vaccine Fund. These grants will improve equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine in highly impacted areas of the County through the administration of over 12,204 vaccines fully vaccinating approximately 6,742 Montgomery County residents.

HIF’s short-term, capacity building investment will pilot over #70 place-based vaccination clinics in highly impacted areas of the County to improve vaccine access and address the disparate outcomes for our black and brown residents. Thus far, grants have been awarded to: MobileMed, Care For Your Health (C4YH), and the Chinese Culture and Community Services Center (CCACC) to deploy and coordinate culturally appropriate, place-based vaccination clinics that utilize a variety of vaccine suppliers, community ambassadors and volunteers, food providers, and strategic locations to decrease barriers.

The safety-net clinics will use HIF funds to build the necessary capacities to onboard and train staff, develop locations, administrator the vaccines, and support costs for mobilizing clinics. Through valuable partnerships with the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Holy Cross Hospital (HCH), the Federal Government-Federal Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), and with the Maryland Equity Taskforce/National Guard these safety-net clinic partners will gain access to vaccine supplies and valuable technical assistance. We are stronger together and HIF is honored to collaborate with these incredible partners to improve vaccine access for all!

Learn more about HIF’s grant guidelines.

DC Diaper Bank Awarded Grant

Greater DC Diaper Bank Receives Grant to Provide 60,000 diapers to Montgomery County Families

Spring 2020 required swift reaction from community organizations, public policy, and philanthropy to respond to the mounting concerns of COVID-19.  In May 2020, HIF provided seed funding to support the rapid implementation of the UpCounty Consolidation Hub at BlackRock Center for the Arts. The Hub provides necessary food, hygiene items, and COVID-kits for UpCounty families.  It was through this work that HIF was reintroduced to the Greater DC Diaper Bank and the gap they were filling in Montgomery County to provide families with essential items like diapers, wipes, baby gear, feminine products, and formula. 

As the pandemic pushed more and more families into financial hardship, the Diaper Bank responded by providing these essential items to their more than 60 community partners and initiating 19 Diaper Need Hubs in the DC Metro Region. HIF responded by investing in the remarkable work of the DC Diaper Bank to support two Montgomery County serving nonprofits with 60,000 diapers—Family Services, Inc, a program of Sheppard Pratt, and Mary’s Center.  DC Diaper Bank anticipates providing nearly 7 million diapers to families in the DC Metro Region in 2021, with 1.7 million (25%) diapers supporting Montgomery County families.

The Greater DC Diaper Bank will provide nearly 7 million diapers to DC Metro Region
Families. Nearly 2 million of those diapers will go to Montgomery County families.
The DC Diaper Bank also provides wipes, formula, baby gear, and feminine hygiene

The mission of the DC Diaper Bank is to empower parents and babies in need throughout the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia by providing an adequate and reliable source for basic baby needs and personal hygiene products. Of their current distribution partners throughout the DC Metro Region, nearly 40% (#24) are located in Montgomery County. One partner shared, “I can’t tell you how many clients and folks we have made happy with these diapers. We are so proud and honored to be a partner in serving folks with their basic needs. Thank you so much for this partnership that has served so many smiling faces. We used to get begged for diapers, it seemed to be the communities greatest need besides food.” 

To learn more about the Greater Washington DC Diaper Bank, visit their website at greaterdcdiaperbank.org.  


For additional information about this program or about HIF’s grant investment process, please reach out to Director of Grants and Community Impact at [email protected].

Identity Receives Emerging Needs Investment

HIF invests in Community-based Mental Health Initiative to allow for program expansion and evaluation.

2020 was a hard year for all of us and 2021 looks to continue to be a trying time but there is a light at the end of this COVID-tunnel!  While all of us had to pivot, flex, and adapt in some form, many members of our community were hit much harder.  In particular, our Latino community in Montgomery County have been devastated by the pandemic. Through our Emerging Needs investment cycle, HIF was able to provide early support to Identity, based in Gaithersburg, to allow for the evaluation and expansion of their community-based mental health initiative to respond to this dire need. The community mental health project evaluation work will include collaboration with a team of researchers from the University of Maryland School of Public Health. HIF is proud to invest in community-based nonprofits who are able to offer trusted, culturally-competent programming!  

In Montgomery County, we are fortunate to have reliable community partners who were ready to implement community-based programming to allow for a safe space to heal and thrive.  Early in the pandemic, Identity realized that they would need to accelerate the growth of their mental health support groups by training their non-clinical staff and volunteer parent Promotoras.  Promotoras are Latino community members who receive specialized training to provide basic health education and support.  They are trained by Identity to provide active listening, trauma-informed coping mechanisms, management of stress, anxiety, grief, and supports for children. 

Identity, Inc trains non-clinical staff and volunteer parent Promotoras to
provide active listening, coping mechanisms, and management of stress.

To learn more about Identity and their wide variety of amazing programming, visit their website at identity-youth.org.


To receive additional information about this program or about HIF’s grant investments, please contact Director of Grants and Community Impact at [email protected].

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

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, [email protected].

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 www.hifmc.org and like us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/hifmc.


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