Access to quality, affordable healthcare is an important factor in leading a full, healthy and resilient life. However, there are social and systemic factors –the conditions in which we are born, live and work–that play a crucial, if not, more influential role on our overall health. We recognize the significant health disparities and deep-rooted health barriers that exist in adjacent communities within our region. As a result, we aim to achieve health equity across our 27-zip-code service region in Chicago and western Cook County suburbs, by addressing both the medical factors that influence health as well as the upstream, midstream and downstream social determinants of health.
The communities within our service region, each with their own unique ecosystems, hold the solutions to the issues they face. We believe in community-centered philanthropy and value the partnerships we build with our communities as they are the base to improving health outcomes in our region.
We are a community informed grantmaking foundation that seeks to measurably improve the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities in our service area by promoting health equity, quality, and access.
That all residents of our communities lead full, healthy, and happy lives and enjoy equal life expectancy.
We understand that systemic conditions such as implicit bias and institutional/structural racism impede access and opportunities that improve well-being and a sustainable quality of life. We intend to use our platform and resources to create change, forge partnerships, and share learning through a focused and visible commitment to address these disparities and achieve health equity.
All organizations must be able to demonstrate that the proposed programs/services align with at least one of the categories below:
Click on each category to learn more.
for health-related policies and systems change
We take an upstream approach to influencing health by addressing the root causes of inequities. We aim to impact existing structures and policies by supporting efforts that ensure our communities are part of the decision-making tables.
knowledge through capacity building
Beyond financial support, we direct resources that can help partners effectively deliver their missions over the long haul. We also support strategies that give communities access to local health data which can enhance their capacity to make informed health-related decisions.
social determinants of health
Overall health is deeply influenced by where we live, work, learn and play. While residents in our region do not have equitable access to resources and opportunities that impact long-term health outcomes, they have a nuanced understanding of the challenges they face and potential solutions.
We will allocate the majority of our funds to general operating support. We want to help grantee partners fulfill their missions and be effective in delivering critical programs and services that address the health needs of our communities.
By invitation, HCF will fund strategic initiatives that explore or expand new opportunities and/or address crises or emergencies requiring immediate, targeted resources.
HCF supports learning communities, trainings, conferences and other programs aimed at strengthening the nonprofit sector and our partners who help achieve our mission within our region.
We fund a geographic region defined by the service area of MacNeal hospital, from which we received our endowment in 2000.
To achieve health equity, we allocate the majority of funds to zip codes that rank lowest in our social determinants of health study.
For more information about our Legacy & Equity Zone zip codes, please refer to the HCF Strategic Plan.
HCF Funding Area