Map of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

HealthSpark Awards $165,000 in Grants to Improve Health Outcomes in MontCo

February 23, 2017

Colmar, PA – HealthSpark Foundation recently awarded two grants totaling $165,000 to improve the health and wellbeing of Montgomery County residents.

A grant of $75,000 over one year was made to the Health Care Improvement Foundation (HCIF) to support the development and implementation of strategies to improve behavioral health care access and delivery in Montgomery County. Since 2015, HCIF has facilitated nine meetings of the Montgomery County Hospital Partnership to collectively address pressing community health needs emerging from local hospitals’ community health needs assessments. The Partnership is comprised of representatives from hospitals, behavioral health providers and the two Federally Qualified Health Centers located within Montgomery County, and the county’s health department.

With HCIF’s facilitation, the Partnership will address the significant unmet behavioral health needs in the county. As a first step in this process, the Partnership will collect and analyze data on the incidence and nature of visits to Montgomery County emergency departments by patients with behavioral health needs, and develop and disseminate a map of behavioral health resources in the county. This project will help Partnership members better understand the behavioral health needs in Montgomery County and inform the design of specific strategies to promote early treatment interventions, as well as more timely and appropriate referrals for behavioral health care, especially for patients experiencing a behavioral health crisis.

The foundation awarded a grant of $90,000 over 19 months to ACLAMO (Accion Comunal Latino Americana de Montgomery County) Family Centers to pilot a new Community Health Worker (CHW) program to improve health outcomes for disadvantaged communities. According to a 2014 Commonwealth Fund survey, despite gains the uninsured rate for Latinos remains high. There is an abundance of evidence that links patient health status to access to health services; thus when individuals secure health insurance, their health status improves. ACLAMO will partners with local hospitals, the Norristown Regional Federally Qualified Health Center and managed care organizations on this project to address these disparities primarily in Montgomery County’s Latino community, concentrated in the Norristown area.

Through grantmaking and related philanthropic activities, HealthSpark Foundation works to improve the health and well-being of the community by anticipating tomorrow's challenges and offering support to plan and deliver cost-effective, outcomes-oriented programs and services that vulnerable populations in Montgomery County require to lead healthy, successful and meaningful lives. Since the foundation’s inception in 2002, more than $13.4 million has been distributed to 182 nonprofit organizations.