Posts in 'Health and Human Services'

Foundation launches Safety Net Resiliency Initiative

In January 2018, we launched our new Safety Net Resiliency Initiative. Over the next 10 years, the Resiliency Initiative aims to improve the ability of Montgomery County’s health and human services safety net system – and the organizations that contribute to and support the system – to weather uncertainty and meet the needs of people across the county.

Strategic Plan

Our board of directors adopted our current strategic plan, guiding our work through June 30, 2023.

We will continue to evolve our grantmaking focus over the next decade with a goal of “Assuring a nimble, real-time, resilient quality health and human services safety net system”. We will sharpen our focus on system change to address health disparities that hinder access and quality outcomes. And we will seek opportunities to ensure the financial and organizational health of the safety net system. 

Community Engagement

We engage our community in a number of ways. Our Safety Net Resiliency Initiative has been largely informed by the community of health and human service providers and stakeholders. 

5th Annual Your Way Home Summit

More than 200 attendees came together for Your Way Home's Montgomery County,(YWH), 5th Annual Summit on June 15, 2017 held at Montgomery County Community College. Your Way Home leadership reported on 2016 recent outcomes, which included serving nearly 3,000 during the year. Other outcomes included 86% of Montgomery County households at risk of homelessness were diverted from emergency shelters, and another 86% of people who exited Rapid Re-Housing to permanent housing have not returned to homelessness within two years.

Released at its 6th Annual Summit, this report details the impact Your Way Home Montgomery County has had on the experience of homelessness, both in the past year and cumulatively. The report provides a snapshot of the outcomes in each of six core strategies: Coordinated entry Emergency shelter...

6th Annual Your Way Home Summit

On June 8th, Your Way Home Montgomery County hosted it's 6th annual summit at Montgomery County Community College. The summit's theme was, "Advancing Equity" and served as a kick off to Your Way Home's new strategic framework that expands their work to include addressing the crisis of affordable housing, homelessness prevention and equity. HealthSpark President and CEO Russ Johnson was one of four individuals who received a Champion for Change award.

Three women looking down at a large sheet of paper on a table; one of the women is writing on the sheet.
On September 6, 2018, HealthSpark Foundation welcomed nearly 200 people to Normandy Farm Conference Center for a Community of Practice meeting. This was the third such meeting, following other convenings in March and June. Community of Practice meetings have been an important component in Phase 1 of...


Our Grantmaking Journey

Our grantmaking journey has evolved since our inception. In our early years, our grantmaking was responsive:  we opened up grant opportunities and determined grants from the pool of applicants. Over the years we moved to becoming more of a strategic grantmaker, one in which we set more of the agenda for our grantmaking.

Community of Practice

The Safety Net Resiliency Initiative was created out of crowdsourcing events in 2017, where community partners came together to define a new and collective vision for change. To keep the movement grounded in our community, the Initiative continues to host Community of Practice events, which bring together safety net advocates from across sectors, geographies, languages, and industries. We have hosted 5 Community of Practice events since 2018, with over 100 unique organizations represented.

Our Strategies

As we work towards our goal of achieving a resilient and sustainable safety net system, our community has identified a set of six strategies for achieving our vision. These strategies are ever evolving and adjusting- as we learn how to improve, as we enter into new phases, as we respond to new events in our community.