Online Program

Role of philanthropy in public health: How the Rhode Island foundation has contributed to strengthening the statewide health system

Monday, November 4, 2013

Yvette Mendez, MPA, Health Programs Officer, The Rhode Island Foundation, Providence, RI
Cindy Wong, Ph.D., Research & Evaluation Consultant, Aptos, CA
Federal and state funding in public health has been decreasing over past years and health spending has been increasing at an unsustainable rate. During these tough economic times, public health budgets have been cut and philanthropy is playing an increasingly important role in leveraging resources. Foundations have become an indispensable resource in the advancement of public health administration.The Rhode Island Foundation (RIF) is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the United States. It is the only community foundation serving the state of Rhode Island. RIF has established six focal sectors for funding and there are specific funding priorities within each sector. This presentation will focus on the priorities that have been identified in the health sector. The Rhode Island Foundation plays a leadership role throughout the state by supporting the strengthening of the public health system. We accomplish this through funding a variety of health initiatives, including public health education and outreach, access to health services, innovations in health delivery models, medical research, and a loan forgiveness program for primary care and dental professionals. This presentation will discuss what we and our partners have learned over the past few years in our efforts to build a robust health system in the state. It will highlight the strategic partnerships and initiatives that have contributed to accomplishing our goals. Examples of program investments that have strengthened the public health system will be presented. We will describe how multiple stream funding, even in modest amounts, can have a significant impact in the advancement of public health.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Other professions or practice related to public health
Provision of health care to the public
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related public policy
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the role of philanthropy in advancing public health; Explain examples of Foundation-sponsored programs that have strengthened health systems

Keyword(s): Funding, Access and Services

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Health Programs Officer at The Rhode Island Foundation, and I oversee the Fund for a Healthy Rhode Island. The Fund for a Healthy Rhode Island has supported health initiatives throughout the state in its first three years (2009-2012) which total over two million dollars. We are now in our second cycle of grants, and have recently completed an evaluation of the first round of grants.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.