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In Letter to President, TPC Highlights Foundation Grants in Health
Date:9/9/2009

WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the nation awaits President Obama's address on health care reform to a joint session of Congress, The Philanthropic Collaborative (TPC) sent today a letter to the President seeking his support for the efforts of private and community foundations in the field of health.

During the month of August, public interest grew in the social and economic effectiveness of health-related philanthropic activities. In response, TPC Executive Director and former White House economic aide Brian Reardon is reaching out to the President with the most recent data on the charitable sector's contributions to America's health. TPC's two recent studies shed light on this important partner in America's health:

  • Foundation support for health and wellness programs in 2007 produced an estimated $75 billion in direct economic benefits for the communities they serve.
  • At least two of every three grant dollars in health benefit low-income and minority populations.

In the letter, Reardon points out that, "Notably absent from the debate over health care reform has been a vigorous discussion of the philanthropic community's innovative and entrepreneurial approach to ensuring Americans of all backgrounds have access to the health care they need." Reardon continues, "Some of the greatest medical advancements of the last century were funded through foundation grants, including the founding of the first school of public health at John Hopkins University, the discovery of the polio vaccine, hospice care, and the precursor of the modern 911 system."

The Philanthropic Collaborative is a non-partisan coalition of elected officials, foundations and charities formed to advance the important role of community and private foundations across America. The text of the letter to President Obama follows below.

September 9, 2009

Dear President Obama,

As you work with Congress to advance major reforms to America's health care system, The Philanthropic Collaborative (TPC) encourages you to highlight the critical role America's foundations play in building a healthier nation.

Notably absent from the debate over health care reform has been a vigorous discussion of the philanthropic community's innovative and entrepreneurial approach to ensuring Americans of all backgrounds have access to the health care they need. Health care grants make up the largest subset of foundation giving, with nearly one in five grant dollars targeted at improving our health care system.

Recent TPC research has demonstrated the effectiveness of this giving. Our comprehensive study released last December found that each grant dollar given to health and wellness programs produced more than seven dollars of direct economic benefits to the communities they serve, while our most recent study released in June found that more that two out of every three grant dollars in the area of health directly benefits minorities, the poor, and other at-risk populations.

The proactive role foundations play in the provision of quality health care is a long-standing one. Some of the greatest medical advancements of the last century were funded through foundation grants, including the founding of the first school of public health at John Hopkins University, the discovery of the polio vaccine, hospice care, and the precursor of the modern 911 system.

On behalf of the elected officials, foundations, and charities forming The Philanthropic Collaborative, we thank you for working to improve our health care system and we ask that, as part of that reform process, you lend your support to educating policymakers and the general population about health-related giving by private and community foundations and how that private giving helps us all.

Sincerely,

Brian Reardon

Executive Director

The Philanthropic Collaborative

To learn more about The Philanthropic Collaborative and to read the full text of both studies, please visit www.philanthropycollaborative.org.


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SOURCE The Philanthropic Collaborative
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