Jenkins Foundation at the forefront of local health philanthropy
For 25 years, the Jenkins Foundation and the Community Foundation have collaborated closely to create strategic, complementary grantmaking that improves the health and wellness of Greater Richmond. Jenkins’ grantmaking focuses on three main areas: access to primary health care, access to mental health care, and substance use disorder treatment and prevention. In turn, the Community Foundation’s health and wellness grants center around addressing social determinants of health such as food insecurity, health advocacy and systems-level work.
“By working together, we are able to align funding strategies and data collection,” said Eric Clay, the senior program officer on health initiatives for both Jenkins and the Community Foundation. “We also strive to streamline our application and reporting processes for our nonprofit partners so they can spend more time doing what they do best – working directly with the clients and communities they serve.”
Among their many programs, Sacred Heart Center supports health care services and bilingual, bicultural case management services for Latino residents.
This most recent round of grants includes a specific focus on serving individuals and families who have been most affected by the pandemic. Three grants support Latino-led organizations — Sacred Heart Center, Latinos in Virginia Empowerment Center and La Casa de la Salud — who have continued meeting the health needs of our local Latino community through bilingual and bicultural community health workers, case management and mental health services.
“These nonprofits have deep roots and established trust within the communities they serve, and they are very knowledgeable about the cultural and linguistic resource needs of these families,” said Cecilia Barbosa, Jenkins board member and Health Committee Chair of the Virginia Latino Advisory Board. “This means these organizations are well-positioned to effectively reach and serve our Latino communities.”
Throughout the pandemic, Urban Baby Beginnings’ community diaper distribution program has ensured that Richmond's babies stay clean and dry.
Recognizing that clinical settings can sometimes be a barrier to health care access, Jenkins has also expanded their support of nonclinical health work. For example, the Innerwork Center received a grant for mindfulness training for Richmond schoolteachers, and Urban Baby Beginnings received operational support for their maternal health programming for families of color.
“COVID has highlighted the disproportionate disparities in health care for Black and Brown communities,” Eric said. “Trust can be a big thing for these families, and they might not put their trust in a primary care provider. We are being intentional about finding new and innovative ways to connect with these communities and that is why we are proud to add several new partners that are doing great work.”
To learn more about the Jenkins Foundation, visit their website.