An important component of improving the health and health status of our communities is ensuring that everyone in our communities - especially those whose opinions are rarely sought and considered - has the opportunity to be heard, to be engaged, and therefore claim their rightful place in health and healthcare discussions. CHF believes that building social, political, and economic power among residents is essential to eliminating health inequities and building healthy communities. Consumers and their families must also play an active role in the way our health care system is designed and the way services are delivered.
CHF understands that structural racism in employment, housing, education, and healthcare contributes to poorer health outcomes among all people of color, and particularly among those with low and moderate incomes. These Social Determinants of Health Equity - the social and economic policies and conditions that create opportunities for good health - are a key focus of our work. While we serve the entire metropolitan Washington, D.C. area, the “hub” of our work will remain in communities that experience the greatest health and social inequities, particularly the District of Columbia and Prince George’s County, Maryland.
CHF believes that everyone deserves equitable access to affordable, high quality healthcare. This care should include best practices and be evidence-based, patient- and family-centered, culturally and linguistically appropriate, and cost effective. To achieve this, we believe that our current health care system must be redesigned around the “medical home model” which integrates primary care services with prevention and wellness, mental and behavioral health, oral health, and substance abuse treatment.
CHF is defined by our relationships with our communities. We value developing, supporting, and participating in alliances that allow us to attract the support, expertise, and resources of others in the public and private sectors. By collaborating with those in housing, employment, education, and other partners we can address the multiple physical, social, economic, and environmental factors that affect community health. Significant resources must be invested in developing community leadership that creates and supports the networks necessary for improving the health of our communities.
CHF invites the unexpected. We support experimental, innovative, and emerging programs, and we understand that the best ideas may not come neatly packaged or from likely or familiar sources. We believe in serving as a catalytic funder for projects that may not get funding elsewhere and that have the potential to demonstrate new and effective ways of thinking and operating. We also believe in investing heavily in building the capacity of our nonprofit partners to excel in their work. We are dedicated to continuously examining our grantmaking process to make sure that the best ideas, the smallest organizations, and the newest voices are heard.
CHF is committed to measuring the progress and outcomes of our work and to elevating promising practices and programs that have a positive impact on community health. We understand, however, that despite everyone’s best intentions, some work does not come to fruition in the way envisioned. Still, the knowledge gained from all of our experiences must be valued, harnessed, and shared with others.
As a community partner that takes its relationships seriously, we have always been committed to “walking our talk.” As a private funder focused on improving the health and healthcare of underserved, low-income communities of color in our region, we must ensure that our own policies and practices are in keeping with our public health mission. This includes: