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Our Strategy: Bringing Solutions to Scale

Much of the Foundation’s work centers on the fact that the health of all Americans, but particularly the health of the most disadvantaged people in our society, is influenced significantly by factors outside of the healthcare system, such as economic opportunity, cultural barriers, housing and neighborhood conditions, education quality, and exposure to violence in the home and community. Despite the challenges inherent in tackling these issues, it is critical that we address health where people live, learn, work and play if we want to give those at greatest risk their best opportunity to live healthy, productive lives.

We also recognize that we cannot make a meaningful difference through modest, incremental changes to what currently exists. We must find and test innovative models that have the potential to effect fundamental change—visionary solutions that are feasible and sustainable and can be applied on a wide scale.

Our strategy in the Foundation’s Vulnerable Populations program focuses on three stages of grantmaking:

  • Identifying compelling issues and supporting early-stage ideas.
  • Testing the sustainability and replication of promising programs, practices, and policies that are active in a single site or limited number of sites.
  • Preparing select programs and approaches to achieve national impact and visibility.

At each stage, we evaluate the models and approaches to determine: (1) whether they have potential for greater impact; and (2) their readiness to advance to the next stage of development. This is not a linear process; our financial support to a grantee can begin or end at any phase and, depending on its progress and potential, may or may not proceed to the next stage of growth.