NOVEMBER 23, 2015 – CLEVELAND: To help improve the lives of families, women and children living in poverty, the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland has invested $1.3 million in related grants and outreach in the period from June 2014 to today. This includes a new commitment announced today of $300,000 to help reduce the infant mortality rate in Cleveland.
“Forty years ago, our founding sisters extended a special legacy of service to women and children when they created the Saint Ann Foundation – the nation’s first health care conversion foundation,” said Susanna Krey, president of the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland. “Today, we carry this legacy forward. Committing resources to help reduce the infant mortality rate is at the heart of everything the Saint Ann Foundation was and continues to be through our hands.”
The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland’s commitment to help reduce the infant mortality rate includes:
• A one-year $100,000 grant to fund community health reporting and conversations through ideastream.
ideastream’s Healthy People, Healthy Place, Healthy Future initiative explores: the key interrelationships of the health and well-being of people in the region, the complexities and realities of where people live, and how those factors affect health, including the health of the youngest and most vulnerable. The initiative seeks to illuminate health issues and facilitate civic discussion that will enable thought leaders and all people to reach a more profound understanding of health in Northeast Ohio. This includes health reporting and community engagement activities on radio, television, online and more.
• Collaborating to help implement a Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) program in Cleveland, including by giving a $100,000 grant to MetroHealth to establish an NFP nurse for Central Neighborhood.
NFP is a cost-effective, evidence-based nurse home visitation program to improve pregnancy outcomes, child health and development, and self-sufficiency for eligible, first-time parents. The model pairs mothers with registered nurses, who counsel each mother throughout pregnancy and until her child's second birthday. NFP nurses visit mothers frequently in their homes and offer guidance on everything from nutrition during pregnancy to breastfeeding to newborn care and child development. Also, the nurses connect mothers to social supports and provide mentoring.
“Nurse-Family Partnership strengthens mothers’ capacity to raise healthy thriving babies,” said Teleangé Thomas, the foundation’s program director for health, who was recently appointed by Governor John Kasich to the State of Ohio’s Commission on Infant Mortality. “This program is making positive impact on persistently high rates of infant mortality – one of the nation’s most entrenched social problems. We are pleased to fund an NFP nurse, who will trained by MetroHealth and provide service to high-risk expectant mothers at Care Alliance’s Central Neighborhood Clinic.”
• A $100,000 grant to fund a grassroots campaign aimed to contribute to the reduction and prevention of infant mortality in Cleveland’s most affected neighborhoods.
Central Neighborhood, where the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland heavily invests and partners to combat the effects of poverty on health and education, experiences an infant mortality rate of 12.3 to 18.3, which is double the national average. The foundation is engaging a communications partner for 2016 to help engage and inform women and families living in Central, as well as other neighborhoods with high infant mortality rates, on how to have a healthy pregnancy and raise healthy thriving babies.
Additionally, the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland has made more than $1 million in other grants in service to women, children and vulnerable populations throughout the Saint Ann Foundation’s 40th anniversary year, 2014-2015. This includes:
• $484,175 toward supporting the ministries of women religious
• $340,000 toward ending homelessness
• $199,537 toward improving health
• $52,300 toward advancing collaborative community efforts
“Honoring the Saint Ann Foundation is important to us. Our founding sisters’ decision to use assets from a hospital sale to create a grantmaking foundation became a powerful model of philanthropy,” said Felton Thomas Jr., board chairs of the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland and director of the Cleveland Public Library. “More than 300 health care conversion foundations have followed our sisters’ lead, and are now reinvesting millions of dollars to spark innovative strategies that improve quality of life in communities across the nation.”
ABOUT THE SISTERS OF CHARITY FOUNDATION OF CLEVELAND
For nearly two decades, the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland has partnered with residents, nonprofits and community leaders to change the trajectory of poverty in Cuyahoga County.
The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland works to improve the lives of those most in need with special attention to families, women and children living in poverty. The foundation works to end homelessness in Cuyahoga County and to reduce health disparities and improve educational opportunities in Cleveland’s Central Neighborhood. As a Catholic organization, the foundation extends the values of Jesus Christ through the mission of our founders – the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine – and also works to sustain the ministries of women religious. More information is at www.socfcleveland.org.
Rebecca L. Gallant
Director of Communications
Sisters of Charity Health System
2475 East 22nd Street, Cleveland, OH 44115
216-696-8408 (office) 216-288-0239 (cell)
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