Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation
Helping people improve their health and well-being every day
The Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation’s purpose provides opportunities for our community to enthusiastically embrace a healthier lifestyle. One of primary ways we aim to achieve our purpose and, ultimately, our mission, is to partner with organizations in the area by investing in solutions aimed at long-term improvement in healthy behaviors. Specifically, the Foundation will invest in the following two core pillars and their defined program areas:
Developing Youth Potential– We believe that investing in our community youth, is investing on our community's future. To that aim, we seek to invest in our community youth, especially those less served, by supporting their overall development in these core program areas:
- Early Childhood Development: providing expecting and new parents with the tools and resources to ensure the development of young children (0-5).
- School Programs (K-12): integrating best practices to promote wellness as a core component of school culture and student achievement.
- Youth Preparedness: helping youth obtain the cognitive, social, and emotional skills necessary to succeed in life.
Promoting Equitable Health & Wellness–In our community and throughout the United States, health equity and equal opportunity are inextricably linked. The challenges of disease and poor health in comparison to the benefits of wellness and good health are inequitably distributed among groups of people. To address these inequities, we will invest in programs in these core program areas:
- Built Environment: promoting community wellness through the development and improvement of and access to active living spaces and programs for all.
- Health Access & Delivery: improving access to affordable, high quality, culturally and linguistically appropriate care for all community members.
- Health Equity: removing barriers to health and wellness to ensure all community members have a fair opportunity to attain their full health potential.
Finally, as we strive to continue to serve our community as partners, conveners, and innovators, our third pillar focuses on supporting the youth potential and community health & wellness through different types of investments:.
Collaborating for a Healthier Future–Working with a diverse set of constituents and partners to actively work, learn, and support a healthier future for all residents:
- Community Collaboratives: working with partners to address systemic health and wellness issues throughout the community.
- Education & Learning Opportunities: providing information and training on health and wellness best practices throughout the community.
- Future Fund Development: identifying opportunities to grow the level of investment in the community and the work we support.
OUR ROLE IN THE POTTSTOWN COMMUNITY IS MULTI-FACETED.
Aside from grantmaking, we also serve the Pottstown area by:
- Acting as a convener of non-profit, governmental, educational, and municipal entities to encourage conversations that will ultimately serve as a catalyst to create positive and health-related systemic change in Pottstown.
- Focusing on programs and services that build long-term solutions to meet the current and future health needs in the Pottstown service area.
- Coordinating and funding non-profit resources and sponsoring professional development programs for our grantees as well as to the nonprofits in the region.
- Leading the Healthy Schools collaborative group.
- Providing health and wellness information and resources on the Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation and Mission Healthy Living websites.
- Collaborating with representatives at the regional and state level, and local municipalities to improve the parks and trail systems in our area.
- Committing to the use and maintenance of the resources of our long-term endowment effectively and efficiently.
The Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation provides opportunities for our community to enthusiastically embrace a healthier lifestyle.
Area residents leading healthy lives through healthy lifestyles.
The Foundation enhances the health and wellness of area residents, providing education, funding and programs that motivate people to adopt healthy lifestyles.
- To hold as paramount the health and wellness of residents of the Pottstown area.
- To ensure that a diversity of views is solicited, represented and considered.
- To maximize resources through community partnerships.
- To regularly assess the Foundation’s effectiveness in meeting its mission.
- Identify, select and provide grants to non-profit Section 501 (c) (3) organizations that provide health and wellness-related services in the Pottstown area.
- Identify, select, invest in and conduct, as appropriate, programs that improve health and wellness in the Pottstown area.
- Actively promote, support and conduct educational programs that enable Pottstown area residents to improve their health and wellness.
- Monitor the agreements made between Community Health Systems Inc. and the former Pottstown Healthcare Corporation.
The area served by the Foundation includes seven sub-areas contiguous with seven public school districts within the above listed zip codes. These seven sub-areas are located in Berks, Chester and Montgomery Counties. They are the Pottsgrove, Daniel Boone, Owen J. Roberts, Spring-Ford, Perkiomen Valley and Boyertown areas, and Pottstown Borough.
Learn more about the region by reading the most recent TriCounty Area Community Health Needs Assessment. The assessment was conducted in 2013 and reports on the health and wellness of residents in the area served.
Our History and Heritage
Three decades later, in 2002, the Board of Directors and management of Pottstown Memorial Medical Center (PMMC) examined the hospital’s ability to fund the capital investments required to continue providing the high level of care that the community had come to expect. Due to the reductions in reimbursements and the competition, they decided that a change of business strategy was necessary. The PMMC board and management evaluated other similar regions’ solutions and recognized the benefits that would emerge by being acquired by a fiscally stronger healthcare entity. The PMMC board had the foresight to sell while the hospital was still producing a healthy cash flow, and many options were investigated. It was determined that the opportunity provided by Community Health Systems would most benefit the Pottstown area, and this resulted in a relatively high sale transaction of $80 million.
In the Know
Get quick, helpful answers to important questions you may have about the Foundation.
A foundation is an organization that awards grants to non-profit organizations, institutions or individuals for scientific, educational, cultural, religious or other charitable purposes. Most foundations give grants only to non-profit, charitable organizations and are prohibited from getting involved in lobbying or political activities. A small number of foundations provide grants to individuals, such as scholarships to attend a college or university.
Among foundations in the United States, health accounts for the largest share of grant dollars awarded ($5.9 billion in 2011) according to the Foundation Center. This is followed by education ($5.2 billion); human services ($3.7 billion), and arts and culture ($2.3 billion).
Typically, a conversion foundation is established after a hospital or non-profit healthcare insurer is sold. Proceeds from the sale are used to fund the foundation’s start-up. While the hospital’s mission is to treat illness and disease, the mission of the conversion foundation is to make grants to improve the health of the communities they serve.
Most foundations are endowments. The principal is invested, and only the income earned from investments is spent or given away in any given year. This means that many foundations are literally able to make grants forever.
Around the Community
See the positive changes taking place in the Tri-County area.