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.
The Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation is a community organization created as the result of the sale of Pottstown Memorial Medical Center to Community Health Systems. With $79 million in assets as of December 2019, the Foundation serves the residents of Pottstown Borough and those within a 10-mile radius of the borough.
The Foundation’s purpose is to provide opportunities for our community to enthusiastically embrace a healthier lifestyle. We’re here to offer the tools and motivation for people to improve their health and well-being every day.
There is an important difference between the hospital’s services and those provided by the Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation. The Foundation focuses on preventing illness, not treating it. Like similarly dedicated organizations throughout the country, the Foundation is committed to showing area residents how they can adopt a lifestyle to become healthier, feel better and enjoy life more. Study after study has shown that a healthy lifestyle often results in a longer life with better health in old age.
The Foundation’s overall goal is to improve the health of the community by inspiring healthier living for all residents – whether young or old, active or inactive, at any level of education.
As part of our strategic plan, the Foundation has redefined our long-term goals, effective June 28, 2016. They are:
- Funding Programs and Solutions for long-term improvement in healthy behaviors.
a. Promoting healthy living through nutrition, activities and programs in public and private schools to reduce obesity and encourage healthy living.
b. Improving parks, programming and the built environment to increase access and physical activity.
c. Creating and promoting social networks involving healthy living.
- Funding Programs for physical health and emotional well-being.
- Funding learning opportunities and strategic planning to strengthen non-profits
- Funding capacity building for key economic development agencies to support community economic development.
As of December 2019, the Foundation has an asset base of $79 million which is used to calculate annual grant giving.
The Foundation provides grants to non-profit organizations, which use the money to develop and enhance programs that support our purpose. The Foundation’s plan is to be a permanent resource for grants well into the future.
Since 2004, the Foundation has awarded more than $40 million to area schools and non-profit organizations in the Pottstown area. Funding supports programs such as garden projects, recreation, community networks, health access and capacity building.
The Foundation has a nine-person paid staff: David Kraybill, President; Howard Brown, Program Officer for Schools, Active Learning, and Community Development; Craig Colistra, Program Officer for Recreation and Health; Ashia Cooper, Program Officer for Capacity Building and Collaborations; Rose Walters, Office Manager & Communications Associate; Rachael Giambrone, Grants & Program Assistant; Sheri Waldman, Philanthropy Coordinator & Admin Assistant; Mike Jamgochian, Controller; and John Robertson, Communications Assistant.
A volunteer board of directors oversees the Foundation, while several committees (also composed of volunteers) determine the direction of specific programs.
The Foundation is here to help everyone in the TriCounty area, specifically residents in a 10-mile radius of Pottstown. By providing opportunities to improve their health and well-being every day, we will create a more dynamic and more vibrant community in which to live.
The first step to a healthier body, mind and soul is to recognize that you want to improve your situation.
The second step is to educate yourself. Talk with your healthcare providers, read newspapers and magazines, and do research on the Internet. In fact, start by visiting Mission Healthy Living, our free online resource for easy steps to a healthier you.
You may also visit these helpful pages on this website’s Resources section:
Have Fun, Be Active Healthy Living Activity Guide
Fit 4 Life: A health and wellness initiative of the Foundation and The Mercury