News Release

Grant will support national effort to rethink the future of health and well-being

HARTFORD, Conn. (April 1, 2019) – The Connecticut Health Foundation is joining a national philanthropic partnership to develop new visions for health and well-being in the United States, a project intended to identify ways to improve health outcomes and eliminate inequities that plague the current system.

Known as FORESIGHT, the partnership is led by the Fannie E. Rippel Foundation, based in Morristown, New Jersey. It is intended to generate new thinking, insights, tools, and plans to shape the future of health and address existing and new challenges. The work will include detailed analysis of trends affecting health and well-being and will bring together leaders from multiple sectors and communities.

A $150,000 grant from the Connecticut Health Foundation to support FORESIGHT will help to ensure that Connecticut voices and experiences are part of the conversation in this national effort and that health equity will be a central value throughout the work.

“This project will explore how philanthropy can help to create a new vision of the systems that impact health,” said Patricia Baker, president and CEO of the Connecticut Health Foundation. “The hypothesis of this initiative is that by taking a step back and thinking broadly about how health care and social services can be designed, rather than thinking reactively, we will be better able to meet the needs of individuals and communities. We look forward to partnering with other organizations and individuals committed to improving health and well-being.”

“Our nation has invested untold trillions of dollars on health care and well-being, but we are still no closer to addressing our country’s health problems,” said Lindsey Alexander, project director for The Rippel Foundation’s FORESIGHT initiative. “Costs soar, disparities abound, negative social and environmental influences persist, and health suffers. Continuing to do the same things won’t solve these challenges. FORESIGHT is intended to create visions for how things could be done differently and better.”

The grant to The Rippel Foundation is one of five grants the Connecticut Health Foundation awarded this quarter, totaling $389,000. The others are:

Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Hartford: $60,000
Early intervention is critical for children with developmental disorders, but research indicates that nationally, children of color are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder nearly two years later than white children – a gap that can affect their access to early intervention and their long-term outcomes. This funding will support the completion of a two-year pilot project designed to target these disparities. To better identify children with developmental concerns and link them to services, the pilot project is testing a model of embedding Birth to Three early intervention workers in pediatric offices. The second year of the pilot will embed the early intervention staff into another pediatric office, as well as child care centers and Head Start programs.

Connecticut Oral Health Initiative, Hartford: $85,000
This funding will support the Connecticut Oral Health Initiative (COHI) in its work to address racial and ethnic disparities in oral health. These dsparities include recent findings that Hispanic and Asian children were 25 percent more likely to have dental decay than white children, and that among children covered by Medicaid, black children were least likely to receive preventive oral health care. COHI’s work will include focusing on Medicaid eligibility and payment rates for dental care to ensure access to care. The organization also plans to focus on support for community health centers and school-based health centers, which provide oral health care to low-income children and adults, and seek to allow young adults to remain on their parents’ dental insurance plans until age 26, similar to what is currently allowed for health insurance.

UConn Health Center Health Disparities Institute, Hartford: $69,000
This grant will support the Health Disparities Institute’s work to enhance the value of health insurance for people at the highest risk of experiencing inequities, a way to improve their health and well-being. The Health Disparities Institute aims to increase health insurance literacy among consumers, build capacity for support to help people navigate insurance choices, recommend policies designed to simplify health insurance, and implement consumer protections related to medical debt collection and litigation. This work follows research that indicates that difficulty selecting an optimal health insurance plan and using it confidently is a challenge that disproportionately affects people of color and can contribute to health and economic disparities.

In addition, the foundation awarded the following President’s Discretionary Grant, a form of funding awarded to organizations and institutions that respond to the foundation’s overall mission or priority areas:

Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut, Meriden: $25,000
Protect Our Care Connecticut is a coalition of health care advocates who address a wide range of concerns. The coalition has focused on support for health coverage programs, women’s health, consumer protections, and affordability. This funding will support Protect Our Care’s work, as well as sustainability planning to identify the best role Protect Our Care can play in advancing health care policy reform and develop the most effective internal structure.

For more information, please contact Arielle Levin Becker at or 860-724-1580 x 16.

About the Connecticut Health Foundation
The Connecticut Health Foundation is the state’s largest independent health philanthropy dedicated to improving health outcomes for people of color. Since its creation in 1999, the foundation has awarded more than $62 million to nonprofit organizations and public entities to expand health equity, reduce health disparities, expand health coverage, and improve the health of all Connecticut residents.