Inside The Highmark Foundation's Latest Round of Grantmaking

The Highmark Foundation awards a good number of grants to support the research and treatment of chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. The foundation also pays a great deal of funding attention to anti-bullying campaigns. Highmark’s latest roster of grantees goes to show that this funder isn’t one that’s locked into a strict giving pattern.

The majority of Highmark grants are between $50,000 and $100,000 with a few straying in the $250,000 range. In this round, both of the largest grants went toward anti-bullying efforts. The first $250,000 went to the Center for Safe Schools to provide training and assistance for bullying prevention programs in the York, Reading, and Erie, Pennsylvania school districts.

Related: Yep, Bullying is an Actual Public Health Issue: Highmark Foundation Agrees with AMA

The second $250,000 grant went to the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. The center is using the funds for capacity building efforts in training additional professionals and healthcare workers to recognize and intervene in bullying cases. The grant supports the center's work in western and central Pennsylvania and across the entire state of West Virginia.

Related: Highmark Foundation: Grants for Disease

Anti-bullying campaigns are among the Highmark Foundation’s favored areas of funding. A few years back, the foundation awarded over $3.4 million to Pennsylvania public schools specifically for "bullying reduction measures." Here’s a look at some of the organizations Highmark is supporting that aren’t necessarily in the foundation’s funding wheelhouse:   

  • The American Cancer Society was awarded $100,000 in support of a program to increase cancer screening in Greene County, where screening rats are significantly lower than the national average.
  • Pennsylvania District Attorneys Institute was awarded a $50,000 grant to help police departments in western Pennsylvania purchase naloxone kits to help thwart cases of opioid overdoses.
  • Three Rivers Mothers’ Milk Bank received $100,000 for its breastmilk awareness and advocacy campaign in Allegheny County.
  • West Virginia Health Kids and Families Coalition received a $50,000 grant for its statewide work to improve health and reduce the prevalence of chronic diseases across the state. 

One area of grantmaking interest to which the Highmark Foundation closely adheres is serving vulnerable populations. The foundation rarely strays in this regard, which is evidenced in its latest $1.1 million in grants. Highmark’s latest round of grantees may be varied in their respective work, but outside of the American Cancer Society, grants to community based organizations is also indicative of the foundation’s grantmaking preferences.