Commonwealth Fund: Grants for Public Health

OVERVIEW: The Commonwealth Fund supports research, colloquia, and program development to increase access, quality and efficiency in healthcare systems. The fund focuses on improving health outcomes for vulnerable, uninsured and marginalized populations.

IP TAKE: Commonwealth Fund’s grantmaking plays a significant part in driving the direction of American healthcare, and it provides a multitude of moderately sized grants to a wide variety of groups.

PROFILE: The Commonwealth Fund is an old and storied contributor working to improve healthcare systems to achieve increasingly positive health outcomes for vulnerable, uninsured, and marginalized populations. The fund supports research, colloquia, and program development to increase access, quality and efficiency in healthcare systems.

With this broad mandate—which includes seven domestic areas of funding interest—it’s apparent that Commonwealth has its fingers in many pots. The fund does not limit its interests, investing in a wide range of programs that include reducing readmissions, improving chronic care, improving nurse assessment, controlling pharmaceutical costs, and many other initiatives. 

Whether by design or not, the concerns Commonwealth currently follows in its funding are among the same as the wider healthcare industry: healthcare reform and the future of Medicare and Medicaid, safety net providers, long-term and end-of-life care (including nursing homes), and care for low-income and minority populations.

Although the organization regularly allocates funds for foundation-administered programs, its grants are relatively sizable, typically ranging from $100,000 to $500,000. Commonwealth awards grants on a national basis and does not impose geographic restrictions in its grantmaking.

The foundation also operates several fellowship programs supporting researchers and students working primarily in the area of Health Care Policy.

Commonwealth accepts unsolicited letters of inquiry through its online application system.

PEOPLE: 

  • David Blumenthal, President
  • Kathleen Regan, Executive Vice President and CEO
  • Donald Moulds, Executive Vice President for Programs
  • Eric Schneider, Senior Vice President, Policy and Research
  • Melina Abrams, Vice President Delivery System Reform
  • Sara Collins, Vice President, Health Care Coverage and Access 

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