The PA Health Funders Collaborative Sets 2022 Priorities and Strategies
The PA Health Funders Collaborative (PHFC)—a network of 40 health foundations across PA that works at the intersection of health philanthropy and policy—held its 14th Annual Conference on December 1 and 8. PHFC is chaired by Jewish Healthcare Foundation President and CEO Karen Feinstein and HealthSpark Foundation President and CEO Russell Johnson and directed by Ann Torregrossa.
PHFC members presented position papers on seniors, the safety net system, the health care workforce, strengthening the public health systems, reviving the PA WIC program, and behavioral health (including the transition to the 988 crisis response system). The position papers were further informed by presentations by Brian Castrucci, DrPH, MA, president and CEO of the de Beaumont Foundation, and Matt Wintersteen, PhD, assistant professor and director of research in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Thomas Jefferson University/Jefferson Medical College. Christopher Borick, professor of political science and director of the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion, also discussed what we can learn from the current polling insights as we look ahead to important Pennsylvania elections in 2022.
Throughout the conference, PHFC members identified several priority areas for 2022 in addition to the position paper topics, including education function, early childhood health and wellbeing, workforce development, countering misinformation, the continuing opioid epidemic, and teen mental health. The members also identified cross-cutting priorities around advancing health equity, leveraging financing structures, and supporting the capacity of the non-profit sector and safety net system. They expressed strong interest in disseminating data-driven messages and organizing fact-based informational meetings on these topics with key policymakers, staffers, and stakeholders in 2022. The conference concluded with a widespread sentiment that health funders can make a large, collective impact when they work together on shared aims and priorities.