Grant Healthcare Foundation (GHF) continues the long tradition of Grant Hospital of Chicago, founded in 1883 in the Lincoln Park neighborhood as “a sanctuary in case of sickness or accident for all persons, without distinction of belief or religious conviction”. Grant Healthcare Foundation was formed in 1996 following the sale in January of 1994 of Grant Hospital of Chicago to Columbia HCA, a large national health system.
Grant Healthcare Foundation has looked to some of the historic strengths and milestones in the long life of Grant Hospital of Chicago to inform a portion of its giving since 1996. African American doctors from the Chatham neighborhood on the south side of Chicago were granted privileges at Grant Hospital at a time when they could not access such at other hospitals that served mostly white patients. The Foundation has awarded many grants to organizations dedicated to serving the needs of the people on the south and west sides of Chicago where years of structural racism has led to disinvestment and decline in once thriving communities. In 2015, GHF began a more deliberate analysis of Chicago health data to identify neighborhoods in the city where historic barriers to healthcare continue to exist. GHF identified ten or so neighborhoods that had the highest prevalence of disease on all the indicators reviewed by the board. Since then, GHF has made a conscious effort to fund organizations that serve and preside in areas identified in our health data review and who have a sincere dedication to uplifting these neighborhoods.
The first legal abortion in Chicago was performed at Grant Hospital immediately following the Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973. The Foundation continues the tradition of supporting choice and reproductive care for all individuals and comprehensive sex education through our grant making and we are unapologetically proud of our community partners and their work.
As GHF moves forward, the board and staff continue to unpack and dig deeper into their understanding of the neighborhoods they are committed to serve and acknowledge that structural racism continues to play a major role in the historical decline of the south and west sides. As an organization, GHF has made a commitment to dismantle societal, institutional and interpersonal racism wherever it can within its organization and its grantmaking. With that in mind, the board has begun to review in sincerity its current grantmaking processes to see where improvements can be made with a trust-based philanthropic lens. Equally important are the continued robust discussions at the board level to turn a critical eye toward GHF’s internal operations and determine how the organization can be better partners with current and future grantees.