In 2005, the Northern Virginia Health Foundation was created with slightly more than $40 million assets, a nine-member Board of Directors, and a mission to support efforts to improve the health and health care of residents of Northern Virginia. Since that time, we have issued grants to safety net clinics and non-profit organizations that provide a wide range of health services to adults and children in the region who could not otherwise afford or obtain access to much-needed health care.
In our first five years, we have listened, learned, and taken steps to begin to craft a role for ourselves that reflects our commitment to making a meaningful difference to those most in need. We do this in our grantmaking, and in our “beyond grantmaking” activities, such as partnerships with other funders, government agencies, and community stakeholders to share ideas and better leverage our resources toward improving the health and healthcare of Northern Virginia residents. This five-year retrospective offers some insights into what we’ve learned—and where we want to go.