Annual Report for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2012

Mission Statement

Realizing the healthcare crisis in our country, the Board of Washington Square Health Foundation, Inc. recognizes that no one foundation can meet all the challenges of the healthcare environment. However, the Foundation has developed a program of grant making which is designed to be both a catalyst and guide for other foundations and grant making organizations in meeting the various needs of the Chicagoland healthcare community.

The Washington Square Health Foundation, Inc. grants funds in order to promote and maintain access to adequate healthcare for all people in the Chicagoland area regardless of race, sex, creed or financial need. The Foundation meets this goal through its grants for medical and nursing education, medical research and direct healthcare services.

As a guide to other foundations and other service providers and as a part of the Board’s stewardship of charitable funds, the Washington Square Health Foundation, Inc. has developed a grant evaluation system to ensure that the objectives of various projects are carried out in the manner prescribed by the approved grant.

The Foundation wishes to impress on the philanthropic community that the careful evaluation of the outcomes of grant projects is as important as the appropriate selection of grant recipients.

President’s Message

William N. Werner, MD, MPH

“Where Do We Go From Here”

I was recently asked by a church group to talk about the impact of health care reform on the average person and “where do we go from here.” In light of the recent Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of PPACA, I launched into a discussion of Medicaid expansion, Health Insurance Exchanges and Accountable Care Organizations along with the preliminary timeline for their implementation. I could sense that I had lost the audience somewhere around value based purchasing. Finally, a nurse asked if I knew anyone who had read the entire 2000-plus pages of the legislation. Guess what – I don’t.

There are many aspects of health care reform legislation and implementation that remain ill-defined and unknown. But the nurse’s question got me thinking about how we will be able to measure the success of healthcare reform. Will it be in the number of newly covered lives, improved access to care, better health outcomes or reduced costs? Are the metrics in place to measure such change? What happens if the current gridlock in Washington, DC continues and the current reforms are stalled or even repealed? If so, what will be replaced? One certainty is that the November 2012 election is promising to be a national referendum on health care reform.

Another person spoke up during my presentation, wanting to know “how do I get health insurance right now?” It has become apparent to me that there is a general lack of knowledge about the actual components of the PPACA, the timeline for its implementation and how people will access coverage. If health care reform is to be successful, I believe there needs to be an educational outreach to the American public, including health care professionals. Who will provide the factual information for the average citizen, unfiltered by political bias and in understandable terms? Nationally this is being done by major national health care foundations, like the Kaiser Health Care Foundation, Commonwealth Foundation and Robert Woods Johnson Foundation, as well as national foundation associations, such as Grantmakers in Health. The links to all these organizations can be found on our website at

What can the Chicago area foundation community anticipate as health care reform evolves over the next several years? As additional people have health insurance coverage, will there be an adequate supply of the health care work force and facilities? I think it is safe to assume that there will be a need to fund pilot program models dealing with the best way to provide for the expansion of community based health care. Clinics will need to be staffed and outfitted with equipment and supplies. Pilot programs will test innovative and novel methods of delivering health care. Imagine how many different “flavors” of medical home models could exist. The infrastructure to connect community clinics needs further refinement, especially if electronic medical records are to be the “glue” holding networks of providers together.
There is a clear need to develop pilot programs to find additional resources and new methods of training the health care providers, from clinical care technicians to nurses to primary care doctors. We are already seeing shortages, along with the perennial misdistribution of the health care work force. Will health care professionals be encouraged or required to practice “at the top of their license?”

However, one thing may be certain in regard to these health reform challenges. Local foundations, like Washington Square, can help to fund the pilot programs to test potential solutions; however, they cannot fund the actual provision of health care based on any new models of care. There simply is not enough money to do that in the entire philanthropic world . Funding of the actual care under PPACA remains a contentious issue.

Finally, the solutions to these questions and concerns will get played out over the next several years, depending on the public’s acceptance of the PPACA, its affordability and effectiveness in achieving the goals of substantive health care reform. The real answer to the question “where do we go from here” may be “how do we know when we get there?” Well-designed pilot programs should have measurable goals based on the objectives of PPACA.

William N. Werner, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P


Statement of Activities

reports-fund-balance-2011 reports-funding-allocations-2011

Year ended September 30, 2012
Grants & Program Related Investment $780,601
Estimated Administrative Expense (Non-Charitable Expense) $143,854
Professional Investment & Custodial fees $75,659
Provision for federal excise tax $10,000
Total Assets $19,182,349
The official and complete audit as certified by Crowe Horwath LLPDownload PDF.


Fiscal Year 2011-2012 Grant Recipients