Annual Report 2020

Annual Report for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2019

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.

Board Chair’s Message

Spring 2020

“What’s past is prologue” The Tempest

This quotation from William Shakespeare’s play struck me as a way to put the current COVID-19 pandemic in perspective. Growing up in the 1950’s, viral epidemics were common and frequent. Before effective vaccination programs, measles, mumps, chicken pox and seasonal influenza were all part of a “Baby Boomers” childhood. The most dreaded viral epidemic, however, was caused by polio. For several summers in the early 1950’s, we were restricted from large gatherings and swimming pools were drained for fear of spreading the polio virus. We were practicing a form of “social distancing.” One of my earliest childhood memories is of my mother taking three little kids on several city buses to a vaccination clinic set up in the former St. Anne’s Hospital on the West Side of Chicago.

Now, being in my eighth decade, the COVID-19 pandemic seems almost like a bookend to my childhood remembrances. Until safe and effective therapies and vaccines are developed and widely available, I am reminded of the scourge that polio brought to our lives in the pre-Salk era. A lesson that the past has taught us, is when there is a major shock to our system, we do not go back to the ways things used to be. Remember air travel before 9/11?

So what might grant requests to foundations for funding look like in this “new normal?” Will we see more requests from food pantries and food banks as more people lose their jobs and become food insecure? And will there be greater utilization of free clinics as families lose employer subsidized health insurance? Will there be a need to furnish personal protective equipment (PPE) for front line providers and responders? What about replenishing depleted strategic stockpiles of necessary supplies to get through this pandemic – and the next? Clinical trials for new drugs and vaccines will need funding. I’m only scratching the surface on the increased demands for funding.

We can look to the past to provide a window into the probable expectations that will be placed on charitable foundations. This is occurring when the financial markets are depleting non-profit portfolios. What seems to be brewing for foundations is a tempest.

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

Board Chair


Statement of Activities


  Year ended September 30, 2019  
  Grants & Program Related Investment $675,231
  Estimated Administrative Expense (non-charitable) $85,256
  Professional Legal and Accounting Fees $45,959
  Provision for Federal Excise Tax $10,000
  Total Assets $18,677,539
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Fiscal Year 2018-2019 Grant Recipients

Advocate Charitable Foundation

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

A Silver Lining Foundation

Bonaventure House, Inc.

Breakthrough Urban Ministries

Cellmates on the Run Foundation

Chicago Diabetes Project

Chicago Chesed Fund

Community Foundation of Sonoma County

CommunityHealth, NFP

Council on Foundations

Covenant World Relief

Face the Future Foundation

Faith Community United Church of Christ


Franciscan Tertiary Province Of The Scared Heart Inc

Gilda’s Club Chicago

Grantmakers in Health

Health and Medicine Policy Research Group

Heartland Alliance

Howard Brown Health Center

Ida Crown Jewish Academy

Illinois College of Optometry



La Rabida Children’s Hospital

Lester and Rosalie Anixter Center

Lincoln Park Community Services

Max Rhymes Foundation

Mercy Housing Lakefront

Mount Sinai Hospital and Medical Center

North Park Friendship Center

North Park University

Northern Lights Kollel of Suburban Chicago

Northwestern University

MPN Research Foundation

Planned Parenthood of Illinois

Primo Center For Women And Children

Project Seed of Suburban Chicago, Inc

Quarryhill Botanical Garden

Ray Graham Association for People with Disabilities

Rotary International District 6990

Rush University Medical Center

Saint Anthony Hospital

Second Sense

Sonoma Ecology Center

St. Colettas Of Illinois

St. John’s Episcopal Church

St. Leonard’s House

Team Rubicon

The American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science

The Children’s Clinic

The Kedzie Center

The Night Ministry

Torah Academy of Buffalo Grove

Wood Dale Community United Methodist Church