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.
Difficult times require difficult decisions and a need to promote a plan of operation that meets the restrictions placed upon granting foundations in such times. This approach has allowed Washington Square Health Foundation an opportunity to maintain a focus that allows it to carry out its mission of aiding the medical community albeit in a downsized format for the present.
Daily we hear “it’s the economy that is bad” – and somehow we shrug our shoulders, sit back and believe that is the only question. The truth is that the economy is at present experiencing a form of sub acute disarray that affects every entity of a community. It is also true that there is much bipartisan maneuvering whose focus is not correction but rather political posturing.
I am not qualified to analyze and much less able to solve the economic issues which thus far appear to be beyond the capability of any one person and certainly have not been explained in terms that are understandable to all.
However, I wish to explore one fact that I believe has contributed to the problem – namely, that the U.S.A. has been gradually (recently more rapidly) transformed from an industrialized giant and manufacturer to the world to a service type nation.
We may rightfully conclude that we created this change in our economy through the generosity of our deeds!
For many years the U.S.A. has spent billions of dollars training foreign personnel both in this country and in their home lands in the manufacture of goods, in the industrialization of their nations and in advancing the knowledge base and expertise of their professional disciplines of business, science, and engineering.
As these lessons extended into several generations in many countries we noted overtime the emergence of quality goods and successes in science and manufacturing to the point that these nations became competent, competitive and could deliver products that duplicated our quality products – and they could do this far more economically than we could.
This cycle continues and now we note that these nations are experiencing the same problems with their economy as the standard of living greatly improves. Those very nations find that they must shift products production to other evolving nations whose labor costs are much less allowing them to maintain business competitiveness.
As regards the U.S.A. we have seen a marked reversal of our import\export ratio with imports far exceeding any level in the past.
Our conversion to a service nation makes us more vulnerable to economic slowdown – and slower recovery – because service entities do not enjoy the sales “romance” that products do. Material entities are far more desirous by the populace, which has an inherent resistance to payment for service.
None of this is to be interpreted as a condemnation of our generous efforts. Rather we stand proud that we have contributed to more self sufficiency and economic growth for many nations who unfortunately are destined to remain in a static state with limited benefits for only a few of their peoples.
This observer believes that as new science and new product developments occur in America a revitalized industrial America will emerge leading the way to growth and development for all. In the meantime our service economy continues to struggle as automation continues to expand and erode our employment base.
Added to these woes has been the better scrutiny of corporate America, which has seen its prestige severely fractured by the discovery of a wealth of dysfunctions even to the point of outright fraud and theft in highly reputable business entities. Who could have predicted or even thought that a prestigious accounting firm would collapse or that those vast corporate entities would rapidly fail due to blatant corporate misconduct- leading to the virtual ruin of savings and retirement benefits of their employees?
Our “Free Enterprise System” is predicated upon the principle that its leadership has a Social Conscience as well as a sense of fair judgment. This equates to a respect for honesty and meaningful self control-characteristics that are required of all who are chosen to lead and/or influence. One wonders what has happened to that Social Conscience when we experience such blatant corporate dishonesty and spending on issues that take needed financial resources from service entities that benefit the people. This lack of a Social Conscience is serious and probably accounts for much of the public’s distrust of corporate America, the News Media & Press, the Professions and our political entities and their leaders.
Transition in economic trends such as a transition from a communist government to a private enterprise entity (such as had occurred in Russia after the Cold War) always leads to turmoil and uneven progress. It is impossible for a government and especially its people to change focus automatically overnight. The tincture of time can be a prolonged period during which many casualties occur which must be absorbed and interpreted in the overall scheme of what is the ultimate goal one seeks to achieve.
My confidence in America’s ability to meet this challenge is deeply rooted in my belief that “we shall overcome”. I look for the day in the not too distant future when our economy will be righted and we once again experience the pleasures of a smooth economic journey.
America’s wealth is its store of knowledge, its potential that exists in the spirit and abilities of its peoples and its adaptability. It is now up to our citizens to believe this and to apply their talents accordingly. And finally it is time for our elected representatives to reflect and to understand that statesmanship must replace politics as usual!
|Year ended September 30, 2002
|Grants & Program Related Investments (PRI)
|General Administrative Expense
|Professional Investment & Custodial fees
|Provision for federal excise tax
|Unrestricted Net Assets
|*Partially as a result of the September 11, 2001 “Terror attack” and the continued decline and uncertainty in the equity markets, the foundation’s assets were severely impacted as of the close of its fiscal year (September 30, 2001), by a decrease of over $7 million for the 2000-2001 fiscal year and an additional $2.3 million decrease for the fiscal year 2001-2002.The official and complete audit as certified by KPMG Peat Marwick.
|Access Community Health Network
|Lester and Rosalie Anixter Center
|Advocate Charitable Foundation
|Little City Foundation
|Advocate North Side Health Network
|Mount Sinai Hostpital Medical Center of Chicago
|North Side Community Health Resource Facility
|Chicago House and Social Service Agency
|Project Seed of Suburban Chicago, Inc.
|Council on Foundations
|Shanti Project Inc.
|Donors Forum of Chicago
|Suburban Primary Health Care Council
|Family Practice Community Wellness Center
|Sylvia Golden Memorial Chapter Asthmatic Childern’s Aid
|Teen Living Programs
|Grantmakers In Health
|The Allendale Association
|Greek American Community Service
|The Chicago/Cook County Community Health
|Greek American Nursing Home Committee
|The Children’s Memorial Hospital
|Illinois Eye Institute
|The Dr. William M. Scholl Collage of Podiatric
Medicine at Finch University of Health Sciences/The Chicago
|Jewish Children’s Bureau of Chicago
|University of Illinois at Chicago
|University of Illinois Foundation
|La Rabida Children’s Hospital and Research Center
|University of Illinois School of Public Health
|La CASA Lake County Council Against Sexual
|Lake Forest Hospital