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.
Several years ago Mr. Howard Nochumson, Executive Director of Washington Square Health Foundation brought to the Washington Square Health Foundation’s Board of Directors’ attention that so much information existed in bits and pieces relative to diabetes, cell biology, cell chemistry and islet cell implantation that it seemed reasonable that such knowledge could be blended wherein a functional (physiologic) cure for diabetes could become a reality in a reasonable time period.
Our Foundation’s Board explored this idea and after much discussion asked itself several questions:
- What would be the potential result(s) if a brain trust, representing a combination of scientific expertise, could be assembled and charged with the challenge of exploring the development of a functional cure of diabetes?
- What would be the chances of success if that group could meet in closed sessions for a three-day period and test the plausibility of this train of thought?
- Would it be reasonable to expect that such a group of sophisticated scientists could and would shed barriers protecting personal expertise (after all, scientists are known to protect their pet projects and expertise) and thereby form a team that would be willing to push aside such barriers and work as a unit to accomplish a common goal? and
- After such sessions, would they be able to state such a project is not only possible but doable – and could they provide a road map for our consideration?
This idea and the resulting questions were eventually shared with Dr. Jose Oberholzer, Associate Professor of Surgery and Bioengineering; Director, Cell and Pancreas Transplantation; Director, Cell Isolation Laboratory, at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
After careful study, and in consultation with colleagues whose expertise he knew was needed for such a project, he came to the Washington Square Health Foundation Board and made a presentation that convinced all of us that this project was a real “GO”.
It should be acknowledged that Washington Square Health Foundation’s role has been and is that of a catalyst – and as a catalyst, Washington Square Health Foundation will not fundraise for or directly administer the Chicago Project’s research support.
Angelo P. Creticos, M.D.
President, Washington Square Health Foundation
|Year ended September 30, 2008
|Grants & Program Related Investment
|Estimated Administrative Expense (Non-Charitable Expense)
|Professional Investment & Custodial fees
|Provision for federal excise tax
|*Due to the severe recession and unprecedented financial meltdown 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, 2008), by a decrease in market value of slightly over $4 million for the 2007-2008 fiscal year. In the first quarter of the 2008-2009 fiscal year, the foundation experienced an estimated unaudited additional $2 million loss.The official and complete audit as certified by Crowe Horwath LLP .
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