Annual Report for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2013

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

William N. Werner, MD, MPH

Chair’s Letter

2013 was a good year for Washington Square Health Foundation. At the Board of Directors’ annual meeting and retreat held early in 2013, the focus was on the impact of health care reform and, specifically, the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It was concluded that the Foundation would concentrate on addressing the gaps in health care not covered by the ACA. In response, the grant and Program Related Investment (PRI) activities in 2013 and into 2014 have addressed issues in providing care to populations not included in the current reform legislation as well as ongoing and underfunded areas of medical research and education.

Examples include the continuing food pantry initiative which is now in its third year. By supporting local food pantries, the basic nutritional needs of people are being addressed, which is essential to maintaining good health. Underserved populations are also being covered in grants to organizations addressing mental health services, victims of abuse and trauma, and free clinics providing care to immigrant and marginalized people. Considerable funding has gone to support dental and oral health programs which have been neglected in both state and federal health care funding. Women’s health initiatives specific to screening and prevention have also been emphasized.

Washington Square is now into the ninth year of supporting the Chicago Diabetes Project, a medical research program to find a functional cure for diabetes. An international research team is led by Jose Oberholzer, MD, professor of surgery, bioengineering and endocrinology at the University of Illinois Chicago. The team has published key papers on their groundbreaking discoveries which have attracted the attention of some of the leading academic centers that, hopefully, will lead to further collaborative efforts to cure one of major, chronic illnesses of our time.

The Foundation remains committed to supporting health care education. Programs such as the “Readiness for Residency” at LoyolaUniversity help to prepare fourth year medical students in mastering the essential clinical skills needed for the next steps on their path to becoming competent, independent practioners. Helping to prepare residents for primary care is the purpose of an innovated fellowship program at ErieFamilyHealthCenter, which has received a Foundation grant, and the Ann and Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital Hematology/Oncology Research Fellowship has continued to receive support for six fellows over several years. The Board recently received a report on the success of the fellowship program, which was researched and written by our newest Board member, Barbara Berendt. This report, along with her prior study of an earlier Washington Square scholars program, highlighted the important roles that these young physicians play in not only providing health care services but also how they are involved with and support their communities.

The Washington Square staff, Howard Nochumson,  Executive Director, and Catherine Kapella, MPH, Program Director, continue to assist potential grant candidates in the preparation and execution of grant requests. The Foundation’s web site has been upgraded to be more helpful and user friendly, particularly with the enhancement of an online grant management system and application. The staff has functioned as faculty at local and national conferences for non-profit foundations and is sought after for their experience in administering PRIs. Ms. Kapella recently led a workshop for the Non-Profit Leadership Alliance and North ParkUniversity on the operational challenges facing non-profits.

Finally, our Board continues to evolve in its membership. Richard B. Patterson, DPM, MSPH, a Board member since 1994, has retired and is now an Emeritus Director. Barbara Berendt joined the Board at the 2014 annual meeting. She is well acquainted with how foundations work, being a retired executive of Rotary International ,where she also worked for the Rotary Foundation, and she worked for WSHF, having authored two reports on the impact of two of our medical/nursing scholarship\ research fellowship programs.

In his annual report to the Board, Mr. Nochumson raised the question “of what are the most important assets of the Foundation?” While financial assets are necessary for the work of any non-profit Foundation, he concluded that the “shared vision” of the Board and the staff is the most important asset to accomplish our mission. Given the legacy, now approaching 30 years as a charitable foundation in Chicagoland, I am looking to many more “good years” for Washington Square Health Foundation.

William N. Werner, MD, MPH, FACP
Board Chair

Statement of Activities

reports-fund-balance-2012 reports-funding-allocations-2012







Year ended September 30, 2013
Grants & Program Related Investment $781,685
Estimated Administrative Expense (Non-Charitable Expense) $182,713
Professional Investment & Custodial fees $81,459
Provision for federal excise tax $22,000
Total Assets $20,702,949
The official and complete audit as certified by Crowe Horwath LLPDownload PDF.

Fiscal Year 2012-2013 Grant Recipients