Marin Community Foundation Announces Partnership with Sutter Health to Provide $10 Million in Health Services to Underserved Marin Residents
NOVATO, Calif., January 27, 2010 -To increase the availability of primary health care services for Marin County residents with no or limited health insurance, the Marin Community Foundation (MCF) and the Sutter Health network of Northern California doctors and hospitals have formed a partnership to provide $10 million to meet this growing need. Sutter Health has contributed $10 million to MCF to establish the Sutter Health Access to Care Fund.
Two million dollars in grants from this new fund will be directed and distributed by MCF each year for the next five years to support Marin County’s community clinics and health care safety net. Grants will support such efforts as increasing the number of patients served by the county’s community clinics, funding the purchase of equipment, extending hours of services, supporting health prevention programs, and helping to provide health insurance to children who otherwise would not receive coverage.
“This funding initiative is a significant contribution to the health and well-being of every resident in Marin,” said MCF President Dr. Thomas Peters in announcing the new fund. “We are enormously proud to welcome Sutter Health to MCF, and we look forward to working closely with representatives from Sutter, the county health department, community clinics, and other providers to seek input on the most effective use of Sutter’s generous donation.”
Peters indicated that there has been a steady growth in the number of Marin residents with little or no health insurance and older residents whose health care needs are increasing.
“Together, these changes are placing extra demands on the health care system in Marin,” he explained. “When you have a county in which many are struggling and where four of every 10 people do not receive health insurance from their employer, it’s clear that the need for quality, affordable, and culturally appropriate health care is greater than ever.”
“Sutter Health recognizes the vital role that community clinics play in meeting the health needs of our communities’ most vulnerable populations,” said Martin Brotman, M.D., President of Sutter Health’s West Bay Region. “In recent years, much of our community benefit program has focused on supporting community clinics to bring high quality and culturally competent care to the underinsured and uninsured in Northern California. This fund complements the ongoing support that Sutter Health – through Marin General Hospital and Novato Community Hospital – has given to maintaining the health care safety net in Marin throughout the years.”
In 2009, Sutter Health invested a total of $599 million in community benefit activities.
“We want to make a significant impact on the health care delivery system in Marin by working through the Foundation to address both immediate and long-term needs,” explained Brotman.
“The Marin Community Foundation is the ideal partner for this effort,” said Brotman. “They know this community extremely well, they’ve had years of experience supporting a wide range of community health efforts, and they have a deep commitment to equity.”
“A vibrant, nonprofit system of accessible health care is a critical piece of our county’s overall health system, and this is exactly what the Sutter Health initiative will address,” stated Dr. Larry Meredith, Director of Marin County Department of Health and Human Services.
“We know that without a health care safety net, many people in the county would not get the care they need. We have wonderful organizations providing these services to thousands of people throughout Marin,” he added, “and this extra support will help them meet the growing need for their services.”
Meredith added that another benefit of increasing the capacity of community-based health organizations is reducing the burden placed on crowded, local emergency rooms, which he described as “often the provider of last resort” for people without health insurance. “This trend has a serious impact on the overall health care delivery system,” stated Meredith.
Peters stated that the first grants from this new fund at MCF are expected to be announced in May. Nonprofit organizations eligible for support will be contacted soon and invited to apply for grants.
“Sutter Health’s gift to this community represents the best of philanthropy,” added Peters. “When donors like Sutter bring such strong values and generous resources to the table, that’s when lives can truly change.”
About the Marin Community Foundation
The Marin Community Foundation is the primary center for philanthropy in Marin County, CA, and is one of the largest community foundations in the U.S. It manages the assets of the Leonard and Beryl H. Buck Trust and 350 funds established by individuals, families, and businesses. The Foundation makes significant improvements in communities around the world in two ways: by spearheading initiatives for long-term, sustainable change in Marin, and by distributing grants from donor-advised funds locally, across the U.S., and around the world.
Now in its 22nd year, the Marin Community Foundation has invested over $800 million in the work of nonprofit organizations. Its assets are approximately $1 billion, with annual grant distributions of approximately $50 million.
About Sutter Health
Serving patients and their families in more than 100 Northern California cities and towns, Sutter Health doctors, not-for-profit hospitals, and other health care providers join resources and share expertise to advance health care quality and access. The Sutter Medical Network includes many of California’s top-performing, highest quality physician organizations as measured annually by the Integrated Healthcare Association. Sutter-affiliated hospitals are regional leaders in cardiac care, women’s and children’s services, cancer care, orthopedics, and advanced patient safety technology.
Dr. Thomas Peters, President and CEO
Marin Community Foundation
415.464.2510 or 415.505.3741
Martin Brotman, M.D. President, Sutter Health West Bay Region: through Kathryn Graham, Executive Director, Public Affairs, Sutter Marin at 415.460.4449
Dr. Larry Meredith
Director of Marin County Department of Health and Human Services