Foundation Celebrates 15th Anniversary by Awarding $225,000 in Grants

Foundation Celebrates 15th Anniversary by

Awarding $225,000 in Grants


Oak Brook, IL (November 2, 2017) The Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation (ILCHF),

the only funder in Illinois focused on children’s health issues statewide, celebrates its 15th anniversary.  During their recent luncheon, ILCHF awarded $225,000 in grants to fifteen organizations they have worked with over the years to support holistic community-based health systems and increase access to care especially oral and mental healthcare services for children.


Organizations receiving a $15,000 grant included: Family Service Association of Greater Elgin Area, Community Health Partnership of Illinois, Coles County Mental Health Association Inc., Promise Healthcare, Nami Chicago, The Children’s Clinic sponsored by Oak Park River Forest Infant Welfare Society, Health & Medicine Policy Research Group, Sinnissippi Centers, Inc., Milestone Inc., Greater Illinois Pediatric Palliative Care Coalition, River Bend Foodbank, Family Counseling Center, Inc., Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation, Quincy Public Schools, District 172, and Hancock County Health Department.


While there was an application process to receive a grant, the organizations that applied represented 143 of ILCHF’s grants already given.  Currently 80% of those programs are still operational which speaks to the sustainability of initiatives funded by ILCHF.


To date, ILCHF has supported Illinois communities with over $75 Million dollars in grant funding:

  • $31M in oral health, including creating over 70 access points
  • $32M to support behavioral and mental health systems of care
  • $11M to address other community-based health and wellness needs.


“The only way that a foundation as modest as ours is going to be able to affect all of children’s healthcare is through our ability to cultivate partnerships, to promote the work of our grantees, and to invest in replicable, sustainable service models,” explains Heather Alderman, President of ILCHF.  “It is the providers who do the work and provide services through our grants who are the real heroes in the state.”


Through funding dental health clinics, providing professional education, and creating partnerships, thousands of Illinois children now have access to oral healthcare who did not in the past. Additionally, through an advocacy grant to the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, ILCHF has convened grantees, leaders and educators in the oral health field to help craft smart policy initiatives that reduce barriers to care.


Regarding the success of ILCHF’s mental health work, many communities have not only changed their view of children’s mental health but now include mental health screening as part of the ‘back to school’ registration package. Additionally, children are being screened at an earlier age and provided the help needed to prevent small problems from becoming bigger issues in the future.


Four Illinois communities were able to create integrated systems for mental health care through the ILCHF’s Community Mental Health Initiative (CMHI) 1.0.  All together they succeeded in screening more than 36,000 youth each year for mental health problems and built sustainable systems of community-based care during the grant period from 2010-2018. Building on that success, ILCHF recently announced an additional $10M investment to fund CMHI 2.0 to build systems of care in four additional Illinois communities.


For more information about ILCHF, please visit  Applications for CMHI 2.0 funding are being accepted until February 1, 2018 and information can be found here.


About Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation

Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation (ILCHF) is the only statewide private foundation solely focused on improving the health of all children in the State of Illinois. ILCHF was created in December 2002 through an action of then Attorney General Jim Ryan and an Illinois insurance carrier. This action and a settlement of approximately $125 million established the Foundation.


From 2002 to 2017, Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation has provided more than $75 million through 438 grants that have been invested in programs aimed at improving overall children’s health in Illinois, with a focus in oral health and mental health.

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