Fostering an Equitable and Healthy Richmond Region
We Seek to…
We seek to advance health equity and reduce health disparities in our region.
Our Trustee and Staff Definition of Health Equity
Health equity means everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy and well as possible. This requires engaging communities and partners to reduce health disparities by removing obstacles to health such as poverty, discrimination and their consequences.
We commit to act in ways that promote fairness in opportunity for all people.
We are curious, eager to listen to and learn with our partners, and focused on how data can lead to responsible action.
We responsibly manage our investment resources in alignment with our values and mission.
We honor the diverse voices, perspectives and experiences of the people in our communities.
We recognize, value and seek to better understand and integrate the contributions and experiences of all members of our community.
We invest in people, organizations, ideas and solutions leading to positive, sustainable change in our communities.
We are accessible and honest in our communication.
We address the social, economic and structural conditions that contribute to poor health outcomes. We operate with a sense of urgency and a deep commitment to long-term change, emboldened by the resilience, creativity, and capacity of our communities.
We nurture relationships and invest in solutions to eliminate health disparities in our region.
We work collaboratively as investors, conveners, learners and network builders with our communities. We look for partners and allies who share our values and are committed to analysis, community engagement, action, impact and accountability.
We celebrate the diversity of our region and affirm the critical need for inclusion in decision making and shared action that leads to improved health outcomes.
Focus on Stewardship
We invest primarily in Chesterfield County, Goochland County, Hanover County, Henrico County, Powhatan County, and Richmond City, and are open to considering regional and statewide investments that align with and advance our mission.
Our Strategic Framework
Richmond Memorial Health Foundation’s Board of Trustees adopted a strategic framework in 2019 that preserves its commitment to access to health care while refocusing its vision more broadly to address deepening inequities in health outcomes and the socioeconomic conditions that exacerbate health disparities.
We understand that advancing health equity cannot happen in a vacuum. We will continue to build and leverage our diverse networks of individuals and organizations committed to changing systems and policies that contribute to health inequities. People in relationships with one another are core to our effort to build and sustain a health equity movement in our region.
Richmond Memorial Health Foundation traces its roots to the founding of the Richmond Memorial Hospital.
The hospital was opened in 1957 as a memorial to the Richmond men and women who died in World War II. A public, community-owned and “open staff” hospital, Richmond Memorial Hospital permitted appropriately certified physicians to admit patients from across the region. The Hospital opened its doors to people of all races and backgrounds, regardless of their ability to pay. It also played a key role as a provider of health care services during the population spike known as the “baby boom.”
In 1977, the hospital board of directors created the Richmond Memorial Hospital Foundation to hold reserve funds as a means to ensure financial stability during a period of high inflation. When the hospital outgrew its original location in Richmond’s Northside, patients and caregivers relocated in 1998 to what is now Bon Secours Richmond Memorial Regional Medical Center in Hanover County. The assets of the hospital were merged into the Foundation, which disposed of the former hospital properties and redefined its mission as a grantmaker. The organization was renamed the Richmond Memorial Health Foundation to emphasize its focus on community health.
Our Equity Journey
Our mission has not always been “fostering an equitable and healthy Richmond region.” Our focus initially was responsive and centered on health care access, nursing education, and coordination of care.
In 2015, our Trustees began discussing the social determinants of health, which initiated their equity learning journey. Over the past several years, we have intentionally invited others to share, to challenge, and to engage with us along this equity journey. We’ve assembled this timeline, which shares our milestones and resources, in hopes that it may help others on a similar path.