Fostering an Equitable and Healthy Richmond Region
We Seek to…
We seek to advance health and racial equity in our region.
Our Trustees' 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.
Some Thoughts About Racial Equity
As an organization, we are informed and inspired by these words from our partner, Race Forward: “…we achieve racial equity when race no longer determines one’s socioeconomic outcomes; when everyone has what they need to thrive, no matter where they live.”
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 health and racial inequity. 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, trust our partners, and invest in solutions to eliminate health and racial disparities in our region.
We work collaboratively as investors, conveners, learners and network builders with our communities. We look for mission-aligned 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 advances health and racial equity.
We invest primarily in Chesterfield County, Goochland County, Hanover County, Henrico County, Powhatan County, and Richmond City, and are open to considering regional, statewide or national investments that align with and advance our mission.
Our Strategic Framework
RMHF and our community are at a critical inflection point. The pandemic has shone a harsh spotlight on the significant racial inequities that negatively impact the health and wealth of many Black and Brown people and that we must address as a community and nation.
The more we have learned together about the social determinants of health, and the intersections of health and wealth, the more strongly we feel that health should never be determined by a person’s race, income, education level, employment status or neighborhood. As a result, we are excited to share an updated Strategic Framework that reflects an even deeper commitment to advancing health and racial equity in relationship with our partners.
As you read our updated Strategic Framework, we hope you will find that it centers our mission, our partners, and our connectedness as humans and neighbors.
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 aimed at ensuring 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. The organization was later renamed Richmond Memorial Health Foundation to emphasize its focus on community health and redefined its mission as a grantmaker.
Our Equity Journey
Our mission has not always been “fostering an equitable and healthy Richmond region.” Our much earlier focus was responsive grantmaking centered on access and quality of care, healthcare workforce education and development, and aging services planning and delivery.
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.