South Florida Hospital News
Friday December 6, 2019
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July 2019 - Volume 16 - Issue 1

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Quantum in the Community Grant Period Opens for Grassroots Organizations

On June 2, the application period opened for Quantum Foundation’s Quantum in the Community (QIC) program, which provides grant money to help grassroots charities in Palm Beach County meet the basic needs of the county’s most vulnerable residents. Now in its ninth year, the program is celebrating its success by increasing the pool of available funds to $1 million, with selected nonprofits receiving up to $25,000 each.

“It is amazing to see what a smaller organization can do with $25,000; you can actively see better outcomes,” said Eric Kelly, president of Quantum Foundation. “In some cases, it may mean the opportunity for a family to put nutritious meals on the table seven days a week. Even with both parents working, some families can’t afford to live in Palm Beach County without assistance, and there’s no greater impact than being able to complement what they do with meals on the table.
 
“We often talk numbers when we talk about food distribution,” he added. “But this is those numbers on a granular level.”
 
Two Types of Grants
To date, the Quantum Foundation has made more than $140 million in grants on both a macro and micro level. The foundation was formed in 1995 with the net proceeds from the sale of JFK Medical Center in Atlantis, FL and it began making grants in Palm Beach County in June 1997.
 
“Our goal is to continue making grants in perpetuity as a way to improve the healthcare outcomes in Palm Beach County,” said Kelly of the $150 million endowed fund, of which five percent is paid out in grants every year.
 
Quantum provides foundation grants, which are typically between $50,000 and $1 million, and QIC grants of up to $25,000.
 
“Foundation grants typically average $125,000, though we recently awarded $900,000 to the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium,” said Kelly, adding that the grants can be good for up to three years. “The grants are given in three areas—Better Engagement in Health; Greater Access to Health Resources; And Stronger Connections for Healthy Communities.”
 
Grants focused on Better Engagement in Health are given to organizations that help individuals gain the knowledge and skills needed to make healthy choices, and that provide health workers with the ability to effectively serve those individuals. Greater Access to Health Resources grants are given to organizations that have the capacity to provide communities with access to resources that support their optimal health. Stronger Connections for Healthy Communities—of which QIC grants are a part—are given to organizations that engage stakeholders to reshape systems that promote equitable community health and involve multiple efforts to create solutions.
 
“We recognize that there are people living in communities with conditions or challenges that keep them sicker at higher rates than in other communities; in many cases, your zip code will determine your health outcomes,” said Kelly. “Our goal is to work with businesses, nonprofits and the government to change the equation in the county.
 
 “Social determinants of health, such as housing, education, jobs, the economy, the built environment, transportation, public safety, and walkability all impact a community’s health,” he continued. “In certain communities, issues of race and racism are also a leading factor, with toxic stress leading to behavioral health issues.”
 
According to Kelly, by not just looking at healthcare but at the social determinants that keep people in disparity, more progress can be made.
 
“We need to not just look at people’s basic needs but ask what’s happening to put them in a continual state of need; what policies, practices, or laws are keeping certain communities in poverty?” he asked. “While we are dealing with systematic changes through our larger grants, people can continue to have their basic needs met through QIC grants.”
 
How to Apply
While grant applications can often be cumbersome, the QIC application has few requirements and even fewer questions. An organization must be registered as a 501c3; have been working in Palm Beach County for at least six months; have an operating budget that does not exceed $500,000; and provide basic needs like food, clothing, shelter, utilities and transportation to the county’s most vulnerable residents.
 
“It’s a very simple program, and we intentionally simplified the process because often, grassroots organizations are 100 percent volunteer and don’t have the capacity or infrastructure to deal with grant reporting,” said Kelly. “It’s a three-question application; what do you do, who do you serve, and did you do what you said you would?”

The application period closes on Aug. 2, and selected organizations will receive funds on Nov. 13 at a celebratory breakfast. To learn more, visit www.quantumfnd.org or call (561) 832-7497.

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