Members of the Phoenixville Community Health Foundation

Members of the Phoenixville Community Health Foundation.

PHOENIXVILLE — Do you remember 1998? The controversy over the sale of the Phoenixville Hospital? The hospital was sold, and part of the deal was the creation of the Phoenixville Community Health Foundation.

A year later, after 15 months of planning and organizing, the foundation began operations as a private foundation created to improve the health and quality of life for people in the greater Phoenixville region. Twenty years later, the group is still holding true to its mission.

The foundation promotes healthy communities through grant-making and collaboration with health, civic, business and community partners. Its 20 years of service to the greater Phoenixville region ranges from Limerick to Collegeville and from Royersford to Great Valley, and everywhere in between.

Over this time, the foundation has granted over $38 million to non-profit organizations serving the greater Phoenixville region in project, capital, and general operating grants. Included in this, are over $100,000 in Health Education Mini-Grants to local educators and first responders; $362,000 in support for AED (Automatic External Defibrillators) including AED Mini-Grants to first responders, non-profit organizations and civic organizations; $26,000 for Capacity-Building Mini-Grants to local non-profit organizations for Board and staff development; and over $23,000 for Internet Technology grants to small non-profit organizations serving the greater Phoenixville area.

In addition to these grants, the foundation has established and funded Youth & Philanthropy programs in six regional schools giving young people the opportunity to experience philanthropy first hand.

The foundation also has honored 74 individuals as Champions of the Community for their volunteer efforts within the greater Phoenixville region; has graduated 58 non-profit professionals from the Foundation’s popular Executive Leadership Institute (and soon will graduate 9 more) — preparing a new generation of leadership for the Phoenixville region’s non-profit sector; and has graduated 135 individuals from the foundation’s Community Health Leadership Academy, empowering community volunteers to take a greater leadership role in their community.

Aside from this important grant activity, the Phoenixville Community Health Foundation, in its practice of its particular brand of community philanthropy, has also played various other community roles to enhance its impact over these past 20 years.

At various times over these past two decades, it has functioned in very practical ways as an ambassador for the rebirth of Phoenixville; played a catalyst role to help get local community health issues addressed; been a broker to bring groups together to collaborate and eliminate service duplication; and has promoted capacity-building among the non-profit, community benefit organizations in which it invests philanthropically to enhance their ability to become more efficient, more effective, and more impactful.

To celebrate these 20 years of service and impact, the foundation has hosted a year-long anniversary celebration of community events. In spring 2018 the foundation held a packed-house Chesco Pops Community Concert of almost 700 people at the Phoenixville Area Middle School auditorium which was free to the public; this past summer the foundation partnered with the Phoenixville Jaycee Foundation to host a free family-friendly Community Movie Night in Reeves Park.

In the fall, the foundation collaborated with Phoenixville Hospital-Tower Health’s Community Health Education & Outreach Department to host a Community Health Fair.

On April 4th, 2019, the 20th anniversary festivities were wrapped-up with a free community reception at Robert Ryan Catering to round out this celebration of 20 years of service and to kick-off the next two decades of anticipated continued service and impact.

For more information on the work of the Phoenixville Community Health Foundation, you can consult its website at www.pchf1.org or call Lou Beccaria, President/CEO at 610-917-9890.

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