The Greater Rochester Health Foundation (Health Foundation) was created in 2006 when the not-for-profit MVP Health Plan acquired the not-for-profit HMO Preferred Care. The value of Preferred Care was returned to the community through MVP’s purchase price of $232 million to create a foundation dedicated to improving the health of the Greater Rochester community, inclusive of Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates counties. Since its inception, the Health Foundation has acted as an independent foundation governed by a community-based board of directors and managed by a professional staff.

Between 2007 and 2016, the Greater Rochester Health Foundation has distributed grants to hundreds of organizations in the nine-county service area that are working to improve the health of their communities.

In 2017, to expand its support of efforts to improve children’s health and respond to urgent needs in the community, the Health Foundation developed an updated strategic plan – Healthy Futures: Improving the Health and Wellbeing of Children.

The strategy was guided by a number of critical factors. We heard from members of the community who were increasingly raising alarms about children’s health and it was clear that families needed support. With our work in childhood healthy weight, our involvement with the report by the Commission on Children’s Behavioral Health, and our expanded work with the Greater Rochester Initiative for Children’s Social and Emotional Health Implementation Task Force, the Health Foundation saw an opportunity to help.

The Healthy Futures Strategy was enacted after careful consideration, thorough review of learnings from past efforts focused on children’s health, and discussion among the Health Foundation Board of Directors, staff, community stakeholders and consultants. The process was thoughtful and, as with all of our actions, guided by the long-term needs of our community.