Focus on Health

Fall 2020

Deaconess Associations Foundation Awards $1,069,800 in Grants to Provide Healthcare Services to the Underserved








This philanthropic arm of Deaconess Associations, Inc. funds initiatives which provide primary care, oral health, and behavioral health services to the underserved.

Eight area organizations were recently awarded grants for oral health service initiatives:




















These four area organizations were awarded grants to support primary care services:











“Providing increased access to primary care and oral health services is a critical component of a
person’s overall health and well-being," observed Tony Woods, Executive Chairman of the Foundation. "We’re very pleased that these initiatives will serve a diverse group of individuals who would otherwise go without much-needed healthcare.”

The need is great. Out of the 2.2 million people in Deaconess' nine county grant focus area, 39% (872,498) fall into the federal poverty threshold. Over half are not served by health centers and about 7,000 are homeless; numbers are on the rise. Deaconess Associations Foundation invests in advancing access to health care services for those most in need. Advancing health, advancing people.


Focus on Health

Summer 2019


How Well Do You Know Deaconess?

Since 2012, the Deaconess Foundation has provided nearly $13 million in funding and grants to organizations that focus on providing measurable improvements in individual health outcomes.

The Foundation efforts are facilitated by donors, partner organizations, and a team including Diane Decker, Director of Development; Terri Huntington, Program Manager Heimlich Heroes; Tony Woods, Foundation Chair; and the Foundation Advisory Council, comprised of Vivienne Bechtold, Dana
Glasgo, Gus McPhie and Rodger Reed.

The Council brings much wisdom and heart to the table as they seek to identify local health inequities based on the Foundation’s funding priority:  To provide healthcare services and education to the underserved.

Providing Access

A highlight of the Foundation’s work is providing funding for eighteen Deaconess Health Checks throughout Greater Cincinnati, at locations which include Middletown, Fairfield, and Cincinnati Public schools, homeless shelters, and social service agencies.  Deaconess Health Check clinics provide much-needed primary care and/or vision, dental, behavioral health and pharmaceutical services to those who might otherwise go without care.

A Focus on Education

Another important focus of the Foundation is to provide nursing and allied health scholarships.  In recognition of the Deaconess School of Nursing, the first nursing school in Cincinnati, the Foundation has awarded over $275,000 since 2014 to students who are making an impact in the healthcare field.  Many of the awardees choose to work with the
underserved, and their careers ultimately benefit patient care and the health and well-being of the entire community.

Did you know Dr. Henry Heimlich was affiliated with Deaconess Hospital?  Because of that collaboration and the great need for training in his well-known Heimlich Maneuver®, the Foundation funds Heimlich Heroes™ – a national level life-saving training program which provides lesson materials and life-sized dolls to schools and clubs, so kids can learn
to recognize and respond to a choking emergency. More than 180,000 children across the nation have been trained since 2013. And, lives are being saved!

The Impact

With nearly 72,000 individuals benefitting from Foundation programs in 2018 alone, Deaconess Foundation is making a significant impact on the overall health outcomes of Greater Cincinnati. Watch for an even greater impact in the years to come.

September 30, 2019 – 29th Annual Golf Fundraiser

The Deaconess Foundation’s Annual Golf Outing is in its 29th year! This year we’re excited to host the event at the beautiful Maketewah Country Club. Enjoy lunch, golf, drinks, buffet dinner, awards and prizes. Proceeds support the Mobile Deaconess Health Check. Join us and help make a difference in our community. Learn More

Heimlich Heroes Has Grants For Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Schools…

If you are a school in the Greater Cincinnati area which has a great financial need, we want to talk with you. Heimlich Heroes has received grants that allow us to bring our Heimlich Maneuver training to your school.

What’s New? Mobile Primary Care Services!

For those who have little to no access to medical care other than the hospital emergency rooms, which increases the cost of care throughout the community and stresses an already burdened system, the Mobile Deaconess Health Check provides essential services.

Access to comprehensive, quality health care is critical for maintaining health, preventing and managing disease, reducing unnecessary disability, and achieving health equity. Primary healthcare access also greatly reduces costly emergency room visits and inpatient care due to delaying treatment and a lack of preventative care.

Unique to Cincinnati, The Mobile Deaconess Health Check is Primary Care on Wheels!

Our Mobile Deaconess Health Check Has Great Community Partners

“Our partner organizations are working hard to help us meet the needs of their clients,” said Heidee Friestuhler, Practice Manager.

Since February of this year, we have worked with nearly 20 organizations. Since this primary care model is relatively new in the Midwest, it took a few months to evaluate where we would see the most patients. We are here to provide health care to the homeless, those who lack transportation or don’t have access to quality healthcare due to lack of insurance or are unable to meet their copay and/or deductible.

Our current partners include:

Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center
The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center provides an in-residence rehabilitation program for 80 men with addictions.

First Step Home
First Step Home is a treatment center which allows children to live with their mothers while they are in recovery and provides an entire continuum of care.

St. Vincent de Paul
St. Vincent de Paul provides spiritual, emotional and material assistance to those in need.  Their Charitable Pharmacy provides free prescriptions for those who would otherwise go without medications.

YWCA Domestic Violence Shelter
The YWCA provides safe protective shelter for families suffering from abuse.

Cincinnati Union Bethel
The Off the Streets’ program provides housing and services for victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation and the Anna Louse Inn provides safe and affordable housing for women.

Christ Church Cathedral
Christ Church sponsors the 5000 Club food ministry, which provides a weekly evening meal to those in need. Nearly 200 meals a week are served, and the mobile van treats patients during this time.

Northstar Community Church
Northstar’s Life Center provides holistic care, including relational, spiritual, and life skill support and training.

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton Co. (with Maslow’s Army)
Maslow’ s Army provides the essential tools needed and offers hope to those less fortunate and to the homeless population by providing the skills needed to become self-sufficient.  Every Friday, the mobile van provides services when Maslow’s Army provides free lunch at the Main Public Library.

City Link Center
At CityLink, individuals go to one place, get surrounded by one team, create a plan to break free from poverty and get to a place of self-sustainability and hope.

City on a Hill Church
City on a Hill provides Hope to the Hopeless. Every Thursday, dinner is provided in the parking lot at Kroger in Price Hill, at which time the mobile van is available for services.

Neighborhoods that need it most now have easy access to primary medical care through our mobile health unit. Everyone receives services regardless of ability to pay.

Stories from the Van

We met a young man at one of our partner locations whose personal history is what movies are made from. The first day he came to us he was tearful, angry, and afraid. He shared that he was formerly dealing drugs and had given some of his “stash” to his family. Four of his family members died the day they used it, including his best friend, his cousin. He sees these deaths as his fault and told us several times that he wanted to give up. His emotional outbursts made it difficult to work with him.

Mental health and addiction often go hand in hand. As every member of our team has come alongside him, he now feels comfortable coming to us when he feels overwhelmed. With the care, counseling, and encouragement from our Nurse Practitioner, Lisa and our Practice Manager, Heidee, this young man has become more confident and is learning how to face his emotions. When we see him, he now gives us a smile and a hug versus pushing everyone away. Lisa has extensive knowledge of mental health issues and understands the care necessary to make sure each patient receives the care they need.

It is inspiring to hear stories like these and see the difference that our Mobile Deaconess Health Check is making. If you would like to help us make even more of an impact in our community, please consider making a donation through our website.

Deaconess Health Check Spotlight

“We have greatly benefited from The Deaconess Foundation’s commitment to serve the healthcare needs of the under-served population. Upon receiving a grant from the foundation, the Center was able to renovate and relocate to the third floor of the newly formed St. Anthony Center in Over-the-Rhine. This gift allowed the Center to expand its capacity and, more importantly, enhance the medical and health services provided to our clients. We are proud that our medical suite is an official Deaconess Health Check*.”
– Edward J. Slater, Center for Respite Care
*Editor’s Note: there are currently 18 Deaconess Health Check Clinics in the greater Cincinnati Region

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