Four philanthropists honored in Cleveland

2016-jessica-blog-photoEarlier this month, four individuals received awards for outstanding achievements in philanthropy. This year is the 13th consecutive year our board of trustees has awarded the Ohio Philanthropy Award, which went to Hank Doll. Read more about the four awards and awardees below.

Innovation Award – Don Ambrose

The Innovation Award honors a philanthropic catalyst – someone who has moved philanthropy forward from an original idea through implementation to results, and the 2017 winner is Don Ambrose.

Don Ambrose awardDel Mar Healthcare Inc.’s President Don Ambrose established the Del Mar Social Innovation Award at the Dayton Foundation with the goal of challenging local organizations to think deeply and creatively about how they can serve older adults. Since 2010, the Social Innovation Award has granted more than $2 million to enhance the lives of Greater Dayton’s older adults. The award funds proposals that demonstrate groundbreaking, unique and highly collaborative projects. Without the encouragement of the Del Mar Social Innovation Award, some of these important community projects may have not come to fruition.


Aiyana Marcus, program officer at The Dayton Foundation, accepted the Innovation Award on Don’s behalf and is pictured with Robert Jaquay, The George Gund Foundation associate director.

Emerging Ohio Philanthropist – Anthony Richardson

The award for an Emerging Ohio Philanthropist honors someone who, regardless of age, has engaged in philanthropy for the first time in the last few years, either as a volunteer or as staff. Nominees should demonstrate exemplary leadership in advancing philanthropy, engagement beyond a single community, creativity in a philanthropic endeavor or project and significant accomplishment over a short period.

The 2017 winner is Anthony Richardson, described by his nominators as someone “who has exemplified the spirit of quiet leadership and innovative approaches to problem solving.” Another nominator noted that he has “emerged as a strong voice and active member of Philanthropy Ohio’s DEI Committee.”

Anthony currently serves as the Civic Affairs and Education Program Officer for The Nord Family Foundation. He is involved with Philanthropy Ohio’s DEI Committee, Education Advisory Committee, Public Policy Committee and the Tax Reform Working Group. He recently was named chair of the Academic Distress Commission for Lorain City Schools, appointed by State Superintendent of Schools Paolo DiMaria.


The 2017 Emerging Philanthropist is Tony Richardson (center) pictured with Connie Hawk (left), Licking County Foundation director and Robert Jaquay (right), George Gund Foundation associate director.

Michael G. Shinn Award for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Philanthropy – Treye Johnson

The Philanthropy Ohio Board of Trustees created this award after Mike’s death in March 2015. He was the founder of the Shinn Family Foundation and served as secretary of Philanthropy Ohio’s Board of Trustees; he also chaired the board’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee, taking on primary responsibility for guiding Philanthropy Ohio’s efforts in that arena. In addition to the philanthropy he did through the Shinn Family Foundation, Mike was an active and respected community volunteer who gave generously of his time, talent and treasure.

Award nominees should have made outstanding contributions to philanthropy by demonstrating that he or she builds bridges, connecting people dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion; champions the acceptance, respect and inclusion of all; promotes justice and fairness; forges genuine partnerships with diverse communities; and implements DEI practices in organizational operations, grantmaking and other areas.

Treye Johnson, program officer at The Burton D. Morgan Foundation, is the 2017 winner. He helped bring the Racial Equity Institute’s Groundwater training to Northeast Ohio over the past two years and is planning future activities that follow up on the training. He also coordinated the 2016 Forward Cities national convening that focused on initiatives advancing inclusive entrepreneurship and innovation. Treye has also been a driving force on our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, bringing his passion and voice to this important work.

One of his nominators described Trey’s impact, saying, “Treye has emerged as a strong voice and active member of Philanthropy Ohio’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee. As I learn of all the things he’s involved with, I continue to be impressed. It’s people like Treye who give me hope for the future. He is passionate, articulate and involved in both his community and philanthropy.”

Deborah Hoover, president and CEO of Burton D. Morgan Foundation, noted, “Treye has served as an inspirational role model in helping to create a ‘culture of inclusion’ in our Northeast Ohio entrepreneurial ecosystem. Trustees and staff are extremely proud of this meaningful recognition of Treye.”


Treye Johnson (right) won the 2017 Michael G. Shinn Award for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Philanthropy. He’s pictured with Athens County Foundation Executive Director Susan Urano (left) and Deborah Aubert Thomas, Philanthropy Ohio vice president for programs and learning.

Ohio Philanthropy Award – Hank Doll

The Ohio Philanthropy Award is the award for lifetime achievement. It recognizes an individual or organization for outstanding achievements over a long period, demonstrating long-standing leadership in advancing philanthropy, creativity in responding to societal problems and significant positive impact on philanthropy.

This year’s award winner is Hank Doll of the Doll Family Foundation. Many thoughtful letters extolling Hanks’ accomplishments and passion for philanthropy spoke of his generosity of spirit, his longstanding leadership and his integrity. Hank’s contributions to philanthropy span five decades and have influenced foundations, nonprofit organizations and communities across Ohio. He has worked as an executive, an individual philanthropist, civic leader and advisor. His creation of the “Giving Back Gang” not only inspired giving, but also engaged more than 70 individual philanthropists, generating $275,000 in grants over 15 years. Philanthropy in Ohio would not be the same without Hank.


Hank Doll of the Doll Family Foundation won the 2017 Ohio Philanthropy Award.

Congratulations to our 2017 Philanthropy Award winners!

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Jessica Howard


October 23, 2017 at 4:29 pm Leave a comment

Another great Philanthropy Forward conference

2016-jessica-blog-photoOctober 4 – 6, we hosted nearly 300 philanthropy professionals in Cleveland for Philanthropy Forward ’17. The conference was three days of plenary speakers who challenged, members connecting with each other and breakout sessions that imparted tangible takeaways. One of the main themes this year was the future of the sector – where we are heading and where we should be heading.

            See all the conference photos and tag yourself.

The conference kicked off with three learning tours that gave attendees the chance to experience Cleveland and see the work of local funders. They were the Why Parks Matter tour of several city parks; Social Enterprise tour of four entrepreneurial social purpose businesses; and a private tour of Playhouse Square, the largest theater restoration project in the world.


Upcycle Parts is a social enterprise that hosts craft-making events from donated supplies.

After a fun Ohio Roots Home Grown Welcome Party at Great Lakes Brewing Company (and accompanying retirement send off for Brian Frederick), Phil Buchanan, Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) president, opened the conference with his plenary “Leading Effective Organizations in Complex, Changing Times.”

CEP surveyed foundation CEOs earlier this year about whether the current political climate is affecting their grantmaking and programmatic goals. Phil shared that:

  • 48% of foundations see a negative effect of the new administration on their work, while 3% see a positive effect
  • 34% are changing their grantmaking budget, either increasing it (14%) or changing the allocations (20%)
  • 46% are putting more emphasis on collaborating with other funders
  • 45% are advocating more at the state level, 43% at the local level
  • 52% said the sheer magnitude and complexity of the problems on which their foundations are focused, plus the current political/economic climate makes progress difficult
  • 30% see the lack of collaboration as a barrier to progress
  • 64% are taking more risk

Plenary speaker Phil Buchanan is president for the Center for Effective Philanthropy.

At the Annual Meeting, we introduced five new members to the Board of Trustees and welcomed four back for additional terms of service:

  • Susan Urano, The Athens County Foundation
  • Connie Hawk, Licking County Foundation
  • Holly Fowler Martens, The Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation
  • Ted Vander Roest, Springfield Foundation
  • Keith Burwell, Toledo Community Foundation
  • Brady Groves, Richland County Foundation
  • Margaret Hulbert, United Way of Greater Cincinnati
  • Lissy Rand, Deaconess Foundation
  • Karen White, KeyBank Foundation

The lunch plenary speaker Dr. Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., author and Princeton professor, challenged attendees to recognize and address the Value Gap – the belief the white people matter more than others. In his talk, “The Value Gap: A Challenge to Equity,” he showed how this belief continues to shape society and limits the scope of change.


Dr. Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., author and Princeton Professor of Religion and African American Studies and Chair, Center for African American Studies, was the lunch plenary speaker.

Glaude also touched on unconscious bias, which gives us a pass because unconscious implies that we don’t know our biases exist. He suggested we should call them habits, because we carry them with us. However, unlike bias, we can change our habits, but only by confronting the Value Gap and the ugliness of our history. We have to be consciously aware of what people have to deal with every day.

We also showed the documentary 13th and had a discussion following, keeping the conversation flowing around race and equity in America.

See tweets and reactions to Philanthropy Forward ’17 on Storify.

Throughout the conference, four philanthropists received awards for outstanding achievements in philanthropy. Click here to read more about the award winners: Ohio Philanthropy Award winner Hank Doll; Emerging Ohio Philanthropist Anthony Richardson; Michael G. Shinn Award for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Philanthropy winner Treye Johnson; and Innovation Award winner Don Ambrose.

The Final plenary speaker was futurist Trista Harris who shared signals for the future and what’s next for philanthropy in her speech “The Future of Philanthropy.” Harris suggested spending two hours per week thinking about the future and looking for solutions to your problems outside the sector.


Trista Harris is a futurist and president of the Minnesota Council on Foundations.

A panel of grantmakers from the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland, Greater Cincinnati Foundation and the George Gund Foundation spoke about taking risks and not being afraid to fail.


Susanna Krey, Robin Martin, David Abbott and Trista Harris answer questions about the future of their work in philanthropy.

Harris said that foundations fear failure but they’re failing all the time. Foundations are slowly failing and need to start failing quickly because we can’t afford to keep failing slow. Problems are getting worse faster than we can solve them.

Future of Philanthropy

Jo Byrne, a graphic recorder/visual notetaker illustrated Trista Harris’s plenary address.

Many great sessions engaged attendees and offered space to learn, ask questions and take risks thanks to the 57 speakers who presented 28 sessions with topics ranging from the cost of poverty, civic engagement and advocacy, youth philanthropy, best practices in corporate philanthropy and authentic leadership. Special thanks to the 21 sponsors and 10 exhibitors who helped make the conference possible, as well as our conference committee and volunteers:

  • David Abbott, The George Gund Foundation
  • Margot James Copeland, KeyBank Foundation
  • Ronn Richard, The Cleveland Foundation
  • Holley Fowler Martens, The Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation
  • Augie Napoli, United Way of Greater Cleveland
  • Richard Pogue, Kulas Foundation
  • Kathleen Lis Dean, Ph.D., Saint Luke’s Foundation
  • Brady Groves, Richland County Foundation
  • Connie Hawk, Licking County Foundation
  • Treye Johnson, Burton D. Morgan Foundation
  • Anthony Richardson, The Nord Family Foundation
  • Joan Szczepanik, Nordson Corporation Foundation
  • Teleange’ Thomas, Foundation Center Midwest

Philanthropy Forward ’17 closed with a celebration of champions in Ohio sports philanthropy. A discussion panel included Renee Harvey of the Cleveland Browns Foundation, Rebecca Kodysh of the Cleveland Indians and Renee Powell, professional golfer and representative of the Clearview Legacy Foundation. Each spoke about the philanthropic work  in which their foundation and players participate.


John Gest of Philanthropy Ohio moderated a panel that included Renee Harvey of the Cleveland Browns Foundation, Rebecca Kodysh of the Cleveland Indians and Renee Powell, professional golfer and Clearview Legacy Foundation.

In closing, two special guests surprised attendees – Chomps from the Cleveland Browns and Slider from the Cleveland Indians.

Many attendees found the conference not only helpful in their work, but also thought-provoking and bold. Here are a few things they had to say:

  • “This conference really helped me to change my frame of perspective as I think about equity.”
  • “The Cost of Poverty Experience made me realize how little I truly understand about many of the people I want to help.”
  • “I really liked the plenary speakers this year – such a good mix of thought-provoking leaders.”
  • “The barriers of living in poverty and racial injustices prevent people from getting ahead… I knew this but had an aha moment when talking about to some young black people about their experiences with discrimination.”
  • “I think this was one of the best Philanthropy Ohio conferences I have attended. The Value Gap and Future of Philanthropy both gave you something to think about for a long time in the hope that you can do something.”
  • “My aha moment was realizing this community is at the beginning of significant discussions about diversity and inclusion.”

We’ll see you in Columbus for Philanthropy Forward ’18! Stay tuned for the date, which will be announced in a few weeks.

If you’d like to give us feedback, see these links to rate the overall conference, individual sessions and the Pivot Points reception on Oct. 5.

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Jessica Howard

October 17, 2017 at 10:34 am Leave a comment

The importance of public space

2016-nelson-beckford-blog-photoThis week we welcome Nelson Beckford, Senior Program Officer for Strong Communities at Saint Luke’s Foundation, as guest blogger.

By definition, a public space is a social space that is open and accessible to people. Streets, public squares, plazas, parks and beaches are examples of public spaces. These spaces are a social utility or public good because they:

  • Promote democracy, inclusion and social cohesion allowing people from various socio-economic backgrounds to share common ground to celebrate, recreate, to remember, to reflect or protest.
  • Define a city or neighborhood, think Golden Gate Park, Public Square, Washington Square Park – the spaces are reflections of the values, culture and history of a place. Ditto with the simple neighborhood park.
  • Promote active living; when people live close to a park or trail, they walk more.

park2These are just a few of reasons that drove the Saint Luke’s Foundation along with Philanthropy Ohio to form the Public Space Community of Practice. The members represent the full spectrum of public space work from funding, research, land disposition, land acquisition, planning, design and programming. The goal of the group is broad but simple: to reflect and learn from the multiple efforts happening in Cleveland around public spaces.

park6We opened our first gathering with this check in question: “Public Spaces are important because____.”  From there we did some context setting, framing and highlighted public space efforts happening at various scales and across sectors, from a memorial pocket in honor of a police officer – Derrick Owens – killed in the line of duty, to a large-scale intergenerational playscape. We also gave a sneak preview of the landmark research effort – National Park Study – conducted by City Parks Alliance, the National Institute for Health and the RAND Corporation.

Stay tuned for more information and/or opt in for one of the few remaining seats available on the Philanthropy Forward ‘17 “Why Parks Matter” learning tour where we will explore parks and public spaces that work and those that could better serve their nearby residents. If you haven’t registered, click here to sign up.

I challenge foundation staff and board to reflect on how our work (regardless of type of funding priorities/focus) touches on or is influenced by public spaces. As a member of society, take a moment to think about the value you, your family or neighbors get from the public spaces. Discuss.

Nelson Beckford

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Register for the Philanthropy Forward ’17 conference at



September 11, 2017 at 2:52 pm Leave a comment

Working for just, equitable communities

headshot of claudia smilingJust a week has passed since the violence in Charlottesville and, like many others, here at Philanthropy Ohio we are thinking about how we can increase our efforts working with our members toward just, equitable communities. We’ve focused over the past 10 years on diversity, equity and inclusion, adopting a DEI Statement, engaging members in a CEO Circle, educating members about racial disparities and creating the Michael G. Shinn Award for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Philanthropy. Our October conference has a major focus on equity, from the plenary with Dr. Eddie Glaude, Jr. to individual breakout and reflection sessions.

Last month, four of our staff attended the United Philanthropy Forum’s conference, where Dr. David Williams presented sobering data on the inequality in 21st century America, saying that philanthropy should play a leading role in:

  • Raising awareness levels of the reality of racial inequities;
  • Helping to establish a credible voice that is anti-elite, anti-authority and has little trust in social institutions;
  • Convening all relevant stakeholders and experts to establish a coordinated and sustained mass media campaign to re-define race in American culture and society;
  • Raising awareness levels of deeply embedded, subtle forms of prejudice (implicit biases) that are pervasive and unrecognized;
  • Building the political will to address racial inequities in America;
  • Working with the public, private and voluntary sector to identify and disseminate feasible and optimal strategies to dismantle institutional racism; and
  • Developing and sustaining structures that will identify, nurture, and mentor the next generation of leaders to sustain an agenda focused on truth, racial reconciliation and transformation.

David R. Williams is a Professor of Public Health, African and African American Studies and Sociology at Harvard University.

His talk and the hatred that fueled the violence in Charlottesville reinforce that there is so much work to be done and amplify the important role the philanthropic sector can play. Here are just a few of the resources that can inform and guide philanthropy’s work:

Responsive Philanthropy in Black Communities Framework (RPBC) created by the Association of Black Foundation Executives, which builds upon grantmaking with a racial equity lens and tailored specifically to grantmaking in and for Black communities.

Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s work around Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation.

The June 2017 webinar from the Association of Black Foundation Executives on The Color of Philanthropy: Southern Leaders, National Potential.

The equity assessment quiz created by CHANGE Philanthropy with questions from the D5 Coalition and the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity.

The 2017 report from Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees about Supporting Immigrants and Refugees in Volatile Times: What Philanthropy Can Do.

On a related note, one of Ohio’s champions for diversity, equity and inclusion retired last week: Sister Sally Duffy, former head of the SC Ministry Foundation headquartered in Cincinnati. Hundreds of people attended her reception last week to recognize and honor her work, including elected officials, colleagues and nonprofit leaders. She was a tireless advocate and while I will miss her participation in our efforts, I know she will continue her social justice work in her retirement.

Claudia Y.W. Herrold

August 21, 2017 at 4:09 pm Leave a comment

Philanthropy Forward ’17

headshot of claudia smilingPhilanthropy is shifting. It’s applying new practices and strategies addressing equity disparities and focusing on the future of philanthropy in Ohio – and that’s the focus of this year’s statewide convening, Philanthropy Forward ’17. Registration opened last week online for the conference we’re holding in Cleveland on October 4 – 6.

As always, the planning team has crafted three days of outstanding learning and connecting opportunities for the year’s largest gathering of Ohio philanthropic organizations and individuals.

Our plenary speakers will challenge you to think and act differently on big picture themes that have daily application to your work:

plenary collage philanthropy forward 17 squarePhil Buchanan, president of the Center for Effective Philanthropy, will headline the conference with his session Leading Effective Organizations in Complex, Changing Times. He’ll draw on recent CEP research (The Future of Foundation Philanthropy and other studies) to offer insights on the state of philanthropy. Small group discussion will let you react to the data and share your own experiences.

Dr. Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. (chair, Center for African American Studies at Princeton University) will lead a conversation on The Value Gap: A Challenge to Equity, focused on philanthropy’s role in addressing equity and racial disparities. His latest book, Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul, provides the context for his discussion of the value gap that has left many behind socially and economically as well as the complexities, vulnerabilities and opportunities for hope.

Our third plenary speaker is Trista Harris, president of the Minnesota Council on Foundations, who will speak about the future of philanthropy as she explores trends and leads a panel discussion of Ohio philanthropy leaders who reflect on leading from where they are, strengthening the leadership pipeline, new skills for the constantly changing landscape and stepping fully into a place at the table.

The learning continues in our 20+ breakout sessions that cover a multitude of topics, including fundraising practices, early literacy, neighborhood instability, civic engagement, gender gaps, racial disparities and immigrant populations. The list goes on and on, with something for everyone at every level of experience.

PhForward17-image 1300x650And, we know how much conference attendees value opportunities to network with colleagues they see once a year so we’ve planned lots of time for informal conversation. Meet up during designated networking breaks, dine-arounds, and the Welcome Party – Ohio Roots: Home Grown, a lively celebration at the Great Lakes Brewing Company Tasting Room.

There’s also time to explore Cleveland during four learning tours:

  • Why Parks Matter: Learn about the positive impact parks have on equity, health, property values and a sense of community as RAND and City Parks Alliance share recent research findings during a tour of public spaces and Cleveland’s neighborhood parks.
  • Social Enterprise for Sustainable Growth: Tour several Cleveland social enterprise organizations to explore how philanthropy and social enterprise can collaborate to promote sustainable growth. Learn how funding can facilitate entrepreneurial growth as a component of an entrepreneurial ecosystem to increase regional prosperity.
  • STOMP! Five Strategies for Professional Development: Experience the unique STOMP! System’s five self-guided strategies to assess, develop and fulfill your career ambitions. You’ll learn the top competitive-edge skills of extraordinary professionals, assess your current progress toward your career aspirations and learn to progress in your professional power.
  • Playhouse Square: With five fully-restored historic theaters, Playhouse Square is the largest theater restoration project in the world. Today, Playhouse Square is the largest performing arts center outside of New York City and hosts nearly one million guests and one thousand curtains each year. Join colleagues on a tour to discover how these gems were saved from the wrecking ball.

All this and much more await you at the 2017 conference: find out more online and register today.

Claudia Y.W. Herrold

July 10, 2017 at 12:30 pm Leave a comment

The American Health Care Act and preserving Medicaid

headshot of claudia smilingLast week we wrote the following letter to Senator Rob Portman, which several of our members signed on to, regarding the American Health Care Act (AHCA).

Dear Senator Portman,

The Philanthropy Ohio Health Initiative began as a member-initiated coalition focused on improving the health of Ohioans. Our membership includes private and community foundations, corporate funders, public charity grantmakers and United Ways. The Health Initiative envisions a future where Ohio communities – including the philanthropic sector and the health care system – support health promotion, disease prevention and patient-centered, quality care accessible by all Ohioans. To do this we also work with other community organizations, government and partners who share our goals, many who have joined us in signing this letter. Like many others who invest in the health and welfare of our communities, we are deeply concerned about the impact on Ohioans of key changes being considered in the American Health Care Act (AHCA).

shutterstock_445553Senator Portman, we appreciate your leadership in directly confronting the impact of Medicaid changes proposed in the House-passed version of the AHCA. As you said in your letter to Senate Majority Leader McConnell (dated March 6, 2017), Medicaid “reform should not come at the cost of disruption in access to health care for our country’s most vulnerable and sickest individuals…and we will not support a plan that does not include stability for Medicaid expansion populations or flexibility for states.” We could not agree more.

We respect the concerns about the cost to the state and federal government of providing Medicaid coverage and want to collaborate with good-faith partners in addressing these concerns. However, we believe the longstanding state-federal financing partnership is not fundamentally broken.

As you indicated with Anthem’s announcement to withdraw from the Obamacare Exchange (the Marketplace), “the status quo is unsustainable.” We agree. The Anthem withdrawal leaves 19,000 Ohioans in 20 Ohio counties without any option to purchase an individual plan on the Marketplace; that is 11% of Ohio’s total Marketplace enrollment. However, despite the need to fix the Marketplace, there is no need to alter the current underlying federal-state financing structure for Medicaid—it works.

Today, Medicaid efficiently provides comprehensive health care for 3.1 million Ohioans, including 723,000 receiving coverage through the Medicaid Expansion. The AHCA’s proposal to shift Medicaid financing to ‘per- capita caps’ will jeopardize Ohio’s ability to provide health care to all Medicaid enrollees, including children, seniors, and people with disabilities, and would have a significant negative economic impact on our state. Consider the following:

Per-Capita Cap, Children & Other Extraordinary Medical Needs

  • Ohio’s child protection system is seeing a dramatic increase in the rate of opioid-exposed babies. The life threatening medical issues these babies face result in immediate and long term needs for care and support. These babies are not covered by the Medicaid Expansion. Their needs require an ongoing, guaranteed federal- state partnership, which cannot be assured with “medical CPI plus 1%.”
  • Ohio spends $2,488 per child on Medicaid, the 11th lowest in the country. With per-capita caps in place, this would become a permanent federal funding ceiling. Can we absorb the short and long-term cost of care for the opioid-exposed babies or other unexpected emerging public health threats? Further, as we work to improve health care quality and efficiency for children, if our spending falls below the federal cap, the recently discussed idea of periodic “rebasing” would further lower our federal funding ceiling, making the per-capita caps even more damaging.
  • We ask: How do we absorb the short and long-term cost of care for the opioid-exposed babies? How would Medicaid financed by per- capita caps support our state’s needs in times of health and economic distress?

A Dedicated Pot to Replace Medicaid Funding for Opiate Treatment

  • $650 million of the $1 billion dollars Ohio spent last year to reduce drug use and overdose fatalities was paid for by Medicaid. More than 50% of all prescriptions in Ohio for Buprenorphine (an opioid recovery medicine) in 2016 were paid for by Medicaid. Our healthcare system and these services are increasingly integrated to serve individuals holistically across the continuum of care, whether the need is identified in primary care, emergency rooms, or specialized services locations.
  • We ask: Will the opiate funding pot that is being contemplated be large enough and grow commensurate with our $650 million need? How would this pot address each individual’s comprehensive needs and be integrated in a system of care? Why would we create a pot of funding for treating opiate addiction? We don’t pay for hip replacements or care for diabetes that way–these are part of holistic healthcare coverage.

Impact on Rural Communities, Veterans, Elderly, and Intellectually Disabled Individuals

  • old_lady_with_drA Medicaid per-capita cap and phasing out the Medicaid Expansion will have a disproportionate impact on rural communities. Roughly 21% of Ohio’s Medicaid Expansion are individuals who live in rural communities. From 2009 to 2015, Ohio had the third largest decline in the number of uninsured adults nationally, as an additional 115,000 adults received Medicaid or Marketplace coverage.
  • The uninsured rate among non-elderly Veterans has dropped 42% since 2014.
  • Medicaid home and community-based services are an optional service. Today Ohio is serving almost 100,000 individuals in community services; that is 65% of our Medicaid long-term services spending. While seniors and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities would have a more generous growth rate in the per-capita cap, from 2000 to 2011 Ohio’s growth rate was higher than most states; 3.5% and 5.1% for aged and disabled, respectively.
  • We ask: Faced with estimated reductions of $22 billion dollars over a ten-year period to Ohio, can we honestly assure families and individuals that these optional home and community based services will be supported at a level commensurate with their changing needs and will not be a prime target for reduced funding? Can Veterans and those in rural Ohio feel secure that there will not be disruption in their access to services, at the expense of others who also have significant needs?

A per-capita cap means that Ohio will have fewer resources over time to address these issues and will not be able to respond effectively to future public health crises. A federal funding cap cannot account for the specific spending pressures, needs and values of Ohio. The current federal matching formula already takes into account changes in each state’s demographic and economic conditions. Ohio’s health transformation is being driven by Governor Kasich and his Medicaid leadership team: the fundamental federal-state partnership doesn’t need to be abandoned, but deliberate progress continued. The President’s new team at HHS has many tools to continue and enhance this progress.

Capitol Hill2With this in mind, we strongly urge you to oppose any health reform bill that would cause Ohioans to lose health care coverage or benefits that they currently have. Specifically, we urge you to vote against any bill that would effectively end the Medicaid expansion, as we know it by completely phasing out the enhanced federal match or end the Medicaid program as we know it by shifting billions in Medicaid costs to states through a per-capita cap.

In closing, we, and the others who have signed on, pledge to work with you in any constructive manner to improve our state’s health care system. We appreciate your continued leadership on these important issues.


Philanthropy Ohio

June 28, 2017 at 2:35 pm Leave a comment

What I’m reading

headshot of claudia smilingPhilanthropy Ohio’s president and CEO, Suzanne T. Allen, Ph.D., and I are quite voracious readers, both on the job and off. Suzanne listens to a lot of books on CD during her travel around the state and I’m always amazed at the depth and breadth of what she’s reading. It’s a rare week that goes by without one of us saying to the other, “Here’s a GREAT book I just read, I think you’ll like it.”

The love of reading – and learning – has extended to us creating a “book club” for staff: the current book, which we’ll be discussing during a staff meeting on Wednesday, is Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. As J.D. explains, he wrote the book because “I want people to understand what happens in the lives of the poor and the psychological impact that spiritual and material poverty has on their children. I want people to understand the American Dream as my family and I encountered it.” If you haven’t read the book, check out his TED talk for a glimpse into his life. J.D. Vance has recently moved back to Ohio, as he explains in this NY Times piece, where he’s started a nonprofit focused on the opiate addiction crisis.


stack of books on a table

Another Ohioan’s experience about living the American Dream comes in Robert Putnam’s book, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis, in which he analyzes and compares his growing up in Port Clinton during the 1950s to what’s happening half a century later. Putnam is perhaps best known for his Making Democracy Work and Bowling Alone books, two of 14 books he’s written during his academic career. I’ve read a few of them and just recently finished Our Kids.

Putnam brings the same careful, thoughtful scholarship to this book as he portrays the lives of diverse families at opposite ends of the economic spectrum. At the beginning of the final chapter, Putnam writes, “This book has presented a series of portraits of the contrasting lives of American young people from more and less privileged backgrounds, alongside more rigorous evidence that those personal portraits represent nationwide realities. We have examined the concentric circles of influence… and we have seen how in recent decades the challenges and opportunities facing rich and poor kids have grown more disparate.” He then describes his recommendations for how parents, communities and schools can change the opportunity gap.

Another book I’ve dipped into is Bruce Bartlett’s The Benefit and The Burden: Tax Reform – Why We Need it and What It Will Take. Although published 5 years ago, it is still of great relevance to the debates heating up in Washington D.C. this year. Bartlett served in economic policy positions for both Presidents Reagan and George H. W. Bush and is a frequent contributor to a variety of news media outlets. One of my favorite quotes is this: “Ideally, one would like to start with a clear philosophy of what government should do and how much it should spend, and only then decide how to raise the revenue to pay for it” – not a likely scenario in 2017.

Next up on my reading list is The Givers: Wealth, Power and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age by David Callahan. He’s the founder and editor of Inside Philanthropy and co-founder of Demos, “a public policy organization working for an America where we all have an equal say in our democracy and an equal chance in our economy.” I’ll be interested to read his description and analysis – and his opinion of – the rise of new philanthropists and how they are changing life in America. I suspect I’ll get a different set of perspectives and opinions in the next book in my reading stack, Philanthropy in Democratic Societies, a series of essays edited by Rob Reich, Chiara Cordelli and Lucy Bernholz.

Claudia Y. W. Herrold

June 5, 2017 at 5:22 pm Leave a comment

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